AMBRA GATTO BERGAMASCO

Processual Choreography Corporeal Dramaturgy Research Butoh Dance Teaching Talks and Projects


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Zazenshin: Acupuncture Needle of Zazen, by Shohaku Okumura

Can just sitting be enough? Do we really find it difficult to do something without ulterior meaning and motivation? I found this article interesting, it resonated with some conversations had in the Zen meditation group I go and further, I related it to when I dance Butoh: do I have an ulterior motif..or do I dance for the invitation…dancing bliss, just dancing, because there is no because. What do you think? Does this relate to your practice?

Buddhism now

Zazen is the centre of our practice and also the centre of Dogen’s teaching. The Shobogenzo Zazenshin is one of Dogen’s writings in which he discussed the essential nature of his sitting practice. He wrote this text in 1242.

‘Za’ means ‘sitting’, and ‘zen’ is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese word ‘chan’ which is the transliteration of the Sanskrit word ‘dhyana’, meaning ‘meditation’. A literal translation of ‘zazen’ is ‘seated meditation’. ‘Shin’ means ‘acupuncture needle’. Today’s acupuncture needle is made of some kind of metal, but in ancient times it was made from bamboo. An acupuncture needle is a kind of instrument to heal sickness. My translation of this title, Zazenshin, is ‘Acupuncture Needle of Zazen’. Zazen is an acupuncture needle to heal our sickness.

Human Sickness

Buddhism Now cover Oct 1990. Art © Marcelle Hanselaar What is our sickness? I think it is very clear. Shakyamuni Buddha said that we have been shot with an arrow…

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Yumiko Yoshioka: a life time Butoh artist; 14-16th of November 2014 workshop in Glasgow, Scotland

Yumiko_Yoshioka_2_Danza_Butoh_cr

Yumiko Yoshioka is a butoh dancer/choreographer  of incredible artistic experience and creation. Currently based in  Berlin, Germany were she works since 1988. Yoshioka was one of the first dancers to tour and work with Carlotta Ikeda and her company Ariadone (1974). Carlotta Ikeda’s company, co funded by Ko Morobushi, was the first women’s butoh company.

“Since 1981 Yumiko Yoshioka has been alternating between Japan and Europe and has been living in Germany since 1988, the year in which she founded with Minako Seki and Delta R´ai the group tatoeba THÉÂTRE DANSE GROTESQUE, which till its break-up in 1994 successfully toured Japan, Europe und North America. In 1995 arose the TEN PEN Chii art labor, led by Yoshioka, the visual artist Joachim Manger and the American musician Zam Johnson. Its works have included: ´N. YoiN´, ´DA-PPI´, ´iki – an interactive body dance machine´, and ´TEST LABORATORY Z.0005´. The company is at home in Schloss Bröllin in the Northeast of Germany (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern), where Yumiko Yoshioka is the artistic director of the butoh-related art project ´eX…it!´ and the curator of the festival ´Pro Existence´ (2004). ´furu zoom´ was premiered at the festival ´Über Schönheit/About Beauty´ in the House of World Cultures in Berlin (2005)”

One of the most extravagant  projects so far has been ´Test Laboratory Z.0005´, enclosing four dancers in a threatening 2.50 m high metallic machine. Hares, set free in the surroundings, activate one or another light-installation, which in turn activates mechanisms for opening or sealing enclosures. The body is hermetically caught then free to move in two water basins. Likewise picturesque and metaphorical, though aesthetically plainer, are the works involving Yumiko Yoshioka as a soloist and with which she regularly tours with TEN PEN Chii, while continuing her didactic work and acting as the artistic director and curator of various projects at Schloss Bröllin”- Author: Constanze Klementz gatzmaga@hkw.de (http://www.culturebase.net/artist.php?3323)

14-16 November 2014 Workshop in Glasgow

Yumiko has been a guest of Moving Bodies International touring Butoh festival in 2014 offering her workshops both in Cork at the Firkin Crane and Torino at the theatre Espace.

It is possible to join her workshop from the 14th to the 16th of November in Glasgow, Scotland. If you can, I highly recommend to join and spend two days dancing with Yumiko. It is not necessary to have any previous experience, nor being a Butoh-ist…

Click here to read more information: facebook page event

Thank you,

Love and Dance


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Celebrating October with something Beautiful: “full empty dance of the heart”, Daoist interpretation and more

October to me  is a special month. The colours found in nature, and nature itself, are in full transformation: the yellows, reds, oranges bloomed with sun release their ripeness to reach emptiness. This is what I can perceive in October, the fullness of the summer dancing its emptiness. October to me is a time of emptying the fulness of the spring summer months and the birth of new visions, nested in the deepest chambers of the heart.

vortex_display

vortex

This rhythm makes me reflect on the heart; how, in order to function, the heart needs to absorb and release. By absorbing it gathers, fills up, absorbs, seizes, to its full potential to then when reached the maximum capacity, release. It lets go, empties, voids its self and by doing so it expands.

These are the themes that keep coming up in my daily practice. When I move my body reaches for those places where I can touch the fulness and as I do, or begin doing so, my body takes me to explore voiding through vortex-led movements…and I just sit and observe. My desires are worthless, my resistances material for arabesque laughters. So I stay. Witness and learn.

My main interest these days is to learn more and in a more structured manner Daoist tradition understandings and explore the heart in different ways, reading different apporaches and symbolisms, meanings.

Here below is the link to a pdf (so if you click on it you can read the book) entitled

“The Chinese Heart in a cognitive perspective” Culture, Body, and Language” by Ning Yu

139311753-Culture-Body-and-Language

Here, an interesting insight into Daoist  approach:

From the Daoist classic, Contemplations by the Huainan Masters (Huainanzi) , ca. 110 B.C.:

The heart is the ruler of the five organ networks. It commands the movements of the four extremities, it circulates the qi and the blood, it roams the realms of the material and the immaterial, and it is in tune with the gateways of every action. Therefore, coveting to govern the flow of energy on earth without possessing a heart would be like aspiring to tune gongs and drums without ears, or like trying to read a piece of fancy literature without eyes. (source: www.itmonline.org/5organs/heart.htm )

Clenching my thirst, I shall attempt to learn from my empty heart.

Thank you. I hope you found something of your interest.

Ambra

ambra g. bergamasco © chokohma2014