Workshop in Galway, May 16th

Galway Dance Days/ Galway Dance Project Artist-led Workshop 4:
Just Walking: a Butoh dance perspective on space and perception
Led by: Ambra Gatto Bergamasco
Thursday, 16th of May 2013 17.15-18.40
Meeting Point: The Cube

Workshop overview: This three parted workshops aims firstly, at providing a practical experience of what Butoh is and how such practice can inform creativity and change spatial
perspectives, both internally and externally. In the first practical part of the workshop, the themes proposed will engage with: silence, slow movement, distracted mind, vulnerability and rawness. The second part will be a performance moment in which Ambra will engage with the elements developed in the practical part. Lastly, there will be space for a short paper presentation and discussion.

What is Butoh? Butoh dance originated in Japan in the late 50s. Inspired by German expressionism on one side and the left overs of the Atomic bomb explosion, Butoh dance looks at the body from its internal understanding. This allows form unforeseen possibilities of expression. Kazuo Ohno describes it as the dance of the soul.
Workshop contours: For the first part of the session, participants will be introduced to Butoh dance practically, exploring slow movement, imagination, poetical evocation and body-space perception. For the second part the audience will be able to appreciate some of the elements proposed during the practice throughout the performance. Lastly, Ambra will resent a paper that participants can explore further through questions and answers, and an open discussion format.
What to bring for this workshop? Comfortable clothes if desired by participants.
Pre-registration is required, as this workshop is limited to 30 participants. If you are interested in participating, please email
How to prepare? Questions for participants to consider include: “If I were to sit or lie down or stand up letting myself be vulnerable and raw, what would change?”. Participants
may also wish to check the following webpage:

About the workshop leader: The workshop is led by Ambra Gatto Bergamasco who grew up in a contemporary research theatre family. Ambra’s mother Ulla Alalsjarvi trained with
Grotowski and was an acterss of Eugenio Barba. Once she left Barba’s company, she met Beppe Bergamasco, who had been part of the Arte Povera and studied film direction at the
Sorbonne, Paris. Their artistic encounter continued the lineage of physical theatre and research and experimentation with poetic and drammaturgical codes. Ambra, while learning
and working in this setting, developed her own research. Her main interest and Weltanschauungen are synthetized in Butoh dance, of which Ambra has been a practitioner for sixteen years. Her many collaborations include working extensively with Dr. Mallika Sarabhai (lead role in the Mahabharata of Peter Brook, dancer choreographer, director of Darpana
Academy and activist) in India; and with Mamadou Dioume (Peter Brook actor). Currently Ambra co-directs the Butoh Dublin Festival, and facilitates workshops and performances in
Exchange Temple Bar Dublin. She is currently finishing her PhD in Urban Geography and developing a research project engaging dance, the body and the Medical Humanities.
Further questions about the workshop can be emailed to


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