So, you think you can't dance? ButohOUT! workshops welcome everyone who loves (but seldom dares!) to dance

Published by: Diana Wolfe for ButohOUT! 2019 | 12-Feb-2019
A series of unique dance workshops is taking place this March and April as part of the ButohOUT! Festival 2019, which will allow participants to discover the engaging and liberating performance art form known as Butoh.
Venue: Abbotsford Convent
Address: 1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford, Victoria 3167
Ticket: Various"”see website. Children's workshops are free.
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Registrations are open for four different Butoh workshops to be held in March and April, with a two-week performance season in May, designed to cater for all age groups and stages of accomplishment including absolute beginners through to dance professionals.

Facilitated by professional award-winning performance and visual artists and theatre-makers, the workshop series offers Butoh dance with a cabaret /burlesque twist, acting, and mask-making.

Originally called Dance of Darkness, Butoh was conceived in Japan in the late 50s during the social turmoil after World War II. Re-interpreted by acclaimed Japanese-Australian Butoh dancer/choreographer Yumi Umiumare, its Australian incarnation infuses the form with surreal humour and irreverence, making it accessible and engaging for all.

The workshops will be held at the historic Abbotsford Convent from 12 March onwards. Limited places available. The workshops culminate in a performance series from Thursday 2 May"”Sunday 12 May at the Industrial School, Abbotsford Convent, which workshop participants can elect to be part of.

ButohOUT! Festival 2019

Dates: Workshops start 12 March and run through 16 April 2019; and performance season Thursday 2 May"”Sunday 12 May
Venue: Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford 3167
Times & costs: Various"”please see program. Weekly workshops run for three hours over six sessions. Includes two FREE workshops for families.
Bookings and information:

What is ButohOUT! Festival 2019?

Now in its third year, ButohOUT! 2019 Forbidden Laughter will challenge the perception of Butoh as dark and grotesque by combining the dancing with elements of cabaret, Bouffon, burlesque, physical theatre and visual installations. The two-month Festival program includes four public workshops held in March and April, two weeks of performances from Thursday 2 May"”Sunday 12 May, and discussion groups. ButohOUT! 2019 is conceived and co-produced by Yumi Umiumare and Takashi Takiguchi in partnership with Abbotsford Convent Foundation.

The workshops are:

Weekly Butoh Intensive (beginners through to professional dancers; six Tuesday evenings from 12 March until 16 April);

Breaking the Dark Mask (a burlesque, acting and mask-making workshop; weekend of Friday 29"”Sunday 31 March);

Weekend Butoh Intensive Workshop (delving deeper into Butoh philosophies and methods; weekend of Friday 5 April through Sunday 7 April); and

Peek-A-Butoh Family Workshop (free workshops for families / children; Saturday 23 March).

Creative team: Artistic director Yumi Umiumare, Producer Takashi Takiguchi, Dramaturg Maude Davey, Visual artist Pimpisa Tinpalit. ButohOUT! is being held in partnership with Abbotsford Convent and is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria; Arts Access Victoria; and WEAVE Movement Theatre. Photo credit: Vikk Shayen.

ButohOUT! Festival 2019"”Additional information


Weekly Butoh Intensive
Perfect for dance newbies as well as professional dancers looking to expand their repertoire, the Weekly Workshops will allow participants to discover the fundamental method and discipline of Butoh. Facilitated by Yumi Umiumare, these sessions introduce the philosophy and physical expression of Butoh.

The weekly sessions will run for six Tuesday evenings from 12 March until 16 April.

Breaking the Dark Mask"”A Butoh, burlesque theatre, and mask-making workshop

Held over the weekend of Friday 29"”Sunday 31 March, the Breaking the Dark Mask workshop guides participants through a combination of acting, burlesque and sculptural mask making, reflecting the interdisciplinary elements of Butoh. Led by and drawing on the expertise of award-winning guest artists Maude Davey, a leading cabaret artist and director, Willow J Conway, Miss Burlesque Australia 2016/17, and Ms Pimpisa Tinpalit, sculptor, this is a one-of-a-kind workshop whimsically merging art with dance.

Weekend Butoh Intensive Workshop
Delving deeper into Butoh philosophies and methods, the Weekend Butoh Intensive Workshop explores Yumi Umiumare's unique Butoh Cabaret style, investigating characterisation, provocation and transformation. Yumi leads the workshop, sharing her BodySpecific techniques whereby participants' idiosyncratic, authentic movements are stimulated through images, narrative and abstraction.

Weekend of Friday 5 April through Sunday 7 April.

Peek-A-Butoh"”free workshops for families!
The Peek-A-Butoh Family Workshop is a delicious taster of the sensory delight that is Japanese Butoh. The imaginative realms of Butoh will resonate with littlies as they are immersed in a world of transformation and shape-shifting. Encouraged to unleash their natural curiosity through common games like peekaboo and hide-and-seek as spun through the unique Butoh lens, these playful workshops are designed to hold great appeal for kids.

Two sessions (each being one hour long) will be held outdoors at the Abbotsford Convent on Saturday 23 March.

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