Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Butoh: Something Japanese that most Japanese people don't know about

I can't remember where we first heard about Butoh but whenever we mention it to a Japanese person they think we're saying budo or mean bushido (the samurai code of conduct). It's this avant garde modern dance type art form. In some ways, it seems Japanese but it tips the scales of weird and there's no real cute to counterbalance. Sure we want to check out Kabuki and maybe Noh theater, but we really want to see some live Butoh someday. Funny enough, it probably won't be in Japan. Leave it to us Americans to be interested in one of the newest Japanese art forms. Butoh began only in the 1960's.

Critics of Kabuki point out that it has no personal interpretation. The actor is to follow the form completely. Noh is even more stylized and esoteric. They try to embody the character through the mask. The less the actor puts of himself into it, the better. Basically, some say it is form without substance. That doesn't really make me want to go see it.

Of course, Japanese butoh has more form than butoh in the West. Still, there seems to be more soul and spirit behind it than Kabuki and Noh.

Check this performance out - how interesting is this?

Psst: I made a mille crepe cake this week. It's so easy. Make a bunch of crepes. Whip some whipping cream into homemade Cool Whip. Layer crepe, whipped cream, crepe, etc. Periodically douse with chocolate sauce. Finished! Sorry the picture's not so hot. Obviously I took it instead of John:) Also it tasted way better than it looked!

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