Introduction to Butoh
with Lani Weissbach and Robert Bingham
Butoh is a hybrid form of dance theater that came out of Post WWII Japan and is now practiced worldwide. Butoh links physical and spiritual practices from around the globe and accounts for movers of all ages and abilities. It has influenced numerous fields of study, from architecture to neuroscience. At the heart of this practice is the basic material of the body and its changing conditions. As such, Butoh embraces a full spectrum of movement qualities, from wild physicality to meditative stillness.
In this series of three workshops, students will be introduced to a few of the basic tenets of Butoh. The workshops are appropriate for all levels of experience, and beginners are encouraged to attend. Come with an open and curious mind, prepared to move and in generally good physical condition. For each workshop, please wear clothing comfortable for movement, and bring a thick towel, blanket or yoga sticky mat.
Workshop: Revealing Inner Worlds
September 30, 2017
In this workshop, we will explore the alchemical nature of opposing “worlds” in the bodymind, and the crossroads between them. Through mindful repetition to build mental focus, deep physical engagement and communal exchange, we bypass our habitual responses and expectations to experience a full spectrum of human and non-human qualities – darkness and light, ugliness and beauty, outrageousness and subtlety – with willingness to access our most authentic selves in the process. Both real and surreal imagery will reveal themselves through the body, with emphasis on becoming rather than showing.
Register for Workshop 2
Workshop: Dancing Earth
October 21, 2017
This workshop will be co-taught by Lani Weissbach and Dr. Robert Bingham. Please see bios below.
From its inception, Butoh has maintained a strong connection to Nature and natural processes. In this workshop, we will explore dance as a tool for activating personal creativity and connection to the natural world. Through exercises in listening and responding to movement within and outside our bodies, we will open ourselves to imaginative, somatic and aesthetic connections with Earth’s body, and we will inquire into the meaning of these connections. As we explore movement in relation to specific prompts and images, we will invite felt connections to planetary movements sustaining our existence, including those of plants, animals, rocks, water, and weather. In an era of significant ecological stress, we will create space to reflect, through personalized movement, on the nature of our existence as ecological beings. In addition to moving, there will be time to reflect through conversation and writing.
Register for Workshop 3
All workshops will take place at the Motus Dance Studio located at the Basile Opera Center
4011 North Pennsylvania Street, Indianapolis, IN
All three workshops: $90 (Registration deadline: July 20, 2017)
Two workshops: $72 (Registration deadline for workshops 1 & 2 or 1 & 3: July 20, 2017; Registration deadline for workshops 2 & 3: September 28, 2017)
One workshop: $45 (Registration deadline for workshop 1: July 20, 2017; Registration deadline for workshops 2 or 3: September 28, 2017)
Register for Workshop 1
Register for Workshop 2
Register for Workshop 3
To register for 2 or 3 workshops visit any of the individual workshop pages.
Special performer or therapist 10% discount available – please e-mail Motus Dance at: email@example.com for details.
Lani Weissbach is a performer, teacher and choreographer of contemporary dance and somatic movement based in Indianapolis, and her ongoing investigation of Butoh has deeply informed her work for over 25 years. As founder and director of Shen & Bones Performance Group based in Erie, PA, Lani created and performed for 17 years in numerous works of “quiet introspection, raw power, evocative imagery and dark themes” (Steve Sucato, national dance writer/critic). In addition to frequent engagements throughout Northwestern PA, her work has been presented by the Cleveland Public Theatre, The Vangeline Theater in NYC, The D.C. Arts Center in Washington, D.C., the BeBe Theater in Asheville, N.C. and Links Hall in Chicago. As a devoted movement educator, Lani has worked in a variety of settings and with a wide range of students, from professional dancers to the elderly. She has served on the faculties of numerous colleges and universities in Northwestern Pennsylvania and the surrounding region, teaching both studio and academic courses. From 2014-16, Lani founded and co-directed Soma Movement Arts, a movement studio devoted to somatic movement education in Erie, PA. Lani is an associate artist with Pounds Per Square Inch, a Toronto-based interdisciplinary performance company and is featured in Sondra Fraleigh’s Butoh: Metamorphic Dance and Global Alchemy (University of Pittsburgh Press 2010). She currently teaches for a variety of organizations and is on the staff of Motus Dance Theater in Indianapolis. Lani holds an M.F.A. in dance from Arizona State University, is a Registered Somatic Movement Educator (RSME) with the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association (ISMETA) and is a Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 500) with Yoga Alliance. For more information, please visit: www.laniweissbach.com.
Robert Bingham, MFA, PhD, RSME/T is a dance artist, scholar and teacher based in Philadelphia, where he was a Presidential Fellow while earning a doctorate in dance at Temple University. He holds a B.A. in anthropology/sociology from Wesleyan University, an M.F.A. in dance from SUNY Brockport, and he is a Fulbright Award recipient (Berlin, summer 2013). From 2005 – 2012 he was a Visiting Artist in Dance at Alfred University.
Prior to graduate studies, Robert performed with several New York-based companies and artists including De Facto Dance, DD Dorvillier, Ishmael Houston-Jones, and Jennifer Monson. His own work was included in showcases at various venues, including P.S.122 and The Painted Bride in Philadelphia. In recent years, he has done collaborative projects with Lani Weissbach, Laurel Jay Carpenter and D. Chase Angier, with whom he performed throughout the east coast and in Mexico as Angier/Bingham Dance, and he has danced in the work of Merián Soto and butoh artist Diego Piñon. Robert’s solo performance work has been presented in theaters, galleries and public spaces in the U.S. and Canada.
Robert has trained extensively in somatic modalities and is a Registered Somatic Movement Educator/Therapist through ISMETA. He is a published author and editor, with articles on dance and somatics appearing in Moving Consciously, Dance and the Quality of Life, Oxford Handbook of Improvisation, and elsewhere, and he has presented at arts and humanities conferences in the US, UK, Mexico and Germany. Robert’s dissertation, entitled “Improvising Meaning in the Age of Humans,” examines ecological meanings in dance through the lens of environmental crisis.