Oscillation and Regeneration

The temporal aesthetics of Sankai Juku

Authored by: Iwaki Kyoko

The Routledge Companion to Butoh Performance

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138691094
eBook ISBN: 9781315536132
Adobe ISBN:


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Amagatsu Ushio, the founder and artistic director of Sankai Juku, is an artist who ruminates through the process of sedimentation: dripping and dropping superfluous thoughts. Opposing the western classical ballet tradition, in which narratives are constructed through a dialectic development, or, differing from the collective brainstorming methodology of Hijikata Tatsumi, whereby a pool of literary and iconographic imageries are thrown pell-mell into the creative vessel, Amagatsu, conversely, peels off redundant concepts, aesthetics, and semiotics. This method of “creative filtration” has been adopted from his very first work Amagatsu-shō (1977): A metaphorical tale of an amagatsu, an ancient Japanese doll that used to be placed by a child’s bed as a talisman (Amagatsu 2015, 23).

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