Four Week Butoh Dance Workshop in London by Itto Morita

October 13 - November 5
(Every Tuesday and Thursday)

Dear Friends,
and anyone interested in Dance, Butoh, in the Practice of Dance/Movement/Drama therapy, or simply having a completely new experience to movement

organized by Tiff

This month is the 50th anniversary of Butoh Dance and you might have already heard of the many lectures and workshops going on around London.
Here is a chance to try out this legendary Japanese dance form with a dancer who started the Dance Company GooSayTen, in Sapporo City, Japan, 1996, [explanations] amidst a program of experiential lectures.

Please read this link for a concise history of Butoh [here]

In Butoh, physical handicaps can be regarded as individual characteristics, with which you can express yourself in Butoh dance" says Kasai (his stage name is Itto Morita).

4-week experiential training course in the use of Butoh dance as Dance Therapy, by Butoh dancer "Itto Morita"

Itto Morita (performing for 20 years), or Toshiharu Kasai, Professor of body psychology within behavioral and cognitive psychology at Sapporo Gakuin University in Japan. He is the Director of the Sapporo Dance Movement Institute and a member of the Japanese Dance Therapy Association. He is only one /butoh dancer /dance therapist /psychologist in the world !
He is currently carrying out a residency in University of Hertfordshire. One of the ultimate purposes of his Butoh dance activities is soul healing of his own, and hopefully of others through Butoh performance. Some of the extensive research he has done can be found online at:

For reference: Butoh related papers (PDF) by Itto = Toshi Kasai
  1. "A Butoh Dance Method for Psychosomatic Exploration" 1999
  2. "A Note on Butoh Body" 2000
  3. "Perception in Butoh Dance" 2003
  4. "Arm-Standing Exercise for Psychosomatic Training" 2005

-The training will take the form of a "performative lecture", where everyone taking part is able to carry out movement techniques and learn through experience, without any meaningless repetitive physical teachings.
The 8 sessions will be geared towards completing a full module on :

Three factors of this workshop:
  1. Butoh movement
  2. body-learning
  3. butoh mind.
    Any movements/postures that are not regarded dance in the ordinary Western dance forms can be parts of Butoh. There are a variety of them.
    For Basics 1 and Basics 2.

    Noguchi Taiso (physical exercise originated by Noguchi) or passive movements by using the body weight as another resource for Butoh creation. Body-mind relaxation exercises are included.
    For Basics 2.

    Butoh mind:
    Itto believes that Butoh should be performed in an altered state of consciousness. A different mind set or state of consciousness alters the quality of movements.
    Development 1

    --- Tuesday -- Thursday

    week 1 - Oct 13 and 15 : Basics 1.
    week 2 - Oct 20 and 22 : Basics 2.
    week 3 - Oct 27 and 29 : Basics 1.-2. (with introduction for Development 1)
    week 4 - Nov 3 and 5 : Development 1. (with explanations about therapeutic factors)

    * New exercises or factors will be added on Thursday.

- Training is held every Tuesday and Thursday, 8:00-10:30am

- COST: 8 classes for 40 pounds or 6 pounds per class.

VENUE -- in the main hall of the Islington Chinese Association, a 20ft-high large open space with natural light in Archway,
MAP -- [map]
ACCESS -- 2 flights of stairs up to main hall, with hand railings for support. Male and Female toilets on the same level as hall, within 5 steps.

We are keeping costs to a minimum, and would simply like to charge for Itto's travel from Hatfield for every session, and space rental.

-No previous experience in dance nor dance/movement/drama therapy is needed, just curiosity and enthusiasm!
- We would work barefeet, and there are several exercises in the lying down position (bring a towel or mat to use if you feel you will need this). Bring a set of suitable clothing for movement.
- Tea and water available.
Following prescribed forms or movements is not important in Butoh, but how well you express your own emotions and passions is. Because Butoh allows any dance expressions regardless of physical handicaps, its variability of performance is very attractive.

Time structure

7:30 - doors open
7:50 - floors are wiped (this is a Butoh ritual)
8:00 - 8:50 - prompt start, training 1
8:50 - 9;00 - 10 minutes break, tea and tap water available.
9:00 - 9:50 - training 2
9:50 - 10:00 - 10 minutes break.
10:00 - 10:30 training 3 (with discussion)
10:30 - finish

* Each training includes explanations.
* This time structure is basic, and would be modified due to the contents of exercise.

If interested, please confirm your place with your name and contact number, and address any queries you might have, in order that you can experience the workshop as fully as possible. Class size limited to 30.

Call TIFF at 07767703452 or email

"Any dance consists of three parts: the artistic factor, physical factor, and psychological factor. I believe Butoh is different from Western dance traditions within these three points.

In the artistic factor, erotic, grotesque, non-sense, and other things are included in Butoh's peculiar way. Its peculiarity comes from Butoh's psychological factor: I believe that Butoh should be performed in altered states of consciousness.
We don't count while performing, or we can't count because we are not in the normal mental state. We don't follow music nor dance to music because we don't or can't listen to sounds under the altered state of consciousness.

The peculiarity of Butoh in terms of the physical factor partially comes from Noguchi Taiso (physical exercise) that dictates Butoh performers not to use muscles, or to listen to the God of Gravity. I have found that many Western dancers find it difficult to release tension from certain parts of the body, say, eyes, jaws,neck, arms, knees, ankles, etc... because most Western dances need the muscle power to move, but it is not so in Butoh. The muscle relaxation technique has become very important in Butoh. One of the other physical factors comes from the fact that we allow our body to shiver, twitch, jerk, etc. because of the sensibility of Butoh towards the unconscious, mental and psychological self.

It is all these differences that make the artistic impression of Butoh different from other dance styles." - Itto Morita

Links to Butoh Festival London:
Butoh Festival London
- Marie Gabrielle Roti
- Association of Dance and Movement Therapy UK

organized by TIFF

[Butoh dance GooSayTen]
[Toshi Kasai: Dancetherapist/ butoh dancer]