My Dairakudakan Experience

Authored by: Julia A. Vessey

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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My introduction to butoh was Mark of the Sun, choreographed and performed by Muramatsu Takuya, a senior member of Dairakudakan, the Japanese butoh company founded by Maro Akaji. The year was 2006 and I had finished my first year of graduate school at Arizona State University (ASU) and interned that summer at the American Dance Festival (ADF) in Durham, North Carolina. Caught in a fishing net, grimacing and writhing on the floor, Muramatsu was surrounded by male and female dancers painted white. I was struck by the hauntingly raw and expressive movement. I spent the next two years of graduate school studying everything I could about butoh and returned to ADF after graduating to intern once more, this time with Dairakudakan. After this internship, I was invited to join the company in Japan for their summer intensive, held in Nagano, Japan. That summer of 2008 was the beginning of my journey reevaluating and reconfiguring my concepts as a dancer, artist, and teacher.

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