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Hijikata Presentation


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Hijikata Presentation

  1. 1. Group Names: Kyra Millar, Sarah Lewis, Eun Kyung Lee and Emily Lansell. TATUSMI HIJIKATA - Resource Pack
  2. 2. A Biography… <ul><li>Tatsumi Hijikata was born in Akita Province in Japan. He was born in March 1928 </li></ul><ul><li>His hometown was in the countryside </li></ul><ul><li>Tatsumi was trained in Western Dance, as a young man he joined the Ando Mitsuko modern dance institute. </li></ul><ul><li>At the age of 25 he joined Ando’s company in 1953( standing out as a pupil of exceptional talent) </li></ul><ul><li>After sometime working with other people Hijikata joined forces with the older, more experienced Kazuo Ono, a man later recalled as ‘ a wonderfully gifted teacher and an influence to many generations of dancers.’ ( Lesley Eleanora Boyce-Wilkinson theories Ankoko Butoh as cruel theatre, downloaded 02/11/2007 – www. buthoseething.html/ ) </li></ul><ul><li>In 1950’s and throughout jis life tatsumi Hijikata created a new genre of dance called Butoh. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1959 the two paired up to enter their first major work Kinjiki (forbidden colours) into a Japanese dance festival. The piece was banned due to the controversial content i.e. the strangulation of a chicken between onos son Yoshito’s legs, to represent the struggle of homosexuality. This highlighted Hijikata as a rebel in a mainly conservative Japanese arts culture </li></ul><ul><li>Kinjiki later became known as Hijikata’s first premiered piece of work of the Butoh movement. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Biography contd… <ul><li>Kinjiki later became known as Hijikata’s first premiered pieces of work of the Butoh movement. he and Ono were to later develop, although the term Butoh wasn’t penned until 1961. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1970 – Tatsumi HIjikata, had a performance called ‘Gibasa’ in Tokyo. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1972 – Hijikata had his first performance of Fin Back whale.’ (sourced from ) </li></ul><ul><li>Tatsumi Hijikata married Akiko Motofuji, who trained in the dance form ballet and converted to performing Butoh. </li></ul><ul><li>Tatsumi Hijikata died in Tokyo,1986. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>“ ... a theatre of blood, a theatre which at each performance will stir something, in the body, of the performer as well as the spectator of the play but actually the actor does not perform, he creates. Theatre is in reality the genesis of creation, It will come about.” (Artaud, A., ed. Schumacher, C., 1989: pp.200.) This quote was downloaded from the writings on cruel theatre by Lesley Eleanora Boyce-Wilkinson , having sourced the information from Artaud (see above). In her writing she compares the similarities between Tatsumi Hijikata and Artaud, as both recognise that theatre and even dance come from within, via experiences and connected with ideas of creation. </li></ul><ul><li>Stephen Barber in his study of Artaud suggested that Ankoko Butoh was derived or influenced by ‘Artaud’s legacy’. In ‘Weapons of liberation’, Barber states :”The Japanese pre-occupation with Artaud’s last scream of refusal led to the creation of work which has simultaneously more violent and more exquisite than its equivalents in European the United States, in the form of the dance performance style called ‘Butoh’”- (S. Barber 1996) </li></ul><ul><li>Barber then links that the writings and work of Artaud influenced Tatsumi Hijikata, and his innovations in creating the stylized dance form of Butoh. </li></ul>Influences
  5. 5. <ul><li>Western dance was a key influence on Hijikata and his own theatre/ dance innovations, since this is what he was trained in, and wanted to push its boundaries by searching for a new way to move that better fit the body. </li></ul><ul><li>Also, being ‘Japanese’ was influential to Hijikata, it was his culture, and formed the context of many of his performances, this can be seen in his choreographing of dance which remained distinctly Japanese but without conforming to Japanese traditions. Furthermore, Butoh and Hijikata himself was influenced by his own childhood memories. </li></ul><ul><li>In Kazedaruma, a speech given on the eve of the Butoh Festival, Tokyo, February 9 th , 1985, Hijikata stated: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Early Spring was the busy season on the farm. Everyone went out to work in the fields. There was no one in the neighbouring houses. Children three or four years old tied to large pillars in every home. I would sneak over to take a peak at those kids. They made strange movements; One fed food to his own hand – what an odd thing to do! (…) The kid was treating his hand as if it weren’t part of himself, it was as if it wasn’t his own hand. (…) From time to time, he would try to twist off his ears and all sorts of other things, Although this is really an absurd story, in it are the original movements that greatly influenced me later on in my dance.” (Hijikata, T.,ed.Holbourn,m.m.,1987: pp.125.)- sourced from </li></ul>Influences
  6. 6. <ul><li>Furthermore, research shows that Hijikata was influenced by the writings of Genet and Artaud, and this can be seen in his early work in Butoh. Where dance was chaotic, sexual, violent and improvised. Genet was born to a prostitute mother and after being brought up by her for a year was put up for adoption. He wrote many plays, and books that pushed moral boundaries in its assumed readership, and focused a lot on exploring homosexuality. Indeed Genet was even discharged from the Foreign legion for being caught in a homosexual act, and later become a petty thief as well as a prostitute, however his works impressed jean Cocteau, and Pablo Picasso who petitioned against the French president to prevent Genet’s life imprisonment. Hijikata then too obviously impressed by Genet’s writings decided to push boundaries in an art form of theatre and or dance rather than a literary form. </li></ul><ul><li>Finally, another key influence to Hijikata and his work was the female form. From the early 70’s he worked closely with women, most notably Yoko Ashikawa, During his training work Hijikata used streams of word images for the evocation of movements. Ashikawa Yoko(13) describes there work together: “For almost 10 years our daily routine began with him drumming on a small drum stretched with animal hide(..) And with his words, which he uttered in a stream like poetry. When we danced, the images were all derived from his verbal expressions. Without words we could not dance, so it was like following a poem.” This collaboration by all accounts produced some of the most notable and magical moments on the 20th century stage. </li></ul><ul><li>Sourced from Holbourn, M (1987) </li></ul>Influences...contd.
  7. 7. <ul><li>&quot;Western dance begins with its feet firmly planted on the ground whereas Butoh begins with a dance wherein the dancer tries in vain to find his feet. What has happened to the tucked-in feet? </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;What has become of our bodies?&quot; Tatsumi Hijikata </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;I'm convinced that a pre-made dance, a dance made to be shown is of no interest. The dance should be caressed and fondled ; here I'm not talking about a humorous dance but rather an absurd dance. It must be absurd. It is a mirror which thaws fear. The dancer should dance in this spirit. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;In other forms of dance, such as flamenco or classical dance. the movements are derived from a fixed technique; they are imposed from the outside and are conventional in form. In my case, it's the contrary, my dance is far removed from conventions and techniques ... it is the unveiling of the inner life.&quot; Tatsumi Hijikata </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;When one considers the body in relation to dance, it is then that one truly realizes what suffering is: it is a part of our lives. No matter how much we search for it from the outside there is no way we can find it without delving into ourselves . </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;We are broken from birth. We are only corpses standing in the shadow of life. Therefore what is the point of becoming a professional dancer? If a man becomes a laborer and a woman a servant, isn't that enough in itself? </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;That is the essence of Butoh - and that is how I lead my communal life. </li></ul>Quotes from Hijikata... relating to his works
  8. 8. <ul><li>&quot;We should live in the present. We should do what we have to do now and not keep putting it on the long finger as the majority of adults do. That is why they exhaust themselves. For children, there is only the present. They are not afraid. Fear envelops us in a fine mesh. We must remove this mesh. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;We should be afraid! The reason that we suffer from anxiety is that we are unable to live with our fear. Anxiety is something created by adults. The dancer, through the butoh spirit, confronts the origins of his fears: a dance which crawls towards the bowel of the earth. I do not believe this is possible with European dance.&quot; Tatsumi Hijikata </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Butoh plays with time , it also plays with perspective, if we, humans, learn to see things from the perspective of an animal, an insect, or even inanimate objects. The road trodden everyday is alive ... we should value everything.&quot; Tatsumi Hijikata </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Butoh is a corpse standing straight up in a desperate bid for life.&quot; Tatsumi Hijikata </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Again and again we are reborn. It is not enough simply to be born of the mother's womb. Many births are necessary. Be reborn always and everywhere. Again and again.&quot; Tatsumi Hijikata </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;I keep one of my sisters alive in my body when I am creating a butoh piece, she tears off the darkness in my body and eats more than is necessary of it -- when she stand up I sit down compulsively.&quot; Tatsumi Hijikata </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;When I begin to wish I were crippled --even though I am perfectly healthy -- or rather that I would have been better off born a cripple, that is the first step towards butoh.&quot; Tatsumi Hijikata </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Even your own arms, deep inside your body feel foreign to you, feel that they do not belong to you. Here lies an important secret. Butoh's radical essence is hidden here.&quot; Tatsumi Hijikata </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;(A carrot revealed to me a crucial shortcoming in my Butoh.) Is what we - human beings not carrots - call memory, really memory? What is memory if not the sum of all those things that have been eaten, erased, eliminated - in a word, all that has ceased to exist? And is not the world made so as to attend to that sum? My views have broadened my thinking in this way. I have no idea on what yardstick our memory was first based. But if we would only annihilate this &quot;memory,&quot; then an infinite world would come about where Butoh could find its proper place. Unless we deal with such problems we will only end up worrying about this straitened world - and thus, putting a lock on the door to the universe.&quot; Tatsumi Hijikata </li></ul>Continued...
  9. 9. People and groups influenced by Butoh and Hijikata. <ul><li>Maro Akajiga( famously recognised in the film Kill Bill) was a man influenced by the Butoh movement, and Hijikata and he formed a smaller group called Daira Kudakan. </li></ul><ul><li>This group is very important and plays a main role in Butoh’s diffusion, and they are always making an effort to introduce and spread out the form and spirit of Butoh to the world. </li></ul><ul><li>(sourced from a Korean website </li></ul>
  10. 10. Hijikata’s influence on the world continued… <ul><li>Ishide Takuya (Born 1958 - ) was another figure influenced by Hijikata and his works. </li></ul><ul><li>He took Butoh further by demonstrating to his audiences connecting spirit to the body. Making them one movement. </li></ul><ul><li>When Allen Ginsberg ( a famous western poet )saw the works of Ishide Takuya he was very moved and as a result applauded his efforts to the world, thus the word of Butoh spread to other parts of the world. </li></ul><ul><li>Ishide Takuya as performer and director, was very active in spreading Butoh as an art form, thus he influenced world Butoh groups coming together in a united front to continue working together and aided the Butoh movement to spread further to all nationalities. </li></ul><ul><li>(sourced from Korean website: ) </li></ul><ul><li>Butoh is so renound as an art form today there are many festivals where groups from all around the world come and dance to demonstrate new threads and inspirations from the movement, one being The Moscow dance Festival of Butoh. </li></ul><ul><li>( see ) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Discuss any problems that might be raised by his work <ul><li>A rebel in a conservative country </li></ul><ul><li>As an innovator of his time, Hijikata ’ s work, was not without opposition. The style and ideas behind Butoh , the dance movement he developed with Kazuo Uno, were alien to the Dance world at the time, and confronted by such a shift, measures were taken by those in authority to stint the popularity of his work. At one time, Butoh was even banned by the Japanese Dance Association. </li></ul><ul><li>Hijikata loathed the conventional forms of dance , he believed dance should instead flow through a person like a visual representation of their soul ’ s very essence. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;I'm convinced that a pre-made dance, a dance made to be shown is of no interest. The dance should be caressed and fondled; here I'm not talking about a humorous dance but rather an absurd dance. It must be absurd. It is a mirror which thaws fear. The dancer should dance in this spirit. ” (1) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Contd. <ul><li>Misunderstood … mocked? </li></ul><ul><li>The Japanese dance community of the time (1950s-60s) make no effort to evolve their appreciation of different forms of dance and viewed his work in a way he stated to be inaccurate. Despite the fact Hijikata claimed “ [he wasn ’ t] talking about a humorous dance but rather an absurd dance ” , the fine line between these two distinctions may not have been so obvious to people at the time. </li></ul><ul><li>Before he became a fully respected practitioner, people may simply, through a lack of understanding of his ideas, have found the odd dance movements ridiculous and mindless. That ’ s one reaction, though of course the other is simply anger. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Contd… <ul><li>Controversial - contemporary versus traditional </li></ul><ul><li>To say Butoh was controversial would be an understatement. </li></ul><ul><li>‘… grotesque, twisted, dark and perverse …’ (2) is how one source describes Butoh. </li></ul><ul><li>As a highly determined visionary, Hijikata had little concern for the offence that people may take with certain aspects of his dance and as a result, he was deemed an Iconoclast - a person who sets out to damage a culture ’ s religious symbols, or attack cherished beliefs , be that metaphorically or in reality. </li></ul><ul><li>One example of the extent people took offence to his work was demonstrated at Hijikata ’ s premiere of his first Butoh piece, Kinjiki. This piece was based on the novel by Yokio Mishima and explored the taboo of homosexuality. Audiences were shocked at a key point in dance in which a dancer actually strangled a live chicken between his legs, as a metaphor of the struggles a homosexual will face in a life. To demonstrate such a feat onstage to a conservative 1950s Japan audience, it is hardly surprising Hijikata was banned from the rest of the festival. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Problems… <ul><li>Conflicting ideas with an ordered Japan </li></ul><ul><li>Obviously, variations in art forms, and diversity are important. Not so as far as Hijikata’s opposition were concerned as his work began to be noticed. At the time of Butoh ’ s birth, Japan was still very much a country in transition . The World War had come to an end, but the country was still attempting to cling onto age old traditions - Butoh clearly had no place in such a time, in the eyes of many. </li></ul><ul><li>Conflicting ideas about dance with the wider Japanese dance community meant that Butoh remains to this day, relatively unknown in its native land. It was never able to gain a respected seat in a country that looks towards control and beauty, not avant-garde contortions and animalistic outbursts. As a result, Butoh is practiced mostly in Europe now. </li></ul><ul><li>Japanese dance is traditionally very controlled, elegant and sophisticated - Mai, for instance, is associated with the Japanese Imperial Court and was developed in the 17th century. The dances were highly choreographed and aesthetically pleasing. A world away, then, from Hijikata ’ s creation - in which he believed the dancer should “ learn to see things from the perspective of an animal, an insect, or even inanimate objects “ . (3) - How could two such different points of view and ideas about what Dance should be expect to coincide? </li></ul>
  15. 15. Problems continued… <ul><li>Confused, undefined </li></ul><ul><li>Another issue is that Butoh seems unable to decide on a definition or an explanation for itself. Hijikata was very vague on the specific ideas behind Butoh, handing out mysterious explanations for its being, such as, &quot; Butoh is a corpse standing straight up in a desperate bid for life.&quot; (4) In some ways, it is unsure whether it can be categorized into either Dance or Theatre … </li></ul><ul><li>… It takes very little from traditional dance, or in fact from Western Dance, although it does borrow elements from both, so from a positive angle, it could be deemed an exciting hybrid. Though on the other hand, one could just say it is confused art from. “ Butoh has many different faces ” (5) </li></ul><ul><li>(5) E. Burke, Butoh: The Darkness amongst the Joy, </li></ul><ul><li>(4) </li></ul><ul><li>(3) </li></ul><ul><li>(2) Mcleod, D, History of Butoh,, </li></ul><ul><li>(1) </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Throughout history there have been many artists and innovators who at the time were not recognised for their talent or creations, yet that didn’t and doesn’t mean that they were not great. Van Gough was not recognised as an extraordinary artist until after he died, and Hijikata was not recognised initially for his innovation of Butoh. He was even banned from a festival because he was considered Avant Garde. Yet where would we be today without these kinds of people who dare to try something different? Sometimes as a collective we are not ready for change, yet today Hijikata, Van Gough,Darwin, Einstein and many more ‘geniuses’ are recognised as being major influences and contributors to the world of science, literature, art and so on. </li></ul><ul><li>It is hard to judge Hijikata’s impact on our own thinking of theatre as we have not seen any of his works, apart from Butoh that has been influenced by his innovations on You Tube. However, having read many people’s criticisms of him, he must be recognised as someone who dared to be different, and dared to challenged the everyday conventions of what ‘good theatre’ was and resulted in a new form of dance that is still practiced today. </li></ul>What impact do Hijikata's ideas have on your own thinking about theatre?
  17. 17. Continued… <ul><li>Even though Hijikata had an influential role in producing Butoh as an innovation, he has little documented about his life and works on the internet, which leads us to question how much of an influence he actually was on the arts world. We found more information on his collaborative friend and colleague Kazuo Ono, and some sites even differ on details. E.g. place of birth. </li></ul><ul><li>Just like Butoh has no clear definition, Hijikata himself seems to be as mysterious as his dance form. Little is known about his personal life, we can only assume from the nature of his plays that he was interested in challenging social and moral norms. We admire his efforts in attempting to challenge the social and moral norms especially in the time that he did this, and within his own conservative, Japanese culture. </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>1959 – Hinjiki (Forbidden Colours) – Theatre works </li></ul><ul><li>In 1968 his piece Nikutai No Hanran ( Rebellion of the body) – Theatre works </li></ul><ul><li>1969 – ‘Kamaitachi’ theatre work </li></ul><ul><li>1970 – Blind woman’s curse. (film)( information sited from ., downloaded 10/11/2007) </li></ul><ul><li>1987 – ‘ Body on the edge of crisis’ – Tatsumi Hijikata. (book form) </li></ul><ul><li>Butoh works and developments – from 50’s onwards. </li></ul><ul><li>1993 – ‘Hijikata Tatsumi – 3 decades of Butoh experiment, Hijikata Tatsumi’ (republished) </li></ul><ul><li>(sited from ., downloaded 10/11/2007) </li></ul><ul><li>1993 – Hijikata tatsuimi. ‘Buto taikn: kasabuta to kyarameru’ </li></ul><ul><li>1998 –’Hijikata Tatsumi zenshu’ (republished) </li></ul>Bibliography of works...
  19. 19. <ul><li>Internet Sources: </li></ul><ul><li>www. buthoseething.html/ ) </li></ul><ul><li> ) </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>E. Burke, Butoh: The Darkness amongst the Joy, </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Mcleod, D, History of Butoh,, </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Literary Sources: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Weapons of liberation’ S.Barber </li></ul><ul><li>Holbourn, M (1987) </li></ul>Bibliography