Opening Program Program I  Program II  Program III Program IV Program V Program VI Program VII   Program VIII  Program IX Program X Program XI Russian Dance Film Competition Closing Program

Program VII, Part 1: Dance Form in Focus: BUTOH
"A Summer Storm by Hijikata Tatsumi" presented by the director
Arai Misao in person

"A Summer Storm by Hijikata Tatsumi: 2003~1973 Hangi-dai-to- kan" 2003, 71min, Japan
Director / Editor: Arai Misao
Choreographer: Tatsumi Hijikata

Photo by Arai Misao

“A Summer Storm by Hijikata Tatsumi” primarily consists of the legendary Japanese dancer Hijikata Tatsumi's legendary performance shot in Kyoto in 1973, and is a tribute to this extraordinary talent. Now, thirty years later, it is still funny, sad, and infinitely gripping. Hijikata was the pioneer of the reputed Butoh dance. Butoh, performed in slow, unique movements by dancers, with their bodies painted white and bent-forward, is an antithesis of the traditional Western dance. As the only remaining footage in color of his performance, the film shows Hijikata as an eternal punker, rebel, and sufferer.

Photo by Arai Misao
Arai's filmmaking career started in 1962 as an assistant director at Toei's film studio in Kyoto after he graduated from Tokyo University. For the next ten years he worked as a director until he started working for Toei's Tokyo Head Office. His major works include the critically acclaimed “The Case of the Missing Co-Ed”. In 1981, Arai played a key role in the shooting on location in Kyoto of United Artist's horror film, “The House Where Evil Dwells”, as its Japanese coordinator. Arai's involvement with Hijikata started when he promoted the latter's legendary Kyoto performance, which he filmed into what was later to become “A Summer Storm by Hijikata Tatsumi”. Arai also promoted the first Japanese performance of Merce Cunningham & Dance Company and John Cage in Kyoto in 1976, achieving the record attendance at the time of 4,000 audience, establishing the company's reputation in Japan. In 1992, Arai left Toei to start working independently, and commenced “A Summer Storm by Hijikata Tatsumi” project.

Program VII, Part 2: Dance Form in Focus: BUTOH
presented by
Daniéle Wilmouth

Emerging in the late 1950s Japan, the dance movement known as Butoh is one of the nation’s key contributions to the avant-garde. KINODANCE hosts filmmaker Daniéle Wilmouth from Chicago, who will screen several of her own films as well as a curated collection of rarely seen historical & contemporary Butoh titles.

Daniéle Wilmouth is an artist working primarily in experimental and documentary filmmaking. In 1990 she began a six-year residency in Osaka, Japan, where she co-founded Hairless Films, an independent filmmaking collective. For more than 5 years she studied the Japanese contemporary dance form Butoh with several teachers including Yoshito Ohno, Min Tanaka, Maro Akaji, Byakko-sha, and her main instructor Katsura Kan. Her films Curtain of Eyes, Tracing a Vein, Containers and ROUND have won awards and screened widely in festivals, museums and on television around the world. She is currently a faculty member in the film and video departments of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College.

Curator's Statement:
"The presentaton of this Butoh film screening in Chicago last October, and now in Russia, is my effort to globalize what has often been a primarily Western understanding of postwar experimentalism in dance & film. Defined by Tatsumi Hijikata, Ankoku Butoh or the ‘Dance of Utter Darkness’ is soon approaching its 50th anniversary, yet it remains surprisingly under acknowleged or misunderstood by artists and dancers around the world. The short films which comprise this screening are extremely rare, and reveal a thriving Japanese post-war art community, which grew from a combination of Japanese primitive roots, traditional performing arts and Western influences such as Expressionist dance, Surrealism, Dada and Existential thought. Sadly, this is not a complete retrospective of Butoh dance films, but instead a modest sampling of prominent titles and key influences. I have assembled films which both introduce the roots and founders of Butoh, as well as suggest interdisciplinary fusions of Butoh with other arts like theater, music, film and poetry. Finally, the screening includes films made by non-Japanese artists influenced by Butoh, such as myself, reflecting the current global economy and shifts in international and cultural artistic exchange." - Daniéle Wilmouth (October, 2004)

Navel and A-Bomb 1960, 16mm B&W film, 12 min, Japan
Director: Hosoe Eikoh
Choreography: Tatsumi Hijikata
Performers: Local villagers and children

Laden with symbolism, Navel and A-Bomb is a seminal film in Butoh’s history. Hooded men stand on an empty beach beside a placid cow. Disembodied hands fight over an apple perched on a sand volcano. A man emerges from the ocean to pull a long rope out of the navel of a young boy. Climaxing with an Atomic mushroom cloud – the film is a surreal and political spectacle by the sea.

Hosoe Eikoh is best known as a photographer. He worked extensively with Tatsumi Hijikata in the 1960s/70s – taking him and his dancers off the stage, and placing them in other-worldly cinematic landscapes. He is currently the director of the Kiyosato Museum of Photography and a professor at Tokyo Kogei University in Japan.

Curtain of Eyes 1997, 13 min, 1997, USA/Japan
Director / Editor: Daniéle Wilmouth
Dancers: Okyon, Izuru Mori, Takechiyo Mariya, Lee
Distributor: Hairless Films / Daniéle Wilmouth

Photo by Kazuya Tachikawa
"Curtain of Eyes is an experimental film, which combines Japanese Butoh dance with psychological imagery and choreographed cinematography. Over a six month period, I collaborated with the Kyoto based Butoh dancer Katsura Kan, and his dance company The Saltimbanques, to create movements for both dancers and camera. Based on a dream, the film is an exploration of intimate relationships and bi-cultural identity. It maps a transformation that I underwent as a European American living in Japanese culture. The choreography mirrors several stages that I, like many expatriates experience; An initial period of discovery and comparison, then a loss of personal identity and virtual paralysis, and finally an empowering bi cultural outlook and individuality." - Daniéle Wilmouth
Photo credit: Kazuya Tachikawa

ROUND 11min, 2002, USA
Directors: Daniéle Wilmouth & Hiroshi McDonald Mori
Performers: Joseph Ravens & Alyssa Miserendino
Distributors: Daniéle Wilmouth & Hiroshi McDonald Mori

Photo by Daniele Wilmouth
"ROUND is a research project on analogue & digital myths of creation. In consultation with scientists, folklorists & theologians, we study the sterile white digital world of replication; a virtual breeding farm. Turbulent floods and disembodied hands sculpt figures with uncertain identities. Bodies roll chasing their own shadows in an infinite stream; a human race - questioning the danger - or benefit - of becoming a thing amongst the things we produce." - Daniéle Wilmouth
Photo credit: Daniele Wilmouth & Hiroshi McDonald Mori

Tracing a Vein 15min, 2001, USA
Director / Editor: Daniéle Wilmouth
Dancers: Joseph Ravens, Adrian Danzig, Katherine Behar, Marianne M. Kim
Distributor: Hairless Films / Daniéle Wilmouth

Photo by Mayumi Lake & Lina Hoshino

"A contemporary ceremonial dance between performers and camera, Tracing a Vein combines live action and stop motion cinematography. The title Tracing a Vein refers to reconnecting with one's origins, and communion with one’s ancestors. Fire is used to symbolize destruction, purification, and a conclusion which nourishes a new beginning. Ancient ceremonial costumes are given a contemporary translation; traditional materials like feathers and bark are replaced by common clothespins, making the body into a tactile tapestry. Influenced by Japanese Butoh dance, the choreography draws on a range of mythology and folklore to re-appropriate the sacred power & possibilities of ancient performance; to rediscover the performer as priest, warrior and healer." - Daniéle Wilmouth

FASTENERS 8.5min, 2004, USA
Director / Editor: Marianne M. Kim
Performers: Katherine Behar & Marianne M. Kim
Distributor: Marianne M. Kim

Photo by Marianne M. Kim & Lee Anne Schmitt
FASTENERS is a portrait of a single female split in two, moving in and out of memory, fantasy, and isolation. It is an experimental performance video inspired by the movement of Japanese Butoh and the writings of Elias Cannetti. FASTENERS references the phenomena of twin like behavior within the confines of imagined role-playing. The twins in the video conjure roles of lovers, sisters, and a mother/child struggling with their ambivalence to attach or detach. The concept of reflection is literally and metaphorically used as memory and the portrait of a single “She” split in two.

Movement/video artist Marianne M. Kim is critically acclaimed for her independent work, as well as past collaborations with awarding winning XSIGHT! Performance Group. Her most recent performance and video projects have been presented at University of Alaska Anchorage through the NEA/DanceUSA, Bunnell Gallery in Homer Alaska, The Art Institute of Chicago's Betty Rymer Gallery, University of Illinois at Weselyn and Atlanta's ‘Seen + Heard’ Festival. Kim is a recipient of fellowships from Illinois Arts Council, Jacob K. Javits Foundation, and several grants from the Chicago Artists Assistance Grants to create new work. She received Chicago’s Ruth Page Award for Choreography and Performance in 1999, and was nominated for a 2002 Lester Horton Award for Short Form Choreography. This year she will be in residence at The Chicago Cultural Center, ARGE in Salzburg, and the University of Wisconsin/Madison.

Lament 10min,1986, USA
Directors: Eiko & Koma and James Byrne
Sound mix: Eiko & Koma

Lament Lament is an elusive intimate meditation on organic landscapes and biomorphic forms, which redefine the shape and nature of the human body. In a stage set entirely in water, the dancers perform in unison with their rippling reflections. Water is one of Eiko and Koma’s strong motifs. Water is in our bodies, rivers, seas, our wombs, and our tears. The movement material was adapted from Eiko & Koma's 1984 performance work Elegy.

Undertow 8min, 1988, USA
Directors: Eiko & Koma
Music: Ushio Torikai

Photo by Marcus Leatherdale
Eiko’s notes on Undertow:
"We wanted to find unconventional camera positions, which would dramatically contribute to the content of the work. We decided James should be on a ladder and sway above us. We cut the side light sharply at knee height to create blackness from which Koma and I emerge, and into which we sink back. We used the shortcomings of video, the fact that a camera cannot see what humans can see, to our advantage. The result was the unsettling Undertow, in which the camera-eye and all subjects sway. The piece floated in both space and time as if coming from and going back into a void."

Eiko's note on video:
Early on, we understood that in order to be effective, we needed to
choreograph dance specifically for the camera. Realizing that film/video
are inherently flat, while dance is three-dimensional, we looked for ways to
make a composition emphasizing depth...we hope to bring to film the similar
sense of shared endurance, where an audience is personally involved and
hopefully feels invested and rewarded."

Since 1971, the contemporary performance team Eiko & Koma have been choreographing pieces for stage, screen and landscape throughout the world. Eiko & Koma were born in Japan and studied with two of the founders of Butoh, Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno. They also studied with Manja Chmiel, a disciple of Mary Wigman, a pioneer of German Expressionist dance. Eiko & Koma not only work between the disciplines of dance & film, but they also create works on the boundary between live performance & installation, treating bodies as a part of a larger landscape. Eiko & Koma have been permanent residents of the United States since 1976. They currently live in New York City. Eiko & Koma were named MacArthur Fellows in 1996, and were presented the 2004 Samuel H. Scripps / American Dance Festival Award for lifetime contribution to the field of American modern dance. Visit Eiko & Koma’s website:

Mr. O’s Trilogy 1969 – 1975, 5 minute excerpt , Japan
Director: Chiaki Nagano
Dancer: Kazuo Ohno
Distributor: Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio

Mr. O’s Trilogy consists of short excerpts from the following three films: The Portrait of Mr. O (1969), The Mandala of Mr. O (1973), Mr. O’s Book of the Dead (1975). They were produced by Ohno and Nagano themselves between the years of 1969 to 1975. Kazuo Ohno worked with Tatsumi Hijikata in the 60s but suddenly stopped appearing on stage after 1968. Then, he was devoted to making films with Chiaki Nagano. The films focus on Ohno’s improvisational performances and are full of the sensations of the Japanese avant-garde art movement at the time.

Chiaki Nagano was born in 1931 in Yokohama, Nagano was active as a freelance filmmaker from the 60s through the 70s. After meeting with Kazuo Ohno, he made Mr. O’s Trilogy, and later a documentary on Yoko Ono.

KAZUO OHNO 14 minutes, 1995, Japan
Director: Daniel Schmid
Dancer: Kazuo Ohno
Distributor: Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio

Featuring Kazuo Ohno and his wife, Chie Ohno. Presented by Aichi Arts Center as a program of Aichi Prefectural Arts Promotion Service. Originally, the footage of Ohno by Schmid was part of the film The Written Face, featuring Bando Tamasaburo. A short section was later independently produced from the footage, resulting in the poetic short film KAZUO OHNO.

Daniel Schmid was born in 1941 in Switzerland, Schmid Founded Tango Film Productions with Fassbinder in 1965. His filmography includes La Paloma (1974), Il Bacio Di Tosca (1984) and The Written Face (1995).

O, Kind God! 79 minutes (excerpt), 2003, Japan
Director: Gianni di Capua
Dancers: Kazuo Ohno & Yoshito Ohno
Distributor: Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio

After around 2000, Kazuo Ohno has been living with Alzheimer’s Disease and has had difficulty walking. Ohno’s strong desire to dance has not diminished however . The piece is a documentary about Ohno’s life and art, emphasizing his overwhelming gestures and emotions.

Gianni di Capua is active as a freelance filmmaker in Italy. He is known for his biographical documentary on Luigi Nono. He currently teaches the History of Documentary Filmmaking at Venice University.
For further information about Kazuo Ohno, or to purchase videos, please visit the official Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio website: