What is an Excellent Dancer? / すぐれたダンサーとは?



Our humans keep all memories of animal’s movements depend on the structure of the skeleton and our brain preserves the memories. Human’s brain is organized with 3 layers of a brain of the Reptiles, a brain of Old-Mammalia, and a brain of New-Mammalia. So, humans can judge the difference between human’s movement by the bipedalism and other animal’s movements.


Humans of a time who lived in a cave, at very wide fields on the earth, they could develop to draw many pictures of “Humans with an Animal Face” at the walls of the caves. Because humans could keep a special familiarity with the animals, so the behavior of the drawing picture of “Human with an Animal Face” must have been like some important cultural ceremony.



In my body movements and into my brain, I feel, sure, various animal’s memories should be left. When I get it I am so happy with a feeling of strong nostalgia. I will make my efforts to create several new dance movements sifting by the joints of the body for seeking its pleasure more. Why the dancers will try to make a “Strange Movements”? I think they have a same aim. Their judgments will be focused on one point, how to spread their seeking sensations by their movements? In that time they will get what kind of emotions? I know these works should be their one of secret pleasures.


It will be very interesting for the dancers to try to recall the history of the evolutions of Fish, Amphibian, Quadruped Animal, Bird, and Monkey through the combinations of the movements, not only to recall the history of human beings. With a well-keened sense, we can reconstruct the movements of Fish, Amphibian, Quadruped Animal, Bird, and Monkey by remembering its memory from “Pool of the Movements” in our brains.


しかし、何のために? そんな進化史を辿ることに何の意味があるのか? 私がそう問うたびに、私の内部の動物が私に「何か」を囁きかけてくる。私は、その囁きを聞いている内に、その理由を、「生命の進化史にうまく所属しないと、人間の進化もうまく行かないから」と考えるようになった。それは、進化史をうまく辿れた時ほど、過去からのリターンとして、より新鮮な「人間の次の動き」を与えられる気がするからだ。

But, why we try to do it? What kind of meanings we can find out through such a recalling the history of the evolution? Each time I put a question to me, one my internal animal whisper something to me. During I have heard its whispers long time, I could understand about its reason like that “If we can’t belong to the life history of the evolution well, we can’t develop our evolution well”. Because I feel that we can get more flesh “Next Humans Movement” as much as we can recall the history of the evolution well as a return from the past.


したがって、すぐれたダンサーという存在も、 このリターンの振幅の大きいダンサーであるに違いない。「すぐれたダンサー」は、ひどく懐かしい存在であると観客に感じさせると同時に、誰も見たことがない動きの世界を美の世界としてつくり出す。そうだとすれば、観客がダンサーに求めるものも、単なるダンス技術の優劣ではないこともよく理解できる。リターンの振幅の大きいダンサーとは、観客を思いがけない動きの世界に誘う者であり、その動きによって動物たちの姿も再現させ、つよい郷愁に誘う者である。

Therefore, such an “Excellent Dancer” should be a dancer who can realize this return with wide amplitude of vibration. “Excellent Dancer”, they create the unknown beautiful movement’s world which anybody don’t see before, and same time they will be a very familiar existence in front of the audiences. So, we can understand well that something the audiences want towards them will be not only the superiority or inferiority of their dance techniques. What is “Excellent Dancer” with wide amplitude of vibration? Sure, they invite the audiences to the unexpected movement’s world and they recall other animal’s figures through their dances, finally they wake up a strong nostalgia in the audience’s minds.

What is Expected New Dance Generation? / 期待される新世代ダンスとは?


It is amazing to the reality that “Butoh Dancers” are surprisingly increasing all over the world. That is a witness in the today’s dance world that “Freedom” is craving for it. However, simply enjoying “Freedom” can not reach “Expected Social Value = Cultural Commodity” as expected by Hijikata Tatsumi, and “Expected New Dace Generation” which is required to us now.



Hijikata Tatsumi aimed to position Butoh as traditional arts like Noh and Kabuki in Japan. His “Butoh with Darkness” is said to be “Beauty of Form“, 80 percent of which was completed. After the death of Hijikata, in order to complete the remaining 20 percent, it was needed a disciple, Yoko Ashikawa, but unfortunately its road was cut off for another reason.



As Akira Kasai’s “Butoh Improvisation” that I studied did not have the possibility of “Social Value = Cultural Commodity” like “Beauty of Form” that Hijikata aimed for, it only says “Freedom” and instantaneously flashes just letting it go was ruined. Although it was a short period, Kasai was loved by Yukio Mishima, and there were activities like Kira by young improvising Butoh dancers. However, its record is not correctly preserved in Butoh history.



The specificity of Kazuo Ohno was that, as one of Butoh founders, he was able to inherit the “Beauty of form” of Hijikata despite being basically an improviser. And, he got on the trend of the era of running the forerunner of the expected elderly culture. In these two points the secret of its success is summarized. It is a miraculous case. Therefore, no matter how much overseas butoh drunken in Ohno, it is not easy to get “Beauty of Form” for them, and much less anyone can manipulate the trend of the times.



“Expected New Dance Generation” will be not born from the “Extensions” of “Butoh” and “Contemporary Dance”. Because, maybe we need to get “New Placement” for the dance is essential.



In my case, I took distance from “Butoh with Darkness” and also recognized the limits of “Butoh Improvisation”. Only one thing, my attention was paid to “Affinity Relationship between Body and Space” realized by “Butoh Improvisation”, and this was brought to the birth of Space Dance to create various designs with the theme of “Informationization of Tacit Knowledge“. Space dance can be said to be one of the candidates of “Expected New Dance Geration” in the sense that dance has been read from the viewpoint of “Creation of Posture“.

私の場合は、暗黒舞踏からも距離を取り、即興舞踏の限界も認識した。ただ一つ、即興舞踏が実現する「身体と空間の親和的関係」に注目し、これを「身体知の情報化」をテーマとして「ダンス & デザイン」をコンセプトとして掲げ、諸々のデザインを誕生させるスペースダンスの誕生に漕ぎつけた。スペースダンスは、「姿勢の創造」という観点からダンスを読み替えたという意味において、「期待される新世代ダンス」の一つであると言えるだろう。


To the best of my knowledge, there are foreign dancers who pursue “Beauty of Form” in young generations, but I feel they can’t get the success yet. “Beauty of Form” is unique to Japan, so, still now is it difficult for foreigners to learn? The tradition of Japanese Flowers, Tea Ceremony, Calligraphy, Kendo, Bow, etc., as well as the current overseas fashion of Japanese Food and Bonsai are by the techniques of “Beauty of Form”.

私の知る限り、若手世代にも「形式の美」を追及する外国人舞踏家たちが存在する。しかし、いまだ成功していないように思われる。「形式の美」は、日本独自なもので、外国人には習得が困難なのか? 生け花・茶道・書道・剣道・弓などの伝統をはじめ、日本料理や盆栽の現在の海外での流行も、「形式の美」の成せる技である。


Japanese dancers who don’t carry Butoh are also weak. In the case of young and talented contemporary dancers, even if they go abroad, they are not attracted, even if they succeed its success are temporary and there is no major development in their works. “Parents” of Contemporary Dance are Western countries, so it is no use for them. Therefore, apart from those who don’t expect “Prominence” or those who hide themselves in the Western Dance Troupes, it is difficult to seek a good place in abroad, trapped in Japan and eventually get exhausted. In order to be active as a dancer with originality overseas, there is no way but to realize “Expected New Dance Generation”.



“Young Talented who bear Space Dance” that I should find out are not members of Butoh nor Contemporary Dance, tired of being wasting talents, they are the species who are struggling for “Undiscovered Dance“. Where are they? They must be hiding in the unexpected places.

私が探し出すべき「スペースダンスの担い手たち」も、舞踏にもコンテンポラリーダンスにも属さず、才能の浪費に疲れ果て、「まだ見ぬダンス」を求めてもがいている種族である。彼らはどこにいるのか? 思いがけない場所に潜んでいるに違いない。

Pleasure of Bipedalism / 二足歩行の歓び



When human being could get the bipedalism successfully first time, what kind of emotion that first person experienced in his standing up and in his walking? Its emotions are same or different from today’s astronauts who could succeed their first Moon Walking on the moon?



Human’s movements keep the massive amount of memories not only the memories at the time humans started the bipedalism but also many memories of the animals, and every day they organize their each behaviors by selecting such movements variously and unconsciously. In this concerns, each time something happen, humans feel “Nostalgia” without a reason and bring up the systems of “Beauty” also “Prayer” secretly based on “Nostalgia”. And its ideas will be useful for making up each person’s “Originalities” that will be different from each other before we know it. “Originalities” will be made up not only through the intelligent difference like the thought but also through this kind of difference like the unconscious selection of the behaviors.



I would like to get a taste of the pleasure when humans could get the bipedalism successfully first time. And, when they started to walk on the ground freely what kind of troubles they experienced? I would like to ruminate their experiences. Maybe, for only one step, they must be needed so many unbelievable troubles and they could get several new discoveries. If I can know that, it is possible to perceive more sensibly what is lost things by the person living in the present age, and what progresses are made.



In front of me, one disabled person is walking very slowly while he takes a rest many times. What its figure inspires my heart! He uses all muscles of his body desperately only for one step, and he twists his neck hardly, he flares his both eyes, he opens his both hands and throw it in the sky, finally he is smiling from ear to ear just like he can climb up a big mountain through his only one step.



For me, this kind of walking by a disabled person will be a dance itself and it will be a wonderful example to express “Miracle of Bipedalism”. Its walking takes the imagination to us about the time when human could start the bipedalism. Me too, as a Butoh-Space Dance Choreographer, I would like to start my dance by this kind of walking. I think this is our human’s existence, at the moment when we touch “The Whole of the Movements that we forgot” we will be stricken with a deep impression unconsciously still now.

Pleasure of Dancing / ダンスの楽しみ



Why humans enjoy “Movements”? Its reason is simple, because “the movement itself is interesting” for us. It is clear when we see the daily human’s behaviors including several sports and dances in the world. Like a short-distance race, why humans would like to run as much as fast? Why we will be proud of its record to other people? Or, conversely, we will try to walk with a super-slow. Or, we will give points to a beauty of the movement and compete with it each other. Or, we will compete with a craftsmanship. Or, we will loose a balance purposely and enjoy it. In deed, both adult and child, our humans could create a lot of various forms of the movements and enjoy it with several reasons.


しかし、なぜ動くことがそんなに面白いのか? あらためて考えてみると少しもわからない。平凡な脳科学者なら、この問いに「それは、動くと脳にドーパミンという快楽をもたらす神経伝達物質が沢山分泌されるから」と答えるだろう。しかし、この答えは問いをずらしているだけだ。「動くと、脳にドーパミンが分泌されるのはなぜか?」と問う必要があるからだ。私は舞踏家として次のように見当をつけてみた。

But, why the movement is so interesting? If we think about its reason again we understand that we don’t know its reason exactly. I wonder maybe some today’s brain scientist will give the answer to us like “I know its reason, because a lot of dopamine will be secreted in the brain through the movement”. But this answer is not fine, this brain scientist avoids giving a clear answer by changing the point slightly. Because we should ask like “Why a lot of dopamine will be secreted through the movement?” So, I tried to imagine about its reason as a Butoh-Space Dance Choreographer.


  I think about its reason like that one movement invites other movements naturally as I found in my dance. I feel that a pleasure which I can find in one movement don’t close into this movement, the movement seeks other movements just like one invisible rule works there.


Its chain of the movements keeps the endless options. And over one memory corresponds to one movement. So, we can reproduce various memorial worlds by the combination of the various movements.



I think this is its essential reason why the movements are so interesting for our humans. Because “Follow-up Memories” is one of the universal desires of us. If we can seek “Follow-up Memories” through the movements with a whole body, not only into the brain, more amicably, and more vastly, sure everybody will devote to the movement world. Also, children too, if they can try to do such an experience as a game, sure they will devote it.


And, at the moment when we find one event like “Movements which we can’t recognize it as Human’s Movements” are mixed together into our usual movements, everybody will be stricken with a “Nostalgia” that we can’t express it through a language. Then, we will be surprised at its secret and we recognize that “Unknown Stage” exists behind our usual human movements. Me too, several time I experience the moment that I feel this my movement will be not by humans. In that time I am so happy specially. Why? I don’t know its reason exactly, but sure.