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Essay on Butoh-Dance-Documentary

About the project

I have been filming Atsushi Takenouchi, a Japanese dancer, for 20 years. I am interested in his universe, which explores the relationship between human body and its environment and draws its inspiration from archaic cultures. The Butoh dance, which Atsushi practices, emerged in Japan in the 1960s, in response to the social and political upheavals that followed the end of the Second World War. Since then, this artistic practice has spread in as many ways as there are dancers.

Inspired by Shintoism and shamanism, Atsushi Takenouchi has developed a butoh practice that represents communication between the natural, social and technological forces that shape the body and human consciousness. Through his butoh he explores the physical and mental potential of humans in relation to their environment.

Recently, we decided to make a 40-minute film at the crossroads between video-dance and documentary. The project aims to be a poetic and sensory exploration of the ethical and aesthetical concerns of our time. We have chosen the Mediterranean as a space for this experimentation. This sea, a source of culture, civilization and exchange, is marked by major human and ecological crises. We want to evoke these tensions, but also to create images that remind us of the power of that sea and its primary beauty.

Beginning of September we therefore went to Corsica, and more particularly to the Balagne region, to start our project. We danced on several sites: mountains, rivers, ruins and seashores. Visual and sound recordings are promising. We want to dedicate time to make the most of them. Among other things, we would like to work on a soundtrack mixing different sounds from the places we cross as well as musical creations recorded on site. 

What are the funds for?

The objective of this participatory fundraising campaign is to ensure the material conditions necessary to:

1- Production, direction and budget for the dancer

2- Post-production: calibration, editing, mixing, subtitling

3- Dissemination: distribution, screening, participation in festivals, etc.

Your help will be very valuable to us. If we manage to exceed the allocated objective, this will allow us to go even further in the completion of the work.

Thank you very much for your participation and visit our Facebook page to follow the evolution of this adventure!

About the project owner


Michel Tabet: Director 

I'm a documentary and anthropological filmmaker. I have been working for years on films related to art, culture and religious traditions in the Arab world. I have also made documentaries on issues related to social mobilization. My work is inspired by cinema, social sciences but also performing arts. Through my films, I seek to get closer to the way people live and imagine the world and I try to capture the intensity and beauty of the performances they produce.

Atsushi Takenouchi, dancer

Joined butoh dance company „Hoppo-Butoh-ha“ in Hokkaido in 1980.His last performance with the company was worked on by butoh-founder Tatsumi Hijikata. Started his own „Jinen Butoh“ since 1986 as a universal expression of nature, earth, and ancient times and impressions of the moment, meeting with people and environment. During 3 year “JINEN” tour project throughout Japan for 600 site specific improvisations (1996-1999), he started to be inspired by a spirit of the universe under Kazuo Ohno and Yoshito Ohno. Since 2002, he has been mainly based in Europe, working on solo Butoh and collaboration project with dancers and actors, with giving workshop.

He has recently started long term JINEN Butoh school in Pontedera in Italy since October 2015.

Hiroko Komiya ( object sound, percussion and voice )

Creates sounds from various objects, like water, stones and metal bowls and voice. Her music is designed to let the sound come naturally from each object, instrument, as if they are breathing and whispering of each life. She regularly accompanies Butoh dance performance by Atsushi Takenouchi. Solo CD “ eau nouvelle “ was released in 2009 (sometimestudio/Paris).Solo CD “Pendulum Sea” was release in 2016(sbeng! dischi/Italy)

Georges Karam, photographer

Photographer living in Paris, he has been interested in butoh for years and has devoted part of his photographic work to dance. He has been following Atsushi for many years and has organized many performances with him.

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