Akaji Maro, Katsura Kan, and Joan Laage

Akaji Maro, Katsura Kan, and Kogut 

An International Butoh Artist Dance Concert


“Wonderfully saturnine, totally subversive, and downright hilarious.” —Allan Ulrich, The Voice of Dance (on Akaji Maro and Dairakudakan)

“Powerfully engaging...remarkable fluidity creating a kind of undersea lyricism.” —Lewis Segal, Los Angeles Times (on Katsura Kan)

“The emotions she (Kogut) portrays are exceptionally pure.” —Nation Review


Co presented with UCLA's Between Experiment, Form, and Culturalism: Butoh in History and Contemporary Practice


This dance concert brings together three seminal Butoh practitioners from Japan and the USA, all of whom have contributed to bringing the form to a wider worldwide audience for decades. Legendary artist Akaji Maro performs one of his signature solos, A Baby, mixing dense physicality, playful absurdity, and captivating imagery. Katsura Kan performs his seminal solo work, Time Machine, a visceral and deeply personal exploration of the interaction of body, time, and the elements, and which has been presented worldwide in numerous countries. Kogut presents her solo dance, Black Widow, which plies the dangerous waters of our animal nature, evoking a world of attraction, danger, and desire, where an embrace of love can be a grasp of death.

Maro Akaji (Japan) is the Founder and Artistic Director of the legendary Japanese Butoh dance company, Dairakudakan, the first group to introduce theatricality and spectacle into Butoh in the 1970s. Maro was a key artist in the 1960s Japanese theater underground (“Angura”) movement and has since become one of the most widely known and respected Butoh artists worldwide as well as a successful Japanese film and television actor. For three decades, Dairakudakan has toured internationally throughout Asian and Western countries. This performance marks the first time since the 1980s that Maro has performed as a solo artist in Los Angeles.

Katsura Kan (Japan) is an internationally-acclaimed dancer, choreographer, and teacher who annually presents performances and workshops in numerous countries worldwide. Establishing his own multinational troupe, Katsura Kan & Saltimbanques, in 1986, Kan has worked with what he calls ”minority dancers” all over the world, in remote locations from Africa, the Mediterranean, Asia, the USA and Australia for the past 30 years. In addition to his creative works in cosmopolitan culture, Kan has been instrumental in the development of Butoh as an international art form. His most recent research utilizes the Butoh notation of Tatsumi Hijikata in concert with the theatrical approach of Irish Nobel Prize-winning writer Samuel Beckett.

Dancer-Choreographer Joan Laage (USA), known onstage as Kogut (“rooster” in Polish), is a first-generation American Butoh artist who studied under Butoh masters Ohno Kazuo and Ashikawa Yoko. After performing with Ashikawa’s group, Gnome, in Tokyo in the 1980s, Joan settled in the early 1990s in Seattle, where she founded the group, Dappin’ Butoh, presented her work internationally, and helped to establish a Butoh community in North America. In the mid-2000s, she lived and worked as a teacher-performer in Poland for four years and has now returned to Seattle.

This concert is made possible in part by UCLA’s Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies, the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture, departments of History and World Arts and Cultures, the Asia Institute, Center for Student Programming and the Japan Foundation.

Associated Images: 

FRI 5/20
8:30 pm

G - General Audience

M - REDCAT Members

ST - Students

CA - CalArts Students/Faculty/Staff