The Routledge Companion to Butoh Performance now available for preorder

The Routledge Companion to Butoh Performance, edited by Bruce Baird and Rosemary Candelario, provides a comprehensive introduction to and analysis of the global art form butoh.

Originating in Japan in the 1960s, butoh was a major innovation in twentieth century dance and performance, and it continues to shape-shift around the world. Taking inspiration from the Japanese avant-garde, Surrealism, Happenings, and authors such as Genet and Artaud, its influence can be seen throughout contemporary performing arts, music, and visual art practices.

This Companion places the form in historical context, documents its development in Japan and its spread around the world, and brings together the theory and the practice of this compelling dance. Featuring an Introduction by the editors and 56 chapters by 53 authors from 14 countries, the interdisciplinarity evident in the volume reflects the depth and the breadth of butoh. The editors bring specially commissioned essays by leading scholars and dancers together with translations of important early texts.

Flowers Cracking Concrete: Eiko + Koma in Conversation and Dance with author Rosemary Candelario

After more than 40 years as an acclaimed duo, Eiko Otake and Takashi Otake (also known as Koma) are now exploring solo work.

Author Rosemary Candelario talks with Eiko + Koma about their history, the recurring themes of their work and what it's like to perform as soloists for the first time. Featuring solo performances by Eiko and Koma.

May 11, 2018, 12pm

Buttenwieser Hall, 92nd St Y, New York, NY

$10 in advance / $20 at the door

Equinox: Into the Quarry performance March 25, 2017

A site-specific dance exploring our connection to the land around us, Equinox: Into the Quarry takes place along the Quarry Trail at Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center and in the open space at the bottom of the trail. As audience members walk down the short, wooded dirt trail leading off the parking lot, they join the performers in entering another world full of possibility and transformation. 

Saturday March 25 (rain date Sunday March 26), 7pm

Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center, 3310 Collins Road, Denton TX 76208 (use address not name for directions!)

Free admission

Please note that the entire performance takes place outside. Audience members are encouraged to wear sturdy shoes to walk the short trail. Benches and tarps will be provided for seating, or you may bring your own chair. The performance will be followed by a reception.

Choreography by Rosemary Candelario
Music by Westin Portillo
Dance by Kara Beadle, Miriam Bolles, Rosemary Candelario, Bettina Davis, and Yvonne Keyrouz, featuring Tara Baker, Tiffany Bierly, Alexis Gomez, Martheya Nygaard, and Claudia Pacheco
Crew and singing by Jessica McGarity, Allyson Ryan, and Cylene Walker-Willis

January 12, 2017 Talk at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

Flowers Cracking Concrete: Rosemary Candelario on Eiko & Koma’s Asian/American Choreographies

Rosemary Candelario’s new book Flowers Cracking Concrete is the first in-depth study of the forty-year career of Eiko & Koma—two artists from Japan who have lived and worked in New York City since the mid-1970s, establishing themselves as innovative and influential modern and postmodern dancers. Candelario presents an evening of fascinating insight, images, performance video, and conversation.

Reserve your general admission seat HERE starting December 12th (If you need assistance with online reservations, please visit the welcome desk at the Library for the Performing Arts' Lincoln Center Plaza entrance, where volunteers will make a reservation for you, even if you do not use email. For free events, The Library generally overbooks to ensure a full house. All registered seats are released 15 minutes before start time, so we recommend that you arrive early.)

To view this announcement on the NYPL website, click here.

Flowers Cracking Concrete now available!

My first book, Flowers Cracking Concrete: Eiko & Koma's Asian/American Choreographies is now available from Wesleyan University Press and your favorite online bookseller. 

Here's what scholars are saying about the book:

“Clearly written, Flowers Cracking Concrete offers both a comprehensive, invaluable analysis of Eiko and Koma’s work and a compelling, insightful examination. This book is indispensible reading for those interested in the histories and practices of contemporary concert dance, and in the luminous works of these internationally renowned artists.”—Judith Hamera, professor of dance, Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton University

“Eiko & Koma have been staggeringly creative pillars of American dance for decades. Now, Rosemary Candelario has given them their due in this rich picture of them as politically active avant-garde performers with complex Japanese/American identities who address intercultural contact, interfacing with nature, and communal mourning.”—Bruce Baird, author of Hijikata Tatsumi and Butoh: Dancing in a Pool of Gray Grits

Flowers Cracking Concrete contributes a vital perspective to the growing scholarship on the groundbreaking artists Eiko & Koma.  Professor Candelario's detailed examination of their artistic development over half a century situates it in relation to discourses of orientalism and Asian American identity in a way that is critically illuminating.  It allows us to see the work of Eiko & Koma beyond the dead-ends of (orientalist) "identity" and deracinated aesthetics, while staying firmly grounded in Eiko & Koma's deeply personal and deeply political oeuvre.”—Karen Shimakawa, New York University

CALL FOR CHAPTER PROPOSALS: Routledge Companion to Butoh Performance

co-editors: Bruce Baird (University of Massachusetts, Amherst) and Rosemary Candelario (Texas Woman's University)

The advent of butoh in 1960s Japan was a major innovation in 20th century dance and performance, not only in Japan but around the world. Encompassing influences ranging from German modern dancers like Mary Wigman, to Japanese and European surrealism, to modernist and avant-garde literature and painting, the dance form gestated by Hijikata Tatsumi and Ohno Kazuo urgently sought new modes of bodily expression that would be commensurate to the task of engaging with and rebelling against a rapidly changing society. Beginning in the mid-1970s, butoh began to travel beyond Japan’s borders. Since then, butoh has become a global art form whose influence can be felt in contemporary dance, theater, performance art, music, and visual art practices.

A Routledge Companion to Butoh Performance will be an unprecedented volume of butoh history and contemporary practice comprised primarily of new commissioned essays. Like butoh itself, the Companion will bring together theory and practice, with practitioner perspectives featured alongside academic essays. To reflect the form’s international and interdisciplinary reach, the book will include scholarship by leading and emerging scholars and artists from around the world.

A Routledge Companion to Butoh will be a valuable resource for students, scholars, and practitioners alike in the fields of dance, theater, performance, Japanese Studies, and Asian Studies. In addition to essays engaged specifically with Japanese performance and the international spread of butoh, we invite authors to address theoretical issues raised by butoh such as globalization; cultural flows; cultural adaptation, appropriation, and sharing; and intercultural work. The goal of the anthology is to provide a theoretical and practice-based framework for five aspects of the field:

  • Section 1: Butoh in Japan: Key Dancers and their Artistic Influences--the history of butoh in Japan through a dual focus on key early figures in butoh along with the artistic contexts that influenced its development and reception in Japan

  • Section 2: Global Butoh: Performance Circuits and New Sites--the international spread of butoh through the performance and teaching activities of Japanese dancers outside of Japan and the travels of non-Japanese dancers to Japan to study

  • Section 3: Politics and Identity--theoretical matters concerning butoh, including contributions on gender, sexuality, cultural identity, and politics in butoh.

  • Section 4: Pedagogy--a foundation in butoh pedagogy under Hijikata and other early companies, and a platform for a wide range of practitioner and scholarly perspectives on butoh pedagogy

  • Section 5: Beyond Butoh--the reach of butoh techniques beyond the form and the ways that butoh mirrored other bodily experiments in the world of performing arts

We have already commissioned many of the chapters for the volume. But we welcome proposals from scholars and practitioners with backgrounds in dance, theater, performance studies, history, and Japanese Studies on the above topics, and in particular the following as yet unassigned topics:

  • Maro Akaji and Dairakudakan

  • Amagatsu Ushio and Sankai Juku

  • Carlotta Ikeda

  • Histories of key butoh festivals

  • Mime (Decroux/Marceau) via Oikawa Hironobu

  • Waguri Yukio’s Butoh Kaden CD-ROM

  • Specific performers such as Trajal Harrell, Tero Saarinen

  • butoh workshops and pedagogy

In addition to soliciting new essays that reflect the depth and breadth of contemporary butoh, we also seek translations of formative texts that have never before been available in English. We welcome proposals to translate selections by Goda Nario, Gunji Masakatsu, Ichikawa Miyabi, Kato Ikuya, Mishima Yukio, Shibusawa Tatsuhiko, Takechi Tatsuji, Takiguchi  Shûzô, and Tanemura Suehiro. Contact us for a full list.

Interested individuals may propose chapters structured as conventional academic essays, practitioner reflections, interviews, or case studies. Chapters will be 1,250-4,000 words in length (with word length set in consultation with the editors) and may include images for which the author will secure reproduction permission. Some funds are available to pay for photographs.

Contributors will receive a copy of the book (roughly a $210 value). Translators will receive a small fee for translation.

Please email a one-page essay proposal including a proposed word count and a list of proposed photographs that you would like to accompany your essay, along with your current bio by March 31, 2016, to: and

Don’t hesitate to send in your one-page proposal or your inquiry email early. And don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to help with translations (or if you have a graduate student that could use a line on their CV and would like to help us out).