I have always danced in a manner where I grope within myself for the roots of suffering by tearing at the superficial harmony.
Thinking about the strangeness of our bodies or manipulating them through various training techniques is not enough.
-- Tatsumi Hijikata
Body-Learning is essential to avoid unnecessary collision with the unconscious.
Without enhancing the body-mind awareness, it can be very dangerous to go deep into the unconscious world filled with suppressed or forlorn emotions. Basically, we all have undergone unhappy pasts in one's own way because we could not avoind certain accidents and diseases or we could not choose our parents, the birth place or time of birth, etc. Almost everything has been given as gifts whether happy or not.
When we dare to explore our unconscious inner world, we are always forced to encounter with our physical/mental limitations. Determination to dare to try is very much critical for what will happen. We must be sensitive enough to tell subtle differences in our body-mind so as not to encounter unnecessary implosion or panic when we are not ready.
Butoh does not strictly adhere to any specific movements, postures, steps, or images.
There is no set physical or aural vocabulary universal to all or even the majority of Butoh artists. Rather, Butoh is at root about the relationship of one’s body to society, the world around it, and to itself.
Essentially, Butoh movement, choreography, staging, soundscores, and other performative elements are for the most part drawn from how a specific artist or group relates their mind/body instrument in any given moment or time period to the specific themes or content of a performance.
Therefore, over the course of multiple performances, often day by day, how a dancer performs a work changes regularly, and sometimes drastically.
In the Stanislavski system or in the techniques of other national dances, it is to a certain degree that such and such an effect can be produced, that the articulation can be categorised, thus man finds himself in a narrow and constricted world.
-- Tatsumi Hijikata
Like a shaman, Hijikata created image-based training methods for working with psycho-physiological connections to animals, nature, and spirits. He developed clearly delineated, ritual-like structures for accessing spirit-like, mind-body states, improvised moment to moment.
For example, Natsu Nakajima, one of Hijikata’s first students, states: Hijikata would tell us:
Make the face of an old devil woman, with the right hand in the shape of a horn, and the left hand holding her long hair…then comes the light of the sun, and the eyes become smaller; then comes the wind, and the eyelids quiver; then you must feel like a stone