「Blog A-Dance Research/ブログA~ダンスの研究」カテゴリーアーカイブ

My Butoh, My Space Dance / 私の舞踏、私のスペースダンス


Molecular Biology has developed greatly and has made a great contribution to our world since the DNA genetic model was revealed to be a double helical structure in 1953. If we can express amicable but mysterious relationships between the body and the environment as “Visible Information” like DNA, we can realize same kind of revolution, then the outcome goes beyond the art world, affecting the whole society. And, I believe that we can make a revolution similar to Molecular Biology. I would like to shoulder one part of it through my Space Dance.

1953年にDNAの遺伝子モデルが二重螺旋構造である事が明らかにされて以来、分子生物学は大きな発展を遂げ、私たちの世界に偉大な貢献をもたらすようになった。私は、もし身体と環境の間で交わされている親密な、そして謎に満ちた関係をDNA のような「見える情報」として表現できるなら、その成果はアートの世界を超え、社会全体に影響を与えるものとなり、分子生物学と同様な革命を起こすことができると信じている。私はスペースダンスを通してその一端を担いたい。


Butoh is a “Step from Within”.


Butoh is “Self-Realization” through the body of the individual, direct, and original dance technique.


Butoh is “Recovery of the Wild in Mankind” and “Rebirth of the Intoxicated Body” somehow lost in the contemporary world.


Butoh is an art that promotes us growth, and keep “Age-worthy Flower” blossoming continuously. Like “Flower of Noh”, in Butoh we have “Aged Flower” and “Secret Flower”, we can create the beauty year by year beyond our age.



In 2001 when I performed at the United Nations in New York and in Istanbul supported by Japanese Government I could start the original form of Space Dance based on Butoh through my epochal experiences by the meeting with Shusaku Arakawa and the Theory of Affordance by James Gibson.


The essence of Space Dance is “How to recover the lost memories?”, “How to express the Tacit Knowledge?”, and various “Fruits called Design” through “Digitization of Tacit Knowledge”.



In Space Dance, the body is not a tool for expressing a “Story“, the body is a “Story”.


In any time the “Excellent Dancer” in the world keeps a special ability to “Dance with a technique to organize the body as the object“. In Space Dance we study this technique. Then we try to recover the lost memories through our dance movements and we accumulate its result as “Tacit Knowledge” about the body.


In this time when we dance together with the earth we can recognize some strange new feeling happen around the temporal lobe and vertex lobe of “Brain“. Why? Because it is a first experience for the brain to move the body by such a strange new way.


In order to do a first task our brain also had to acquire a new ability. Its experience will be an experience just like a dancer looks for the universe as dancer’s “Second Body” through the earth, as if a blind person looks for the ground as his “Second Body” through his beloved stick.


Our brain keeps all memories about all life on our earth. Because our brain into the Mother’s womb during 10 months grow up through the process of evolution of the brain from the beginning to today’s human brain. So, in our dance movements too, sometime we can find “Other strange movements than human movements”.


So, in Space Dance when we try to dance to organize our body as the object we can touch several “Forgotten Memories” sometimes with a wave motion of the internal organs, sometimes with a sound of the bone, and sometimes with an excitement of the nerve. In that time we can feel a new feeling in our brain, then under this influence we can dance with the inexperienced movements by chance. In short we can stimulate several “Forgotten Memories“.


“Forgotten Memories” wake up a strong nostalgia in our mind. And this nostalgia gives new energy to us. Then we understand “Unknown Movement’s World” exists behind our usual human’s movements.


This energy is infinite, it continue our dance without end. When we dig up “Forgotten Memories” we can organize the “Unexpected Movements” based on each memories. We shake with its freshness and we are amazed to ourselves. Then, we start to talk a “New story beyond the human’s drama.”


Usually, very soon, we feel tired in our movements without this energy. But when we house this energy we get the lasting energy from the circulation between the body and the ground, then it arise like the growth of a snowball on the slope with heavy snow. We never feel tired.


Like that, in Space Dance we dig up “Forgotten Memories” and we expand “Unknown Movement’s World”, then we try to express its process as “History of Posture’s Evolution” including Fish, Amphibian, Quadruped Animal, Bird, and Monkey.


Why the expression of “History of Posture’s Evolution” is important for Space Dance? Because the purpose of Space Dance is the looking back on the past of all life, then it is the creation for “Body of Future” as a return from its retrospection.

なぜ「姿勢の進化史」として表現することが重要なのか? それはスペースダンスが、ヒトの起源について回想すると共に、その回想からのリターンとして、ヒトの「身体の未来」をデザインすることを目的としているからである。

In Space Dance we make a visualization of “History of Posture’s Evolution” as the image. And we express “Tacit Knowledge about Unknown Movement’s World” as the information using by information technology. Finally, we try to make several designs through the Tacit Knowledge for the new body, the new object, and the new space.


Then, Space Dance is very different from usual dance, Space Dance will be a work of “Design after Dance“.


Tana, Resident in Surplus Dimension / 異界の住人・タナ


One day, when I was playing at the “Boundary” in the space tunnel, I met Tana, who at first did not seem to be a human being in our world. That’s because Tana had a different atmosphere than a living human being, and there was a shadow of us inside the space tunnel, but Tana didn’t have it. Something that doesn’t have a shadow is something that doesn’t belong to this world, like a vampire, or a dead human being.



When I look closely, Tana, like a pterosaur, was a boy who often appears in my dreams. I knew Tana in my dreams. At this way, I may be able to meet a pterosaur soon. Tana had previously come up in a dream and told me that the book I was looking for was in the National Library of Paris. I went for a trial while I was at work and its book was really there. That’s why I trusted Tana as a special person.


And when I was looking at an old photo book on another day, Tana was on it. How, Tana died in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1850, according to this record. Tana was a real person in the 19th century. Naturally, I was very surprised. And since then, I have come to believe in the existence of the world of the dead. Anyone who has such an experience, not just me, will have no choice but to believe.



The day I met Tana, he came to see me because he had something to do. Since he died at the age of 17, he seems to have remained at same age. He was also a disciple of a famous puppeteer in Prague. Partly because of his profession, he was interested in our work of manipulating space tube robots and net robots as human’s alter ego. By the way, the book I searched for in the National Library of Paris was also a document about Western dolls. So I was surprised to hear “What kind of business do you have with me? Tana explains that they need a “Moving House” and want me to help.



Tana said that “We would like to restore the relationship with the real world that was estranged until now. In the days when the world religions had power, the exchange between this world and the other world was active, but now it is not. Then, now human beings are planning to go out into space. However, as you can understand that you have a deep affection for animals, human beings are not just real living human beings. We dead are also human beings as our memory, and the dead are also dreaming. In truth, the desire of living humans to want to go to space is influenced by our dreams strongly. So if they go to space, we also need to go to space.


We cannot leave the evolution of humankind to them alone. If they perish, we too will be affected and perished. As you know, their plans for the universe are not always good in all. Already many human space colonization plans have failed. They need our cooperation and accompaniment.”

人類の進化を彼らだけに任せるわけには行きません。彼らが滅べば、私たちもその影響を受けて滅ぶことになります。 あなたもご存知のように、彼らの宇宙についての計画は、全体としては必ずしもよいとは言えませんので。既に多くの人類の宇宙移住計画は失敗しています。人類には私たちの協力と同行が必要なのです」。


I told Tana, “That’s right. Even in our new United Nations, same as in the past, governments of each country are starting to come up with self-centered space plans with the selfishness, so it will be difficult to coordinate. Tana happily said, “You understand my opinion!?”

“I see. That’s it. I understood the dead started preparing by the dead. Is Megumi’s mysterious energy related to that?”
“That’s right. Megumi is very well lately. We are just starting to prepare for a big moving house. Megumi is very educated and she is one of the leaders. She is a great activist. Can you cooperate?”
“Of course. I’m happy.”
“Thank you.”
“Because if that’s the case, it’s a great business to ask from our side.”




Certainly, the strange things will happen in the world. The other day, I was just surprised to meet Kibe as one of lost animals. I met Tana as one of the dead today. And I can meet Megumi, who has been wandering in the darkness of my heart for a long time, soon. I have always wanted to live knowing not only animals but also death. It was Megumi’s death that triggered it. The Megumi actually will guide me to the world of the dead. I can also meet my daughter Cosmos. How, I have a daughter. I’ve always wanted a daughter. And Megumi is going to move to a new world with Cosmos. Now I understand the meaning of my recent dream. My life is going to be renewed with a new stage.


New Start of Dance / ダンスの新しい出発


Now we know that a new generation of circus like “Modern Circus” by Camille Boitel in France is making a dashing appearance. It gives an image of “Opera of New Era” to us and it aims the integration of several fields. And, on the Interne a virtual idol like Miku Hatsune  is making a dashing appearance too and she is pioneering the new interests of the people who want to express themselves through more new way. Also, like Bjork, a famous singer in Iceland, we know several earnest trials to expand the arts. Also, we can find a new possibility and a new start in “Dance” too if we give a different reading of the function of the dance.



If we re-understand a “Dance” as “Creation of Posture”, “Dance” goes to what everyone in the world does “Creation and Adjustment of Posture” as their behaviors unconsciously every day. And, as Space Tube keeps an ability to change the general public including the kids to an improvised dancer, so we can find a way for us to bring Space Tube to 7.5 billion people worldwide. Shoes and socks are the daily necessities of people all over the world. Everyone wants to take a bath preferably every day. Can Space Tube be like shoes, socks or baths? I want to invent magic for that.

ダンスを「姿勢の創造」と読み解けば、ダンスは世界中のあらゆる人びとが毎日無意識にやっていること、「姿勢の創造と調整」に行き当たる。スペースチューブがふつうの人びとを即席のダンサーにする力をもつことから、世界の75億人にスペースチューブを届ける方法が出てくる。くつやくつ下は世界中の人びとの毎日の必需品である。誰でもお風呂にも、できれば毎日入りたい。スペースチューブも、くつやくつ下やお風呂のようにできないか? そのための魔法を発明したい。


It is common to both the poor and the rich that “Body is a Daily Concern of People in the world”. The pain of one and the same body gives “Distortion” common to both, and its recovery creates a common “Smile”. As such a body is “Remodeled” to the extent that he or she can’t be aware of, “Ambiguous” and “Sense of Confusion” progresses, a new device that realizes its recovery appears and a new body care method needs to be established. Because if our body shake, all our life will be unsettled.



I am conceived about “SPACE MUSEUM” as a place to respond to such the requests as follows;


SPACE MUSEUM ” is a place of experience, a place of design, a place of informing that presents the results of those to the world. And it is a place of education to train the pillars.



For the above purpose, I adopt a collaboration based on “Dance + Architecture + Design + Information”. Our modern era will become an era where collaboration by other fields is required. That is because we deal with “New Problem Groups” that can’t be solved by the previous methods. For that reason, the experts who deal with that need to be updated their expertise. Finally, our world has also come into an era where free collaboration is possible through collaboration of senses. Conceptually, the artists and scientists live in different worlds, but in the world of sensations the two are surprisingly close, and it is no contradiction that one person doubles as both. Those who had been forced to walk separately in various circumstances, but now they are asked to walk together for the first time, so they are very surprised to this big change. Such a new era is coming.



And, it is the space dancer that plays an important role in “Space Museum”. This is because space dancers are evaluated socially as one of “Body Experts”, they are the persons who precede “Tacit Knowledge”, and stand at the closest position to express “Tacit Knowledge” as the information. The space dancers train their body skills day by day and study to float a body a bit, they are doing “Creation of Posture ~ Formation of Form” which people can’t do in the everyday life. Today, we have special value to “Tacit Knowledge” cultivated in floating the body a bit, in the information society, in the aged society, and in the space age. However, this value has never been socialized, it has been left secret in the narrow world of performing arts of dance.



As long as the dancers have the intention of informing “Tacit Knowledge” that they have cultivated, they can open a “New Function” suitable for the 21st century and can be active as a social entity as well as the Bauhaus architects in the first half of the 20th century. Because the importance of the dancers who shoulder “Tacit Knowledge” increase dramatically in the information society. If the creation and adjustment of “Posture” becomes a daily theme for people all over the world, the dancers who are doing it every day will be tied in a new way to the people, and the utility of dance will draw attention in their lives.



Therefore, even in such a case, if there is no reflection on the 20th century art system, and if we interpret about dance only like “Dancers are the persons who create the beautiful movements that can’t be realized by ordinary people on the stage” it is boring just by comparing the superiorities between the humans, we see only the differentiation between a dancer and ordinary people. So, more than that, if we interpret about dance like “Dancers are the persons who recollect a history of the evolution of the life, and depend on its recollection they challenge the creation of the new postures through dance movements. They are pioneers who develop the vision of the body for the tomorrow”, it will be useful for ordinary people and it will show a new spread. From now, limiting the use of dance will make dance a boring one.



If it is true that space development, biometric remodeling, robot development, virtual space development, elderly people’s culture development are all difficult to understand for the general public, the dancers have a lot of opportunities. Then, if they realize collaboration, they will catch the opportunity to create “New Dance”. Even in Laban’s school in London, which is famous for its high level of dance education, only a few graduates can enter the world famous dance troupe, and other graduates can’t get jobs. Even if they get a job at such a troupe, the timing of their retirement is incredibly early. The circumstances are the same also at the university’s dance faculties around the world, and there is no witness to boldly show contradiction of contemporary dance education so much. The time is coming to address new demands.


Residents in Surplus Dimension / 異界の住人たち

Residents in Surplus Dimension
/ 異界の住人たち


One day, while I was playing in Space Tunnel, I noticed that Space Tunnel would deform depending on the postures I took. It was a subtle deformation, so I didn’t pay attention to it at first. But, when I saw it closely I also noticed that in Space Tunnel, like the convex and the concave, the “Boundary” where two contradictory curved surfaces were connected was created or disappeared. This “Boundary” is the gateway to another world? In other words, when the residents in Surplus Dimension appear they form the unique warped spaces, so they distort Space Tunnel subtly. Its distortion is just the “Boundary”. What an unique way for the residents in Surplus Dimension to appear through the “Boundary”!

ある日、がスペーストンネルの中で遊んでいたら、私がとる姿勢に応じてスペーストンネルが変形することに気がついた。とても微妙な変形なので、最初は気に留めていなかった。しかし、よく見ていると、スペーストンネルの中には、凸と凹のように、たがいに矛盾する二つの曲面が接続されている「境界」が生まれたり消滅したりしていることにも気がついた。この「境界」が異界への出入り口になるのではないか? つまり、異界の住人たちがスペーストンネルに姿を現わす時は、それぞれ独特なワープする空間を形成するために、スペーストンネルの形状を微妙に歪めるのだ。その歪みが「境界」なのだ。「境界」を介して異界の住人たちが出現するとは、何とユニークな方法だろう。


I could meet Kibe, a clone monkey, when I took a “Monkey’s Posture” and entered a “Monkey’s World” in Space Tunnel. Kibe was 17 years old. His hands were the same as the humans, but when I saw his feet I knew his big toes were the same as the humans. Kibe was born by inserting a genetically modified human male’s sperm into the womb of his mother monkey. He is one of the most noticeable artificial animals in the medical world. But, he suddenly left home last year and he was a hot topic in the world. According his speaking, after he was educated as a “Family Member” on a trial basis at one researcher’s house who had a direct relationship with his birth, Kibe escaped, then he started to live alone in Space Tunnel. He was grateful for the education, but he said it was the imposition of values in the humans world to him, so he couldn’t stand it.



Kibe cried and spoke to me. “I know my birth was meant to tell people the direction of humans evolution. The humans want to know what new things I would invent with a tool by four hands when my legs became hands completely. I lived in a room with lots of tools every day. It was my daily routine to play around with it. But I was not interested in its play. It was good for the humans, but not for me. Why the humans do such selfish things to make me half human and half monkey? I want to return to my monkey’s world.”

キベが泣きながら話してくれた。「僕の誕生は人間の進化の方向を占うためのもので、僕の足が完全に手になったら四つの手で道具を使い僕がどんな新しいものを発明するのか、知りたかったらしい。僕はたくさんの道具がある部屋で毎日生活していた。それをいじって遊ぶのが僕の日課だった。でも僕はそんなことに興味がない。それは人間のためにはなっても、僕のためじゃない。半分が人間で半分がサルの僕をつくるなんて、どうして人間はそんな勝手なことをするの? 僕はサルの世界に戻りたい」。

Pleasure of Dancing / ダンスの楽しみ

Pleasure of Dancing / ダンスの楽しみ



Why humans enjoy “Movements”? Its reason is simple, because “the movement itself is interesting” for us. It is clear when we see the daily human’s behaviors including several sports and dances in the world. Like a short-distance race, why humans would like to run as much as fast? Why we will be proud of its record to other people? Or, conversely, we will try to walk with a super-slow. Or, we will give points to a beauty of the movement and compete with it each other. Or, we will compete with a craftsmanship. Or, we will loose a balance purposely and enjoy it. In deed, both adult and child, our humans could create a lot of various forms of the movements and enjoy it with several reasons.


しかし、なぜ動くことがそんなに面白いのか? あらためて考えてみると少しもわからない。平凡な脳科学者なら、この問いに「それは、動くと脳にドーパミンという快楽をもたらす神経伝達物質が沢山分泌されるから」と答えるだろう。しかし、この答えは問いをずらしているだけだ。「動くと、脳にドーパミンが分泌されるのはなぜか?」と問う必要があるからだ。私は舞踏家として次のように見当をつけてみた。

But, why the movement is so interesting? If we think about its reason again we understand that we don’t know its reason exactly. I wonder maybe some today’s brain scientist will give the answer to us like “I know its reason, because a lot of dopamine will be secreted in the brain through the movement”. But this answer is not fine, this brain scientist avoids giving a clear answer by changing the point slightly. Because we should ask like “Why a lot of dopamine will be secreted through the movement?” So, I tried to imagine about its reason as a Butoh-Space Dance Choreographer.


  I think about its reason like that one movement invites other movements naturally as I found in my dance. I feel that a pleasure which I can find in one movement don’t close into this movement, the movement seeks other movements just like one invisible rule works there.


Its chain of the movements keeps the endless options. And over one memory corresponds to one movement. So, we can reproduce various memorial worlds by the combination of the various movements.



I think this is its essential reason why the movements are so interesting for our humans. Because “Follow-up Memories” is one of the universal desires of us. If we can seek “Follow-up Memories” through the movements with a whole body, not only into the brain, more amicably, and more vastly, sure everybody will devote to the movement world. Also, children too, if they can try to do such an experience as a game, sure they will devote it.


And, at the moment when we find one event like “Movements which we can’t recognize it as Human’s Movements” are mixed together into our usual movements, everybody will be stricken with a “Nostalgia” that we can’t express it through a language. Then, we will be surprised at its secret and we recognize that “Unknown Stage” exists behind our usual human movements. Me too, several time I experience the moment that I feel this my movement will be not by humans. In that time I am so happy specially. Why? I don’t know its reason exactly, but sure.



Our humans keep all memories of animal’s movements depend on the structure of the skeleton and our brain preserves the memories. Human’s brain is organized with 3 layers of a brain of the Reptiles, a brain of Old-Mammalia, and a brain of New-Mammalia. So, humans can judge the difference between human’s movement by the bipedalism and other animal’s movements.


Humans of a time who lived in a cave, at very wide fields on the earth, they could develop to draw many pictures of “Humans with an Animal Face” at the walls of the caves. Because humans could keep a special familiarity with the animals, so the behavior of the drawing picture of “Human with an Animal Face” must have been like some important cultural ceremony.



In my body movements and into my brain, I feel, sure, various animal’s memories should be left. When I get it I am so happy with a feeling of strong nostalgia. I will make my efforts to create several new dance movements sifting by the joints of the body for seeking its pleasure more. Why the dancers will try to make a “Strange Movements”? I think they have a same aim. Their judgments will be focused on one point, how to spread their seeking sensations by their movements? In that time they will get what kind of emotions? I know these works should be their one of secret pleasures.


It will be very interesting for the dancers to try to recall the history of the evolutions of Fish, Amphibian, Quadruped Animal, Bird, and Monkey through the combinations of the movements, not only to recall the history of human beings. With a well-keened sense, we can reconstruct the movements of Fish, Amphibian, Quadruped Animal, Bird, and Monkey by remembering its memory from “Pool of the Movements” in our brains.


しかし、何のために? そんな進化史を辿ることに何の意味があるのか? 私がそう問うたびに、私の内部の動物が私に「何か」を囁きかけてくる。私は、その囁きを聞いている内に、その理由を、「生命の進化史にうまく所属しないと、人間の進化もうまく行かないから」と考えるようになった。それは、進化史をうまく辿れた時ほど、過去からのリターンとして、より新鮮な「人間の次の動き」を与えられる気がするからだ。

But, why we try to do it? What kind of meanings we can find out through such a recalling the history of the evolution? Each time I put a question to me, one my internal animal whisper something to me. During I have heard its whispers long time, I could understand about its reason like that “If we can’t belong to the life history of the evolution well, we can’t develop our evolution well”. Because I feel that we can get more flesh “Next Humans Movement” as much as we can recall the history of the evolution well as a return from the past.


したがって、すぐれたダンサーという存在も、 このリターンの振幅の大きいダンサーであるに違いない。「すぐれたダンサー」は、ひどく懐かしい存在であると観客に感じさせると同時に、誰も見たことがない動きの世界を美の世界としてつくり出す。そうだとすれば、観客がダンサーに求めるものも、単なるダンス技術の優劣ではないこともよく理解できる。リターンの振幅の大きいダンサーとは、観客を思いがけない動きの世界に誘う者であり、その動きによって動物たちの姿も再現させ、つよい郷愁に誘う者である。

Therefore, such an “Excellent Dancer” should be a dancer who can realize this return with wide amplitude of vibration. “Excellent Dancer”, they create the unknown beautiful movement’s world which anybody don’t see before, and same time they will be a very familiar existence in front of the audiences. So, we can understand well that something the audiences want towards them will be not only the superiority or inferiority of their dance techniques. What is “Excellent Dancer” with wide amplitude of vibration? Sure, they invite the audiences to the unexpected movement’s world and they recall other animal’s figures through their dances, finally they wake up a strong nostalgia in the audience’s minds.