|Odd Hours—ButohOUT! 2021 New Ab/Normal|
Prepare to have your mind blown by the ‘punk rock of the dance world’, Butoh, from May 20—23 at Abbotsford Convent. Odd Hours is the culminating performance of the three-month-long ButohOUT! 2021 New (Ab)Normal festival, and it promises to be a surreal, absurd and euphoric celebration of diversity in contemporary post-pandemic Australia. Exploring the notion of ‘what is normal?’ through the anarchic Japanese dance form of Butoh—originally called Dance of Darkness—Butoh has always been associated with the marginalised, embracing the abnormal, odd, quirky and the deviant. One of the first Butoh performances so shocked its Japanese audiences that it was forced to go underground, yet now Butoh is accepted as an innovative and transformative art form. Conversely, what we used to think as ‘normal’ is no longer so. Instead, the term, ‘new normal’ exists, which contains the paradoxical nuance that an abnormality can become ‘normal’. We hang onto a semblance of normalcy like a security blanket - but why?
ButohOUT! is a community-led, inclusive festival that breaks expectations and boundaries. It invites diverse arts and non-arts communities to engage with the profound internationally-acclaimed art form of Butoh. ButohOUT! also engages with international Butoh dancers to interact with local Australian practitioners from new initiates to established performers in an open exchange of expertise and performance. ButohOUT! is the only festival of its kind in Australia focusing on this distinctive art form. Combining the virtuosity of Yumi Umiumare’s (Artistic Director) 30-year Butoh practice, alongside Takashi Takiguchi’s (Producer) 15 years of experience in socially-engaged projects, ButohOUT! offers a diverse range of participation through workshops and performance in partnership with two of Melbourne’s highly-valued and recognised venues, Abbotsford Convent and Dancehouse. The unique nature and freedom that is inherent within the practice of Butoh makes it accessible and open to all ages, ability, gender, nationality, sexual orientation and level of practice.
The ButohOUT! 20212 March performance season at Dancehouse (Colour-Fool) elicited brilliant reviews:
“Umiumare [has] created a unique expression of Butoh that’s become part of Melbourne’s cultural currency… emotion made physical.” — Anne-Marie Peard, Arts Hub
“The overall colourful effect is simultaneously striking and shocking.”— Patricia Di Risio, Stage Whispers
“Yumi Umiumare and the ButohOUT! Ensemble elegantly place, embrace, displace and reinstate their audience in and out of layered worlds from the box office till the bow.” — Hayden Burke, Australian Stage
“Colour-Fool is a nightmare reflection on the strangeness of the times, but it is also, in its quieter moments, an earnest celebration of otherness and abnormality.” — Andrew Fuhrmann, The Age
Venue: Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers St, Abbotsford 3067