Soran bushi jazzband at the Kamaitachi festival 2019

We were invited to improvise with the band “Soran Boshi” at the Kamaitachi art festival 2019 at the Museum of Art in Ugo, Tashiro Japan. An experience that took me back to the beginnings of my career as a butoh artist. The beginning was tainted of a youthful yet serious search for freedom and rebellion towards the established society through art. Something I found in butoh and it’s clear provocative and rebellious approach on stage.

Picture by Tomoko Kosugi

The peaceful rebellion I met in this art form gave me room and time to search outside and inside of my self. I found myself digging deeper and deeper, scratching parts of my bones that I didn’t know existed, an unstoppable and very surprising journey. Yet I have found myself being completely stuck in form for the last couple of years, walking in circles in my creations and not really taking any risks in my work. This was a critical moment in my artists career, where I no longer connected with the rebel in me. Is this the end?

This is the reason why I found this experience with the japanese jazz band “Souran Bushi” so important. I found myself immersed in a flow of movement and sound, vibrating and expressing whatever was there and whatever wanted to be expressed through me. I yet again found a place of freedom and peaceful rebellion from where to express. A place where time, space and personal history melts together in an interpenetrating creative experience. I was reminded yet again why art is so important in my life, and I was able to give myself the gift of flow once again.

These moments of creative energy flowing through an open body are priceless for me. They are worth so much more than any stage, lights, funding and newspaper articles with your name in it. To have this place of renewal as a creator is so important to me, art can not be a machinery, art can not only be product. One must never forget how to forget everything you have learned and how to surprise one self being creative. The gift butoh art has given me is the art of being able to listen to the flow that is already here and the ability to rediscover myself and my surroundings for the first time, again and again and again. To do that one needs to take risks, to move oneself into the unknown and to let go of whatever is established in you.

My encounter with “Souran Bushi” was a complete rebellion towards the established forms in myself, through the unstoppable creative force that is life. I now find myself rebelling towards the established forms of butoh dance, witch I find very liberating. Thank you “Souran Bushi”!

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