Butoh is an avant garde performance art, that has its origins in Japan in the 1960’s. It was a rebellion against Western dance and Japanese Traditional dance. It also has it’s roots in German Expressionism.(Die Neue Tanz).
It typically involves playful and grotesque imagery, taboo topics, extreme or absurd environments, and is traditionally “performed” in white-body makeup with slow hyper-controlled motion, with or without an audience.
Its founders were a young rebellious modern dancer named Tatsumi Hijikata (1928 -1986), and his partner Kazuo Ohno (b. 1906). Butoh loosely translated means stomp dance, or earth dance. Hijikata believed that by distorting the body, and by moving slowly on bent legs he could get away from the traditional idea of the beautiful body, and return to a more organic natural beauty.
“A Girl” is a 1973 haunting performance by Tatsumi Hijikata.