New York Butoh Institute
in association with
Theater for the New City
Crystal Field, Executive Director
NEW YORK BUTOH INSTITUTE FESTIVAL 19
in celebration of Butoh’s 60th anniversary
Sunday, October 27, 2019, 3pm to 5pm
Lecture and short film
Theater for the New City (Johnsons)
155 1st Avenue
NY NY 10003
(between 9th and 10th Street)
SHORT FILM OF TATSUMI HIJIKATA IN REVOLT OF THE BODY
INTRODUCTION BY VANGELINE
LECTURE BY TODD THOMAS
PHOTO OPP FOR AUDIENCES
In 1968 came a turning point in Butoh’s history with a dance solo called Tatsumi Hijikata and The Japanese - Revolt of the Flesh, performed by the founder of Butoh Tatsumi Hijikata in Tokyo. For the legendary performance, Tatsumi Hijikata wore a spectacular red costume, which was presumably made by hand by his wife, Akiko Motofuji. The long, ruffled costume was inspired by flamenco dance. Since 1968, it has captured the imagination of hundreds of Butoh enthusiasts worldwide. Until now, only black and white photographs were available of this magnificent costume.
This year, thanks to a Janet Arnold Award of the Society of Antiquaries of London and a loan from the Tatsumi Hijikata Archives, Vangeline Theater/ New York Butoh Institute researched how the costume was designed by recreating it. The costume was professionally photographed by Matthew Placeck, and recreated by Todd Thomas.
Sunday, October 27 at 3pm, costume expert Todd Thomas, who recreated the iconic 1968 costume, will give a lecture discussing the recreation process, shedding light on how the original costume was designed and constructed. The costume will be on display on stage during the presentation.
Hijikata’s legendary costume is a totem of sorts; it holds secrets of the avant-garde art form. Much like Butoh itself, it was born at the confluence of East and West. This costume chronicles the evolution of postmodern art in Japan, and as such, deserves to be carefully studied, and thrown into the limelight once again.
Costumes are an essential part of the magic of performances. This costume has become part of the legacy of Butoh and is a historical treasure. As such, Vangeline Theater/ New York Butoh Institute gives it its rightful place in history by documenting it for future generations.
We are grateful to The Tatsumi Hijikata Archives, who made a generous loan of this historical costume for the duration of the project. After the Festival, our findings and photographs will be made available through The New York Butoh Institute online archives, as well as the Tatsumi Hijikata’s archives at Keio University in Japan.