Michael Blackwood (b. 1934)
Butoh: Body on the Edge of Crisis (1991)
1990 / 89 min. / color
Directed by Michael Blackwood
Min Tanaka and Maijuku; Yoko Ashikawa and Hakutobo; Akaji Maro and Dai Rakuda Kan; Kazuo Ohno; Isamu Ohsuka and Byakko-sha; Natsu Nakajima and Muteki-sha; Sankaijuku; and Tatsumi Hijikata.
Butoh, a unique theater of improvisation, places the personal experiences of the dancer on center-stage. A Dionysian dance of nudity, eroticism, and sexuality, Butoh’s scale of expression ranges from meditative tenderness to excessive grotesqueness. Through a recalling of the Buddhist death dances of rural Japan, and use of music and masks Butoh is able to incorporate aspects of traditional theater into its extreme performances. An alliance of tradition and rebellion, Butoh is one of the most fascinating underground dance movements. Butoh: Body on the Edge of Crisis is a visually striking film portrait shot on location in Japan with the participation of the major Butoh choreographers and their companies.