Celebrating Kazuo Ohno

Four years ago today, June 1, 2010, Kazuo Ohno left this world.  I did not have the honor to meet or study with Kazuo, but he inspires me every day and I am so grateful for him.  Kazuo was born on October 27, 1906 in Hokkaido.  In the 1950’s he met Tatsumi Hijikata and thus began the creation of Ankoku Butoh, the “Dance of Utter Darkness.”   I found this wonderful description of Kazuo’s last performance in the United States on kazuoohnodancestudio.com.

“After his 90th birthday, he was still active as a Butoh dancer. The last overseas performance was “Requiem for the 20th Century” which was held in New York on December 1999. But in the same year he had eye trouble and his physical strength gradually started waning.Yet Kazuo Ohno has continued dancing as if he was nourished by his age. When he could not walk by himself, he danced with the supports by others. When he could not stand even with the supports, he danced as he seated himself. When his legs didn’t move as he wanted, he danced with his hands. When he lost himself, he crawled on his knees and audience were so moved by watching his back.”

Kazuo has been described as “an artist who has enlarged human potential.”

Thank you Kazuo Ohno, today we celebrate you.