Sankai Juku: a Butoh Company since 1975

Amagatsu Ushio is the founder of the internationally renowned all male Butoh Company, that was founded in 1975.  We had the honour to host Mr. Iwashita Toru, a dancer of the company, last April for a workshop and performance both in Dublin and Cork.

An article on the Guardian pictures the founder and the company as follow:

“Ushio Amagatsu founded his all-male company Sankai Juku in 1975. Born in 1949, he had already studied classical and modern dance, but his real passion was a newly emerged Japanese style called butoh. More a philosophy of movement than a dance style as such, butoh had grown from the experimental Japanese performances of the 1960s, and was influenced by German expressionist dance and French surrealist theatre (particularlyArtaud), as well as Japanese forms such as kabuki. Following their first world tour in 1980, Sankai Juku quickly became a fixture on the international circuit, going down particularly well in France, where the company took up residence. In 1985, tragedy struck: a rope snapped during an outdoor performance in Seattle in which the dancers were lowered upside down from a rooftop; one man, Yoshiyuki Takada, died. The rest of the tour was cancelled. Sankai Juku nevertheless continued to flourish, and remain the world’s best-known butoh troupe” (extract from The Guardian

There are quite a few academic articles that mention Sankai Juku’s work, besides the publication I have already mentioned, such as:

Butoh:” Twenty Years Ago We Were Crazy, Dirty, and Mad” by B.S Stein, “Silence that reflects: Butoh, Ma, and a crosscultural gaze” by Hamera and, most recent “Theatre of Revulsion” by Baudrillard and Marshall.

To read more on their shows and touring dates you can visit their website:

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