POHRC has been running annual events in Hijikata’s home area Akita since 2015. This September, we will be hosting our residential workshop in Ugo town again! Hijikata travelled back to his hometown Akita to shoot the photobook Kamaitachiwith the photographer Eikoh Hosoe. This triggered a return to his roots and provoked a new phase in his butoh dance. It is with excitement that we can offer participants the opportunity to experience this area of Japan through our residential workshop. In addition to the four days of intensive workshops this year, we will be getting to know the area through a sightseeing bus tour to visit traditional Edo Period samurai houses and a local hot spring.
This year’s main workshop teacher is Kayo Mikami. Mikami pioneered butoh research with the publication of The Body as a Vessel, now available in both English and Japanese. She also has a vibrant and long career as a butoh dancer, and has been widely praised for her creative work. Our three-day workshop with Mikami will be a unique opportunity to go deeper into Hijikata’s ‘notational butoh’ method from both a practical and a theoretical perspective. We will have an additional one-off workshop with butoh veteran Minoru Hideshima. Hideshima witnessed the rehearsals for Ohno’s iconic performance, ‘Admiring La Argentina’, with the two founders of butoh, Ohno and Hijikata. We will also have the opportunity to watch a film of ‘Admiring La Argentina’, followed by a Q&A between Hideshima and the main Hijikata archivist, Takashi Morishita.
From September 21 to 22 there will be the ‘Kamaitachi Cultural Festival’ at the Kamaitachi Museum, which will include butoh performances by Hideshima and others, performances by Japanese and international artists, and local folk performances of Bangaku Kagura and Nishimonai Bon Odori dance. There will also be an opportunity for workshop participants to perform in this event.
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This year we will be learning the practice and theory of Tatsumi Hijikata’s ‘notational butoh’ in an intensive three-day workshop with Kayo Mikami. We will begin the week with a sightseeing bus tour of the area, visiting samurai houses in Kakunodate and a local hot spring. Towards the end of the week, we will have a screening of ‘Admiring La Argentina’, which was performed by Kazuo Ohno and choreographed by Hijikata. This will be followed by a Q&A and special one-off workshop with Minoru Hideshima who was one of Ohno’s disciples.
September 15 (Sun): Arrive in Akita
September 16 (Mon): Sightseeing bus tour to Kakunodate samurai houses and local hot spring
September 17 to 19 (Tues-Thurs), 10h-13h & 15h-18h daily: Kayo Mikami Workshop
September 20 (Fri): ‘Admiring La Argentina’ screening, Q&A and one-off workshop with Minoru Hideshima
September 21 to 22 (Sat-Sun): ‘Kamaitachi Cultural Festival’, including butoh performances, local music and dance performances, a free-jazz concert by Soran bushi, and (optional) performances by workshop participants