By Sondra Horton Fraleigh

Dancing Into Darkness is Sondra Horton Fraleigh's chronological diary of her deepening knowing of and appreciation for this paintings shape, as she strikes from a place of aesthetic reaction as an viewers member to that of assimilation as a pupil. As a pupil of Zen and butoh, Fraleigh witnesses her personal creative and private transformation via essays, poems, interviews, and reflections spanning twelve years of research, a lot of it in Japan. various functionality photos and unique calligraphy through Fraleigh's Zen instructor Shodo Akane light up her words.

The items of Dancing Into Darkness go barriers, simply as butoh anticipates a transforming into worldwide amalgamation. "Butoh isn't a cultured circulate grafted onto Western dance, " Fraleigh concludes, "and Western dance could be extra japanese than we've been capable of see. "

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Extra info for Dancing Into Darkness: Butoh, Zen, and Japan

Sample text

This cyclic aesthetic of Jo-ha-kyu, at the heart of classical Japanese theater, is also at the heart of much Butoh, especially Niwa. 1 The constantly assembling jo image is finally intensified in white~hot light, then suddenly cut away at center stage. After a long and trembling growth, it continues to vibrate for a moment in the darkness-or glow in the mind. In the next instant, we see "The Infant," a new image of the same female figure, now huddled under a small tentlike cover with only her head and face emerg~ ing.

At the Wigman School, we worked on instructions spontaneously, then showed them to the class in various states on their way from improvisation to choreography. They were expressively directed, more outwardly demonstrated or extroverted than in Ohno's classes. With Ohno one tuned an inner eye to the movement and oneself, aided by the soft music ofJapanese harp or flute in the background. ) The effect could be hypnotic, relaxing, disturbing, and restorative. Ohno's teaching was provocative and nonjudgmental.

They hold the fascination of otherness, but I have also made them my own. " Some of my experiences of Butoh have indeed been single-pointed in consciousness, a stream of nows like movement meditations. Such experiences may come through many different means, including walks in nature and purely focused classical dance forms. So it is not my intention to link Butoh and Zen, except where they have intersected in my own experience, and where I recognize that Butoh draws upon Zen as a matter of style, or concept.

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