I’m not really sure where to begin with this one. Butoh began with the arrival of Ko Murobushi who barely spoke any English, let alone any Italian or Portuguese. This proved to be the most challenging the language barrier has ever been, because the guest artists usually has someone who can translate for him/her. Also, Butoh is no style to be taken lightly. Some call it the “dance of the organs” if that can even begin to give you any description of what it was like. Butoh is based on the idea of grotesque images, and involves a lot of extreme ideas as well as taboo topics. Most traditional Butoh dancers are painted entirely in white and move in ultra slow movement. (And when I say ultra slow, I mean you would probably think that if I made any sudden movements I would explode or something). So this was going to be a challenging week.
Since we didn’t have that much time with Ko, we had to get started on our performance as soon as possible. Our open doors was only a few days away and we had no idea what we were doing. We split up into different groups and began to work out a structure to perform. We were given no rules or regulations. After some time, we all presented something. And after sometime of presenting, we found out what we did was not good. It we all tried to fit too many ideas into our performances. So we tried to cut down. It was really difficult, because we already felt as though our structures were very minimalistic.
The entire workshop was very frustrating for the entire company, because no one knew what they were doing. No one knew what the goals were, what we were trying to learn, and it began to get to each one of us. However, the key to moving past this was to let go of the preempted ideas and expectations we had and to just go with it. This made it so much easier because it opened up our minds to the idea of almost doing nothing during the performance. This was the best Open Doors we’ve experienced yet. We’re still not sure why, but the energy and the spirit of the company was amazing. I felt like we gave very honest performances, one where we finally felt like a collective whole.
So here’s the lesson my friends:
Stop questioning, and GO WITH IT!