Category Archives: Dance

Kyotographie Masterclass with Isabel Muñoz & Taketeru Kudo

Thanks to Marguerite Paget for sending this in…

Capture the Moment! – Grasping the body and the movement

The work of Isabel Muñoz has always evolved around the body and movement. This is partly what has contributed Isabel Muñoz’s international notoriety.
Passionate about dance, she has worked on various series dedicated to the arts she herself practiced for a long time: Cuban Danza, Flamenco, Tango, Mitologias…
What captivates her more than anything is performance, boundaries, and sensuality.
This year, the KYOTOGRAPHIE Masterclass offers an original formula, exhilarating for both the participants and the photographer.
What better way of learning than to practise? Observe, understand, anticipate and capture!

It is through action that Isabel Muñoz invites you to step into her world and share her perspective. The workshop will be punctuated by moments of discussion and exchange, technical and theoretical advice (for example the handling light and the relationship to the subject) but mainly we will focus on shooting techniques applied in a unique context.
This context is created with the inclusion of Taketeru Kudo, one of the greatest Butoh dancers of his generation.

Can butoh be photographed?
Devoid of any decor, this art is inherently linked to black and white. The bodies of the dancers, covered in white powder, try to express the heaviness of the world and the dark forces at play within the soul.
In this context, photography rimes with intelligence, imagination and sensitivity.

Who can participate?
Anybody passionate about photography, with experience, that wants to experience a unique moment with out-of-the-ordinary teacher and a model.

April 17th 9:00-17:00
April 18th 9:00-17:00
*arrive 15min earlier

Fee: 20,000JPY (tax inclusive)
Venue: Former Shinpukan, Kyoto, JAPAN

For more details see:

Butoh Dance at the Kyoto Experiment 2016 Fringe Festival

A message from our friend Bridget Scott:

This March sees Kyoto Experiment 2016, the first time to hold this international performing arts festival in spring as well as autumn. From 5th March to 27th March there will be live performances of theatre, music and dance at venues all over Kyoto. For details check the website:

Here, I’d like to introduce some butoh and butoh related performances that are part of Kyoto Experiment 2016 Fringe Festival hosted by Kyoto’s avant grade performance space, Urbanguild.


Saturday 5th March will be a big night for butoh fans. “Takasago Butoh Cooperation 15th Anniversary Carnival” will present 12 butoh dancers young and old from near and far corners of Japan: Kansai, Hyogo, Gifu, Tohoku and Kyushu. There will be live music including saxophone, shamisen, didjeridoo, sittar, percussion and voice. All the performers have collaborated with Takasago Butoh Cooperation over the last 15 years. Kiyoko Yamamoto, the organizer from Takasago, is a veteran butoh performer active in the anti nuclear movement. The evening will be constructed in the form of a non stop dance relay. It will be a rare chance to see a gathering of butoh dancers from local parts of Japan. What kind of butoh will emerge?

Note, to regular Urbanguild punters:

This performance begins at 18:30, one hour earlier than usual nights.

Tickets are ¥1,800 in advance and ¥2,000 on the door, including one drink.

Facebook link:


“BRDG 5th Anniversary” is a celebration of BRGD theatre group on Wednesday 16th March from 19:30. The directors are Keiko Yamaguchi and Kano Kawanabe, Keiko is a butoh dancer and actress who creates theatre pieces about foreigners living in Kyoto. The evening will include a bilingual theatre piece as well as dance, live music, theatre skits and a unique food menu.

Tickets are ¥2,000 in advance and ¥2,500 on the door, including one drink.

Facebook link:

The next two nights 17th and 18th March, “Senryusha Mimihime Kitchen” fresh from a successful sellout show in New York. The main performer is Chisato Seino, a senryu(a 17 syllable satirical poem) poet and butoh dancer. The whole evening of butoh is based around Seino’s live writing and reciting of her poems. Butoh dancers appearing are from New York, Beijing, Shanghai and Kyoto’s very own Butoh master, Katsura Kan. Musicians include, Urbanguild’s Ryotaro Sudo on accordion and electronics, Junryo Oishi on synthesizer and Masahiko Todoriki tuva chanting and traditional music and Ryota Tanaka on percussion.

Starts at 19:30

Tickets are ¥2,500 including one drink.

A guaranteed unique evening, not to be missed.

On Friday 25th March “Kan Katsura x Sanae Kuroko What is Dance? The Silence starts to talk—Listen with the body” is a showing as a result of 4 days of workshops exploring the process of making dance.

This workshop is open for anyone with an interest in questioning what is dance and how to make a performance. It is guided by Katsura Kan, Kyoto’s born and bred butoh master, Kuroko Sanae, a contemporary dancer and Keiko Yamaguchi, actor, butoh dancer and theatre director.

The workshop will be in English and Japanese.

For more information on the workshop see the Facebook page

The showing will start at 19:30.

Tickets are ¥2,500 including one drink.

There is one more butoh event I’d like to mention, not held at Urbanguild but at the classic old theatre, Gojo Kabarenjo, on Sunday March 20th at 15:00 and 19:00 and Monday March 21st at 15:00.

Ima Tenko’s Butoh Company Kiraza in “Robe of Dreams”. It is the group’s annual performance held at this old traditional theatre. Always a spectacular event!

For more information:

So, this March in Kyoto, stop looking at those screens, get out and enjoy the visceral experience of live, raw performance!

New Directions Vol. 3 @ Urbanguild, Kyoto; July 9th

new directions

Our pal, Christopher Fryman, is hosting a series of New Directions events at Urbanguild these days, and has asked me to help spread the word about the next show on July 9th. As Christopher is a pal, and the list of performers does look rather good, and especially as this will be a NON-SMOKING EVENT (!!!) I am very happy to oblige.

First the details:

Date: July 9th 2015
Doors open: 19:30
Show starts: 20:00
Tickets on the door: 2200 yen + 1drink
Tickets in advance: 1700 yen + 1drink

Directions: To get to Urbanguild from Sanjo Dori, go down Kiyamachi Dori (This is the narrow street running alongside the Takase stream). Urbanguild is on the east side (the left hand side as you walk down from Sanjo) about 150 metres. It’s on the 3rd floor of the New Kyoto Building – access by elevator or stairs. Here is a MAP.

Here’s the list of performers:

Hitomi Shimizu
Takeshi Unate & Yuko Nazuna (calligrapher)
Siete passos para el cielo & Himeko Narumi (dancer)

Christopher is particularly keen that people come to see Kyoto-based composer Hitomi Shimizu who will be playing a quarter tone keyboard that she made herself. Here are some more details…

hitomishimizuHitomi SHIMIZU is a composer for film and TV soundtracks and winner of the Japan Academy Award 2001 for the Japanese film “Waterboys”. Hitomi has studied music composition since the age of 14 and is especially intersted in micro tuning. After graduating from Toho Gakuen Conservatoire, she built herself a 43-tone microtuning organ and made frequent live performances with violinist Hiromi NISHIDA as a duo “SYZYGYS” in Tokyo. She plays “microtuning pop” which is Hitomi’s life work. “SYZYGYS” CDs are available worldwide, produced by John Zorn on his TZADIK label. For her solo works, she plays 205/octave microtonal keyboard called “Tonal Plexus 6s” as well as her self made 43 tone organ.
Takeshi Unate is an Asian style, one-man-band ‘pokopoko’ musician. He plays with body and spirit. His hands use many melodic instruments, singing with his mouth and nose, beating with his feet and an array of flutes, whistles and other rare instruments.


Yuko Nazuna is a shodo (Japanese calligraphy) artist. She has performed live calligraphy at shrines and temples in Nara.


SIETE PASSOS PARA EL CIELO are an esoteric free style band playing a beginning, middle, and end. Their influences range from Mahler to Mingus. They are

Kurata Kenichi – Bass
Ito Makoto – Sax
Christopher Fryman – Trumpet
盛田泰三  – Drums


Himeko Narumi is a dancer and art model who has danced all over Japan and participated in many International Festivals. She is currently a member of “The Physical Poets” that use body movements and dance. At the same time, she has a career as a solo dancer and has been working with music in improvisation dance sessions. She focuses on invisible things, a sense of air, music, mind and energy, and the spirit of the land…

All pictures courtesy of Christopher Fryman & Urbanguild.

“The Question of Butoh” – A Celebration; May 18th – 24th

The following information was sent in by our friend Bridget Scott, for further details please see the website:

What is “Butoh”?
What is “Butoh” asking of us who are living today?

For one week from Monday 18th May to Sunday 24th, a series of butoh performances, workshops and lectures will take place in Kyoto. There will be performances, workshops and lectures featuring 30 butoh dancers, held at 5 different venues. This is are great opportunity for butoh fans, as well as those who are discovering the genre for the first time, to encounter what the expression of butoh is today. A celebration of butoh on this scale has not been seen in Kyoto for over 20 years!

The Question of Butoh

The Forum “The Question of Butoh”

It has been over a half century since the word “butoh” was born. Butoh has been continuously changing as it’s passed on from person to person. This event is an attempt to find “butoh” in each butoh dancer / contemporary dancer who is living and expressing today. Over seven days, covering six themes, performances and workshops will be held by over 30 people/groups at 5 different venues around Kyoto. Kansai based performers will be joined by performers from Tokyo, Fukuoka and Yakushima.

“ To Become・To Transform”
19th May (Tuesday) 18:30start@space ALS-D
performers:Hiraoka Hideyuki, Yurabe Masami, Saisaku (from Tokyo)
“SUITAIGAIRO *extrapyramidal movements”

20th May (Wednesday) 19:00start@UrBANGUILD
performers:Kuroko Sanae , Seisaku, Takeshiyo Mariya, Yamaguchi Keiko
“At The Beginning and The End” Solo and improvisation while listening to a faint something

21st May (Thursday) 18:30start@Social Kitchen
perfomers:Atashi Yoshiko, Ichikawa Maya, Ozaki Nobuyuki, Keruko, Sakata Kaori, Takeda Keiko, Tamara Kouji, Nakamura Miharu, Hirano Akihiro, Matsumoto Kiyokazu, Yamamoto Masashi
“Wear, Wrap, Dress, Take Off”

22st May (Friday) 19:00 start @UrBANGUILD
perfomer:Ima Tenko, Kinki Iori, Harada Nobuo(Butoh Seiryukai,, from Fukuoka), Bridget Scott
“Butoh For the Dead”

23rd May (Saturday) 18:00start@Nishijin Factory Garden, Space ALS-D
performer:Seki Noriko, Tanaka Seiji, Rosa Yuki
“The [traditional] body”

24th May (Sunday)17:00 start@Nishijin Factory Garden
performer:Fukurozaka Yasuo, Fujieda Mushimaru (from Yakushima), Butoh Company KIRAZA, Yamamoto Kazuma, Yangjah+Bando Chikako

18th May
(Monday) 10:20~19:00@Space ALS-D
facilitator: Yurabe Masami, Hiraoka Hideyuki, Seisaku

22nd May (Friday) 14:00~17:00@Nishijin Factory Garden
facilitator: Fujieda Mushimaru

23rd May (Saturday)13:00~15:00@Ima Tenko Butoh Kenkyujo
facilitator: Ima Tenko

24th May
(Saturday)14:00~15:30@Nishijin Factory Garden
lecturer:Kobayashi Masahiro(Professor of The Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences)

For more details and reservation, please visit the website:
※Please note each venue has limited number of audience seats.
Kindly reserve your tickets as soon as possible.
Produced by: The Committee of “the question of butoh”

Images from Velvet Moon Vol. 115

What a joy it was to see Sean Roe back in Urbanguild this evening – and for the first time in four years! And so much talent in tonight’s show too! I was particularly impressed this time by two of the dancers: Misuzu and Chian. Watch out for them in the images and videos below.

Mangrove Kipling

Cozy (Colin Garvey & Yozy)

IMG_9116 (Medium)

みすず + 山崎昭典





amallsのskcaj & Chian

Andy Couzens

Andy Couzens

Sean Roe

Sean Roe

amalls 1



amalls 2

amalls 3

amalls 4

amalls 5

And finally… Michael Jackson’s Llama?

Velvet Moon: Live Music & Dance @ Urbanguild, Kyoto; March 25th 2015


amallsのskcaj are Andy Couzens & Sseeaann Rrooee performing an improvised tribute of video and sound to the memory of Mr. Michael Jackson

I’m very happy to report that our old friend Sean Roe will be returning to Urbanguild on March 25th as one half of the sound and video improvisation unit amallsのskcaj!

DATE: Wednesday March 25th

DOORS OPEN: 19:00 / SHOW STARTS: 19:30

ADVANCE TICKETS: 2000 yen with 1 drink / TICKETS ON THE DOOR: 2300 yen with 1 drink

Here is the full line up for a night of Velvet Moon!

amallsのskcaj (Sseeaann Rrooee and Andy Couzens)


amalls の skcaj

みすず(dance) + 山崎昭典(guitar)



Originally a ballerina but influenced by Butoh since her university days, みすず has performed with various musicians and many styles of music. A regular at Urbanguild, every shapeshifting performance tells a unique story of its own.


Colin Garvey + Yozy = Cozy

Colin Garvey + Yozy (dance)

Colin Garvey is a self-taught Canadian indie/folk singer and songwriter who blends the strumming and singing of catchy tunes with live beats produced on the spot by the looping of beat-boxing and the pounding and battering of one of the world’s ugliest guitars. Each song is based on a story or feeling acquired from the life of a troubadour; as he travels the globe taking in any and all experiences that present themselves. It all comes together to produce a lively, quirky and entertaining atmosphere that can be summed up as, ‘enjoyable’. He will be accompanied by Chinese dancer, Yozy.

Mangrove Kipling
Mangrove Kipling (Laurent Lavol?) is a french experimental musician living and working in Berlin, Germany. Exploring new regions of sounds and always expanding his range of action, he has worked internationally with artists of all categories, mainly dancers, video artists and numerous other musicians. For the first time in Japan, he developed an augmented guitar that allows him to play his wide range of tunes through a portable device.

Top image by Andy Couzens. Text and other images courtesy of the artists and Urbanguild.

Directions: To get to Urbanguild from Sanjo Dori, go down Kiyamachi Dori (This is the narrow street running alongside the Takase stream). Urbanguild is on the east side (the left hand side as you walk down from Sanjo) about 150 metres. It’s on the 3rd floor of the New Kyoto Building – access by elevator or stairs. Here is a map.

Flamenco & Piano by Carmen Alvarez & Ikeda Ippei at Bar Sesamo 8/15

Our friend Carmen Alvarez, accompanied by Jazz pianist Ikeda Ippei, will be giving a flamenco song & dance performance at bar Sesamo on the 15th August. The charge is 2000 yen and the show starts at 9pm. Details on the flyers below:
carmen 1 Carmen 2Bar Sesamo is in the basement of the Ebisu Kaikan building, one street north of Sanjo and east of Kawaramachi.

Happy in Kyoto

Look what I found! And nicely timed with the sakura too – what could be happier than that? There’s some neat skipping here. Watch and enjoy!

Hanezu Odori – Dance performance at Kyoto’s Zuishin-in Temple


From the Japan Times,

Girls in pale pink traditional costumes will dance and sing in a “Hanezu Odori” performance at Zuishin-in Temple in Kyoto on March 30.

The performance will be held three or four times during the day. The temple is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, and admission will be ¥1,000.

The temple is a five-minute walk from Ono Station on the Tozai Line.

For more info please, visit (in Japanese) or 075-571-0025075-571-0025.

See also: Zuishin-in ~ A Refuge in Ono

Sailing Without the Wind: A Performance by Peter Golightly & Bruno the Bad Boy

Billed as a “evening of music, dance and life”, this show looks to be amazing and it bears a very important message…

Peter vs Bruno Flyer

Peter Golightly has kindly written to tell us more about it:

“I’m a long time Kyoto resident and I’ve been doing the dance singing theater thing for better than 30 years here. Bruno has been around for about 18 years. He’s a performance artist who started as a go-go boy with Japan’s first western style drag show “Diamond Night” before turning activist in the late 90’s.

We’ve been working with a group called “It Gets Better” a support group that uses video testimonials to reach out to at risk youth to let them know that even though things may seem hopeless, ”It gets better”. Our target group is LGBT youth, but the program reaches out to anyone who may be thinking that life isn’t worth suffering through.

This performance is kind of a pre-performance to a project that I’m working on with the US Consulate (I’ve recently met with the Embassy staff as well). I’ve written a play called “Medea’s Daughter” and we’re working to have it performed at the Consulate later this year. Bruno will be performing several of my songs as a part of this coming project which we are calling “Conversations With Sappho”. “Sappho” being the protagonist in my play. “Conversations”, because we are proposing a panel discussion as part of the event.

“Sailing Without the Wind” is a two part performance, with both Bruno and I singing songs of pain, hope, love and triumph. Our song lists range from standards (Wonderful World, Close Your Eyes), to Japanese Pops (Makka na Taiyou, Tsubasa Kudasai), to Modern Pop music (Adele’s Someone Like You), to my original songs. Bruno will be singing primarily in Japanese, and I in English, but we each cross over quite a bit.

Accompanying both of our sets is my long time collaborator Kaoru Nakanishi on the piano (though most people may know his face from the DJ booth at various Kansai club events including Diamond Night at the Metro), and Junji Ishida on the violin. Junji is an even older friend who I am happy to be reconnecting with.

In addition to the two 30+minute sets, Junji will do a one man mini-set using his violin and an elotronic looping system. Bruno will conduct one of his notorious “Kamishibai Sing-a-longs”, and Peter will perform his latest performance art piece, “Sailing With out the Wind”, a tri-lingual (Swedish, Japanese, and English) song, dance and marionette piece.

There are two shows 2:00pm and 6:30pm. Each performance lasts about two hours. There will be a 20 minute break between Bruno’s show and mine, and drinks and “T” shirts and copies of my children’s book/play “Monster Time” will be sold.”

Thank you Peter! I’m very much looking forward to catching your show!

Peter vs Bruno Flyer reversePerformance Details:
Date: Sunday July 21st
1st Stage Opens: 1.30 / Starts: 2.00
2nd Stage Opens: 18.00 / Starts: 18.30
Location: Rokkaku N Building 6F (Between Tominokoji and Yanaginobanba on the south side of Rokkaku St. Here is a map.)
Advance Tickets: 2300 yen / On the Door: 2500 yen (Grade schoolers ¥1000, JR. high~ high school students: ¥1500, College students & Seniors: ¥2300)
Contact: petergolightly[at]