Altérations /Kô Murobushi
Altérations / Kô Murobushi
Vibrating tribute, Altérations / Kô Murobushi follows as closely as possible the pulsations of Murobushi's (1947-2015) body to immerge the viewer in the radical worlds of the butô dancer. The film also gives us the opportunity to hear his testimony about his mummy - a creature with a strong symbolic power through its situation between life and death - that he regularly embodied, as well as his links with his master Tatsumi Hijikata, co-founder of butô with Kazuo Ono.
In 2006, Kô Murobushi asked Basile Doganis to film his work for the ten years he still had to live. Fulfilling this strange prophecy, the dancer even disappeared a little before the fateful date. Through the images he gathered during these ten years, Doganis chose a bias as radical as his subject. Alterations unfolds, in one movement - interrupted by a single dialogue – images extracted from performances danced outside, in the darkness of an apartment or on stage. Supported by an experimental sound creation combining breath, squealing and saturated nature sounds, dances alternate with Morubishi’s texts on screen. There’s something telluric in these tangible, brutal choreographies, showing the moods of an almost naked body altering itself at will, as if to better experience its environment. The diversity of images (black and white or colour, film or video) is matched by the plurality of places invested as the bodily states of an artist to whom dance is a borderline place, "an absolute duty / an endless alteration".
Born in 1957 in Tokyo, Ko Murobushi is one of the best known and acclaimed Butoh artists in the world, and is recognized as a leading inheritor of Hijikata’s vision of Butoh.
He studied with Hijikata from 1968 and after a short experience as a “Yamabushi” mountain Monk, he founded a Butoh group Dairakudakan together with Akaji Maro and others. In 1974, he created a Butoh magazine “Hageshii Kisetsu (Violent Season)”, and in the same year, he founded a female Butoh company Ariadone with Carlotta Ikeda and also choreographed them. In 1976, he founded a male Butoh group Sebi, and as a co-producer of those two groups, he introduced Butoh to Europe with big sensation.
Le dernier Eden -Porte de l'au-dela succeeded in Paris in 1978, and was followed by a big tour throughout Europe with Ariadone in 1981/82. From 1985, he concentrated on duo-productions with Urara Kusanagi and toured in Europe and South America in the following years. While he continues to open his dance and Butoh to the worldwide influences, he tries to research his work much deeper into its Japanese roots.
With his solo productions “Edge 01”, “Edge 02” and a group production “Edge 03”, he was invited by several international dance festivals; ImPulsTanz Festival, Montpellier Dance Festival, London Butoh Network Festival, and more. He has received numerous awards for residencies worldwide, including Mexico, India, and the U.S. He is also in great demand as a workshop facilitator and an artistic director of the ImPulsTanz Festival in Vienna. Through his workshops, many dancers got stimulated to find their own ways of dance. In 2003, he formed a unit called Ko&Edge Co. with three Japanese dancers and presented “Handsome Blue Sky” in “JADE2003 Hijikata Memorial” which brought considerable applause in Japan.
In 2004, this unit presented a new series titled “Experimental Body” which is to search the “edge” in a physical way. His choreography as well as his solo performance keeps his impregnable position as one of the most reputed representatives of Butoh, and he tirelessly challenges to reach new possibility. At the same time, he doesn’t hesitate to collaborate with various artists to continue to confirm his way and research more deeply. His latest solo performance is called “quick silver”. This acclaimed piece is leading him to a world tour, giving the audience much impression of a new era.
In 2008, he met Bartabas in Japan and decided to create together "The Centaur and the Animal" in 2010.
Kô Murobushi died in June 2015.
Source: Network Dance (article untitled "Butoh Legend Ko Murobushi Passes Away", 2015)
More information : ko-murobushi.com
Artistic direction / Conception : Basile Doganis
Choreography : Kô Murobushi
Interpretation : Kô Murobushi
Text : Kô Murobushi
Sound : Basile Doganis, Claire Atherton, Simon Apostolou
Production / Coproduction of the video work : Anne-Catherine Witt, Denis Carot, Marie Masmonteil
Duration : 49'