Derek Bailey’s guitar cuts straight to the heart. When I first saw this video of Bailey and Tanaka, I was instantly mesmerized by the performance space, the event itself, the music, and of course, the movements. I’ve been into Japanese Butoh dancing since 2003, but have never actually attempted it beyond the exercises for Butoh preparation as laid out in a certain Butoh study book that I own: learn to disappear, learn to become a tree (an attempt at rooting yourself to the Earth). It’s all very fascinating to me.
So, consider this short post your Thursday dance-dance-dance treat. Next time you’re out at the club shaking your tail feathers, instead of shimmying yourself limp with the Locomotion or the Twist, consider striking a Butoh pose and, in honor of Bailey and Tanaka, explore the sound as a decaying tree would. Be a stone in water. Be stillness. Let your body become a wilting flower. Slowly. One foot in front of the other. Slower. Until you are Nothing.