Fall 2020 – Spring 2021 Visiting Artists

Spring 2021

Oguri: Artistic Director/Dancer/Choreographer/Teacher

Japan Ensemble continues its Guest Artist Lecture Demonstration Series with Oguri, Butoh artist. Butoh is a form of Japanese dance theatre that encompasses a diverse range of activities, techniques, and motivations for dance, performance, or movement. Following World War II, Butoh arose in 1959 through collaborations between its two key founders Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno. The art form is known to be difficult to define; common features of the art form include playful and grotesque imagery, taboo topics, extreme or absurd environments, and it is traditionally performed in white body makeup with slow hyper-controlled motion. Over time, Butoh groups have been formed around the world, with various aesthetic ideals and intentions.

Please join us. This series is open to the Institute, and is free and open to the public. Feel free to invite your friends!!

Born in Japan, Oguri’s inspiration to dance came after meeting Butoh founder Tatsumi Hijikata. He started performing in 1985 with famed dancer Min Tanaka's company Mai-Juku, and participated in founding Body Weather Farm. At the same time, Oguri began performing solo dance in the avant-garde scene in Tokyo. He practiced traditional organic farming, experiencing the rhythms and cycles of this most human lifestyle, and this connection of the human body to nature is a foundation of Oguri’s dance.

In 1991, Oguri moved to Los Angeles and formed Body Weather Laboratory LA with Roxanne Steinberg. For more than 30 years Oguri has been teaching, creating, and producing dance and multimedia works incorporating his own large-scale set/sculpture installations in formal theater settings and site-specific venues worldwide. He continues to investigate the relationship of dance to environment and the boundaries between performer and audience. He has developed collaborative projects with musicians, sculptors, painters, and poets, using literature, daily life imagery, and simple materials to transform space and time with dance. He actively brings dance to the wider community. Since 2005, Oguri produces “Flower of the Season,” a series of workshops and performances, giving national and international emerging and master dance artists opportunities to develop and present work. In 2011 Oguri formed ARCANE Collective with Morleigh Steinberg for touring full productions and live performance concepts. Oguri has received numerous grants and awards regional, nation, and worldwide, including being the the Artist Doris Duke Fellow, in 2018, among others.

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