ko murobushi

ko_by_dola_baroniMurobushi is one of the most influencial Butoh-dancers of our time.  Born in Tokyo, he was a boy when Butoh was born in 1959 and by 1968, he had already studied and performed with Tatsumi Hijikata in Japan.  Ko retired from the stage in 1970 and for two years practiced ascetic life and shamanism as “Yamabushi” in the Japanese mountains.  He founded Butoh-Group DAIRAKUDAN together with Ushio Ama- gatsu and Akaji Maro, the longest-running Butoh dance company.  In 1974 he created the Butoh-magazine “Hageshii Kisetsu (Violent Season)” and founded influential female Butoh Company ARIADONE, introducing Europe to Butoh in 1978, along with his male group: SEBI, with successful performances of LE DERNIER EDEN, PORTE DE L’AU, and DE LA, followed by a widespread European tour with ARIADONE(1981-2). Murobushi settled in Paris and made it the European capital of Butoh.  He continued to choreograph for ARIADONE, Carlotta Ikeda, Urara Kusanagi, and Tadashi Endo. Ko maintains a strong tradition of improvisational performances that culminated in 1986 in cooperation with the Glenn Branca Orchestra in Tokyo. Works of that period include: “EN”, “ZARATHOUSTRA”, “UNEMUMIE”, “NEON OR NEANT”, “UTT”, “LOTUS CABARET”, “HINAGATA 8”, “IKI”, “WATERWORKS”, “LA NUIT”, “DEHORS”, “MONSIEUR KAFKA”, “PANTHA RHEI.”  From 1988 Ko concentrated on productions with Urara Kusanagi: “EPHEMERE”; “ONI ONE” was created and toured in the following years in Europe and South America, his solo “EN” brought him to Mexico.  Recent choreographies are: “MAMUISH”, “NOMADIC BLUE”, “PIE” and “AI-AMOUR” (Duo with Carlotta Ikeda), “WORKING PROCESS”, “SEBI” (Duets with Urara Kusanagi).  In Jan. ’96 he created a new Solo for the MAMU-Festival in Göttingen/Germany: “IN CHANCE”, in May `97 there followed another solo “IN SILENCE”, co-produced by Le Quartz/Brest & La Fonderie.  In 1998 he toured through Venezuela and Eastern Europe.  From 1999- 2000 Ko took work to Mexico, teaching and choreographing for Urara Kusanagi in a Mexican film, entitled “Vera”, directed by Francisco Athie.  Ko now lives and works in Japan, where he continues to perform his own dance and Butoh to worldwide influences, maintaining and keeping his work deep within Japanese roots.   His performance Edge in Japan, 2000 shocked the Japanese public, yet has been highly acknowledged in other locations.  In 2001, his performance & teaching in Vienna’s “ImPulsTanz” was recognized as the most valuable event of the festival.  In 2003, Ko&Edge Co. with 3 young Japanese dancers, presented [Handsome Blue Sky] at Japan Society, and in ‘JADE2003 Hijikata Memorial’ in Japan, to frantic applause, touring in US-Canada (5 venues), Korea, 2005; and Tunisia, 2006.  Since 2004, Ko&Edge Co. has presented a new series entitled: [Experimental Body].  A new short piece [Dead 1] was performed at 8 major cities in Japan in 2006.  In 2007 Ko performed at the NY Butoh Festival, his work establish him as one of the finest representatives of Butoh internationally, he now tours throughout Europe and the Americas.

“Murobushi’s Butoh is a theatre of revulsion, convulsion or repulsion.  The body is like a half monkey, half reptile, curves and always crawls on the ground, full of violent energy, soft, anti-human and cannibal. There is no form of Occidental physical naturalism.”  –Jean Baudrillard, –Theatre of Revulsion–

“Ko Murobushi, whose “Quick Silver” was full of piercing accuracy. With a prizefighter’s grace, he darted from spot to spot, collapsing backward onto the stage only to spring up in a mercuric flash” –The New York Times