Online Workshop – Urban Butoh: An introduction into a transcultural practice

Online Workshop

Urban Butoh: An introduction into a transcultural practice

Wednesday 9th  September

Athens Time: 11.00- 15.00

Venue : Michael Cacoyannis Foundation

by Dr. Olu Taiwo, Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts, Department of
Performing Arts, University of Winchester, UK.

workshop fees: Participants: 50€
                Virtual Attendees: 30€

for info and booking please send your application and brief CV to:

This workshop will be an introduction into a praxis-as-performance-philosophy, called Urban Butoh. We will start to unpack transcultural implications of ‘being’ and ‘practice’; to explore movements organized through structured improvisation. This technique, which I have developed, is drawn from: Hironobu Oikawa’s mimetic theories of Artaudian embodiment Seen performing below below; along with my experience in T’ai Chi Ch’uan, Tanztheater, Street dance, Capoeira and West African dance.

We will start with my adaptation of Jacques Lecoq’s mimetic technique of open neutrality and tension states. Below is Jacques Lecoq’s 7 states of tension.

Below is my development and adaptation

Actor as Percipient

Actors will be seen as ‘percipients’, experiencing and gaining knowledge directly through a praxis that supports introspective expression. I am employing a choreological assumption here, where the focus is on the percipient’s perspective as a an actor/performer. Percipients will engage in a reflective practice; which, facilitates ways to express pure emotion through movement. The practice of Urban Butoh is a physical approach to practice. The task being to deconstruct the performer’s habitual body.

The intention in this workshop, is to give percipient’s an experience of an emergence that encourages a decelerating aesthetic, incorporating different movement techniques to develop new effort qualities and spatial inclinations. The purpose of this technique is for students of embodied expression, to experience an improvisational praxis.

Dr Olu Taiwo teaches in Acting, immersive and digital performance as well as physical theatre at the University of Winchester. He has a background in Fine Art, Street Dance, African percussion, physical theatre, martial arts, T’ai Chi Ch’uan and Animal spirit movement. He’s performed in national and international contexts pioneering concepts surrounding practice as research. This includes how practice can explore the relationships between ‘effort’, ‘performance’ and ‘performative actions’. Consequently, his aim is to propagate issues concerning the interaction between the body, identity, audience, street and technology in the digital age. His interests include: Visual design, Movement, Theatre, Street Arts, New technology, Trans-cultural studies, Geometry, and Philosophy. He is currently finishing a Spoken word tour with double Grammy award winning percussionist Lekan Babalola and his Jazz ensemble. He is currently Director of Transcultural studied as part of the newly created institute of the Making of the Actor based in Athens. His publications range from, The Return Beat in Wood (Ed.): The Virtual Embodied. Routledge. Music, Art and Movement among the Yoruba: in Harvey (Ed.): Indigenous Religions Cassell (2000), to Art as Eudaimonia: Embodied identities and the Return beat in Susan Broadhurst and Josephine Machon (ed.), Identity, performance and technology: practices of empowerment, embodiment and technicity. Palgrave Macmillan (2012)