Curator of The Body Breaks
With this curious presentation of butoh, breakdancing, and the dance of the “beyond”, I hope to spark greater consideration of body literacy and to highlight the fundamental dilemma of thebody. As embodied beings, we possess visible and invisible qualities. Rarely in perfect balance,the emphasis vacillates from one quality to the other—like a pendulum—and is evident in thehistory of human development and consciousness. The body is the ultimate site where thepersonal, social, and political collide. Dance is the most direct means tonegotiate this confrontation.
Butoh and breakdancing share surprisingly similar historical contexts and subsequent trajectories.The forms of each dance, while retaining distinct characteristics, demonstrate parallel sensibilitiesin the quality and typeof body dancing—low to the ground, bent limbs, non-heroic, imagistic,strength in vulnerability/weakness, etc. The dance of the “beyond” supports this divergentaesthetic while blending in-between definitions. Another question I’m interested in is: in thefuture, what will be the look of and implications of dance?
The Body Breaks: Butoh, Breakdancing, and Beyond is hopefully an introduction to and continuation of extensive research, not just in dance, but with direct effect on body literacy in daily life.Included in this booklet are four essays that provide a wide range of information on button andbreakdancing.Introduction to button and breakdancing includes two essays that address the historical/social/political framework from which these dances emerged. Movement analysis of butoh and breakdancing includes two essays that use movement analysis to demystify button and breakdancing; this research presents ways to describe and to discuss the form of each dancewhile simultaneously manipulating Laban Movement Notation in ways to better serve the essential yet unconventional aspects of butoh and breakdancing.
Allow me to offer the first and most vigorous thanks to the Links Hall staff, board, and volunteerswho have provided me with the opportunity to bringThe Body Breaks into being. With special gratitude, I commend CJ Mitchell for his consistent, level-headed pleasantness, patience, and tireless work ethic, without whom this program would be lost in the shadows. Thank you to all of the funders and co-presenters who thought this program worthy of their recognition. I wish toextend my most sincere thanks to my teachers who have generously shared their support andguidance and have inspired me to discover the fullness of life. My final thanks isoffered to all of you, as audience, student, curious on-looker, friend, or family, who have opened youreyes/heart/mind so that together, we can receive and exchange our very best.