University of Rochester

Butoh Choreographer Presents Program, Workshop at University

October 19, 2006

Choreographer Lani Fand Weissbach will perform a demonstration of the contemporary modern dance form "butoh" at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, in the dance studio in Spurrier Gymnasium on the University of Rochester's River Campus.

Butoh, or "dance step," emerged in Japan after the end of World War II. Left feeling lost and without identity after the American occupation, Japanese dancers were seeking a new way of moving that was distinctly yet untraditionally Japanese. With butoh, they discovered a universal art form that offered a way to reconnect the self with the body and the body with the universe.

As a performing art, butoh has become an international aesthetic movement, crossing cultural and racial boundaries. Butoh also has therapeutic potential, allowing people to rediscover a deep sense of self and their connection to the universe and each other in a tangible way.

Weissbach, the founding director of Shen & Bones Performance Group, has worked as a dancer, teacher, and choreographer of contemporary modern dance-theater and butoh for more than 15 years. She has created and performed work in Washington, D.C., Chicago, New York, North Carolina, and throughout northwestern Pennsylvania. She was a principle dancer in Honolulu's first butoh company, Iona Pear Dance Theater, from 1990 to 1993. Since then, she has traveled both nationally and abroad to work with many esteemed butoh artists.

Weissbach has taught master classes for the American College Dance Festival and the Eastwest Somatics Institute of Dance and Movement Therapy. She received her masters of fine arts in dance from Arizona State University, yoga teaching certification from the Integral Yoga Institute, and movement therapy certification from the Eastwest Somatics Institute.

Admission to the event is $5 for students and $7 for the general public. Tickets are on sale at the Common Market in Wilson Commons on the River Campus.

In addition to her demonstration, Weissbach will present a two-hour workshop beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, in the dance studio in Spurrier Gym. The workshop is free and open to the public, but registrations are needed. For registration or more information, contact (585) 273-5150.