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Butoh College Portland Workshop


YUKO KASEKI, KEN MAI, MARI OSANAI & OUR LOCAL SAMPLER! Join us for four weeks & 80 hours of training + weekly performances and farm salons. (promo photo of Yuko Kaseki by Pak Han)

APRIL 4-30 in Portland, Oregon

Week 1 (April 4-9) Local Sampler

We kick off our 2017 Butoh College with an immersive sampler of local and regional artists to introduce and expose some of butoh’s most recent influences and orientations on the west coast. 10 of our favorite artists, whose methodologies have been steeped to various degrees in butoh training, will be passing the torch through 20 hours of workshops and 2 evenings of innovative performance! The Local Sampler includes Anastazia Louise of Bad Unkl Sista (California), and Portland artists Meshi Chavez, Stephanie Lanckton, Pepper Pepper, Wobbly, Mizu Desierto, Kat MacMillan, Meghann Rose, & Douglas Allen (+ 1 more TBA). This week will be the perfect opportunity to experience the spectrum of expression that has emerged and evolved through the butoh lexicon and get your bodies and imaginations stimulated before the international master teachers arrive!

Tuesday Evening Intro: 6:30-9:30pm
Wednesday-Saturday 12-4pm
Friday & Saturday, 8pm Performances
Sunday, 5pm Potluck Salon

Week 2 (April 11-16) Ken Mai | Butoh Aesthetics

Ken Mai is a Japanese butoh Artist based in Helsinki, Finland. His dance is influenced by both the founding lineages of Kazuo Ohno and Tatsumi Hijikata as well as German Expressionism, Zen, martial arts, singing and the Yoga Sutras. He is often celebrated for his iconic butoh drag imagery and describes his approach to dance as a devotion for sending compassion and love to the world, from the darkness to the light. His workshop concentrates on yogic warm-ups and improvisations led through visual imagery to stimulate poetic movement.

“As a swan she dwells in the pure water, as a flower she dwells in the pure sun. As the rain that falls to the vessel of my empty body, as a dance that gives me the freedom and compassion of love” -Ken Mai

Tuesday Evening Intro: 6:30-9:30pm
Wednesday-Saturday 12-4pm
Saturday, 8pm Ken Mai Performance
Sunday, 5pm Potluck Salon

Week 3 (April 18-23) Mari Osanai | Noguchi Taiso

Mari Osanai is a classically trained dancer and teacher of Noguchi Taiso based in Aomori, Japan. Noguchi Taiso is a form of physical training that supports new ways of movement to improve efficiency while letting go of unnecessary tensions. A technique often utilized by butoh practitioners, it is not about strength or resistance or forcing the body to move in a certain way. Instead, it allows the body to melt, become tender and flexible as we give in to gravity rather than fight it.

"I define Noguchi Taiso as a creation of one's new self as nature within us. Noguchi Taiso draws from a natural force that exists in our body and that is expressed through and with the natural materials that our bodies are made of. I define ""Taiso = Gymnastics"" as a way of exploring HUMANITY. My whole being is a laboratory (atelier), research material (canvas) and scholar (artist)." - Michizo Noguch

Tuesday Evening Intro: 6:30-9:30pm
Wednesday-Saturday 12-4pm
Saturday, 8pm Mari Osanai Performance
Sunday, 5pm Potluck Salon

Week 4: (April 25-30) Yuko Kaseki | Miraculous Origin

Yuko Kaseki is a Japanese butoh dancer, choreographer and teacher based in Berlin. She studied and performed with Anzu Furukawa and has since toured internationally as both a solo and collaborative artist. The emphasis in her workshop is to develop original movement through physical training and body awareness, improvising with image, gesture, space, and relationship. The training combines elements of Noguchi Taiso, butoh methodology, and Tai-Chi Dao-yin. Working from the center (energetic source), the practice cultivates a permeable body in order to awaken deeper layers of sensitivity. Listening honestly to the variants of the inner body to develop in relation to the outer, working with intensity and reduction, each person discovers a unique body, physical reality and exposure.

“The origin of you is full of miracles. Dig and cultivate the body as a frontier, to find out hidden, untouched fields of emotions, memories and sensations...research each detail of the body parts, to divide and reconnect. Observe the habits of movement through your socialization, and challenge yourself to break through the comfortable zone. Disorder is a way of creativity, to find new visions and physical systems.” -Yuko Kaseki

Tuesday Evening Intro: 6:30-9:30pm
Wednesday-Saturday 12-4pm
Saturday, 8pm Yuko Kaseki Performance
Sunday, 5pm Potluck Salon


Through all of our workshops, trainings and performances, we strive to create an atmosphere of accessibility and inclusivity for all bodies, genders, races, ages, & levels of experience. This is an evolving process. While some of the work can be physically and emotionally demanding, it is our intention to create a container which nurtures safe risk-taking, where each participant can bravely research, express and find support in tending to personal needs and/or limitations. If you have any accessibility concerns or needs, please contact us at

ASL interpretation will be available upon request for any event, please email at least 10 days before the requested event.

All workshops are scent-free. Please use only scent-free detergents and body products. Out of respect for people with chemical sensitivities please refrain from using fabric softeners, perfumes and scented deodorants. Thank you!