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Kyoto Butoh-Kan: World’s First Dedicated “Butoh” Dance Theater, Winning Global Praise as Highly Distinctive Attraction for Tourists from Abroad

March 7, 2019 Visit North Asia No Comments Email Email

Managed by theater operator and event planner 1928, Ltd., the Kyoto Butoh-Kan is the world’s first dedicated theater for “Butoh” dance. The theater continues to welcome more and more visitors from around the world, and has won their enthusiastic support.

Butoh is a form of avant-garde dance theater unique to Japan that arose in the late 1950s. Expressing Japanese physicality and spirituality, its unique style overturned the established dance aesthetics of the time, and is said to have revolutionized concepts of dance worldwide.

Kyoto Butoh-Kan, the dedicated Butoh theater that 1928, Ltd. manages, celebrated the second anniversary of its opening on July 7, 2018. Around 70% of visitors to the theater are from abroad. So far, people have visited from 68 countries around the world (36 countries in Europe, 13 in the Americas, 4 in the Middle East, 2 in Oceania and 13 in Southeast Asia). The intimate theater space, housed in an earthen storehouse in the Edo period (1603-1867) and seating a maximum of 9, is also part of the appeal, with 93% of visitors rating it as “good” (as of June 26, 2018, surveyed by questionnaire).

In May last year, Kyoto Butoh-Kan was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for 2018 by TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel review site.
*Certificates of Excellence attest that given spots earn consistently high reviews on TripAdvisor, and they are awarded only to certain chosen facilities.

Furthermore, in September 2017, the theater began holding performances of “Antigraviton, Lovely Face” (choreography and Butoh by Yasuo Fukurozaka) every Saturday. It is scheduled to run alongside “Hisoku” (choreography and Butoh by Tenko Ima), which began in July 2016, and “Underworld Flower” (choreography and Butoh by Masami Yurabe), which has been showing since February 2017, with two performances of each of the three pieces every week.

Testimonials (quoted from the travel review site TripAdvisor):

“Words cannot describe the feeling of experiencing this amazing performance.” (Woman, 50s, California)

“Haunting, ethereal performance in intimate Kyoto space” (Woman, 30s, Canada)

“Gorgeous, intimate, and evocative dance performance”

“An experience I will never forget” (Woman, 20s, Australia)

“Wonderful show in smallest of space” (Woman, 30s, Israel)

“Ancient Japanese soul wrapped in modernity” (Woman, 30s, Indonesia)

Kyoto Butoh-Kan works to provide opportunities to appreciate Butoh, to protect and develop Butoh culture through the ongoing training of dancers, and to create an environment where anyone visiting Kyoto can watch authentic Butoh at any time.

1928, Ltd. boasts wide-ranging experiences and achievements, including the production of “GEAR,” which is enjoying a long run unprecedented for a small-scale theater production in Japan, as well as projection mapping events that light up Kyoto’s nights. Look out for the further development of the Kyoto Butoh-Kan, a compelling attraction for visitors to Japan brought to you with pride by 1928, Ltd.

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