new-york

Kazuo Ohno

Joyce Theater

Butoh, the Japanese experimental dance-theater form, has been performed recently around the country by some of its younger practitioners, notably the Sankai Juku troupe and the Butoh-influenced dancers Eiko and Koma. The latest New York performances of Kazuo Ohno, the 79-year-old “father” of Butoh, both confirmed its status as one of the major forms of contemporary avant-garde theater and restated in emphatic terms its risky, limit-pushing esthetic. Although Ohno’s performances recalled Butoh’s origins in traditional forms of theater, they were in no way academic; his virtuosic dancing and mimicry, dramatic role-playing, and consummate showmanship made the works stunning examples of a distinctly contemporary performance art.

Unlike Tatsumi Hijikata, the “other” founder of Butoh, Ohno has no official school and he usually performs alone (his son Yoshito occasionally appears in some of his

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