Daisuke Yoshimoto (Japan)The Innocence
Daisuke Yoshimoto is one of the best butoh dancers. It is a form of dance theatre which was born in Japan in the Fifties. It was both an attempt to break away from traditional Japanese forms and an attempt to protect oneself against growing influence of the West European art. The paradox of butoh, however, lies in the fact that it uses both the elements of the traditional Japanese dance (ritualising and celebrating the gesture) and the means of expression characteristic of the performance art. Butoh reaches out to the Japanese mythology and to the concept of Artaud’s “theatre of cruelty”. It also evokes the experiences of the German expressionism. It is one of the first attempts of unveiling the dark, close to madness features of the Japanese mentality based on operating strong emotions that provoke the audience or on ugliness.
Daisuke Yoshimoto has co-operated with the greatest artists of this genre: Kazuo Ohno and Hisayo Iwaki. He presents his plays all over the world and visited Poland several times. He performed in Warsaw, Łódź and Cracow.
– The butoh performances have not a screenplay; they are improvised according to the impulses of one’s body. Yoshimoto’s dance resembled somehow the primitive celebration. Its strength was hidden in the tension between the lack of motion and convulsions, in the contrast between struggling with one’s body and the mechanical music of a military march. In the end, the dancer’s body freed from the costume, his ecstatic movements and dramatic poses arrested a viewer’s eye and the audience felt like participating in something extremely intimate that – balancing on the verge of art and life – touches the mystery of death – Agnieszka Fryz-Więcek “Rzeczpospolita”