ButohBAR-Taka-Takiguchi-photo-by-Vikk-ShayenNow in it’s sixth year, the annual ButohOUT! event is a one-of-a-kind arts experience in Melbourne. Promising a surreal, funny, and electrifying night out for audiences, ButohOUT! presents ButohBAR OUT of ORDER, at the Abbotsford Convent, this November.

Originally called the Dance of Darkness, Butoh has it’s roots in post-WWII Japan. Emerging as a response to the social and cultural turmoil of the time, classic styles of Butoh sought to express the trauma, anxiety, and confusion of this era through movement, sound, and visual imagery.

Often shocking, grotesque, and surreal, Butoh challenges the norms of conventional performance styles and offers a way to explore new forms of expression and adaptation in the face of uncertain and unexpected challenges.

Reviving the 70s/80s era where Butoh thrived in nightclubs and strip joints, ButohBAR OUT of ORDER summons the raw spirit of those times. Embracing the metaphor of a human world “out of order” the work reflects on our own post-pandemic existence. This mesmerising show will feature dance, song, poetry, and visual arts woven together by the hypnotic artform of Butoh.

An electric evening for audiences that offers guerrilla performances, roving installation, Out of Order Karaoke, online interactions with Hokkaido ButohBAR in Japan, sake and food by Tamura Sake Bar, and more, this limited season event is not to be missed.

Transforming the Abbotsford Convent Industrial School, ButohBAR OUT of ORDER is an invitation to confront and celebrate being “Out of Order”. An exciting partnership with Tamura Sake Bar in Fitzroy is in place for the season and the show will feature a bespoke menu, with audience members being served food and drink by Butoh waiters during intermission.

This elaborate, immersive setting for the show is about shining a light on aspects of life that can be difficult to “chew”, “swallow”, and “digest” while exploring the healing power and comfort food… and also the destructive nature of over-indulgence.

Bringing together an extraordinary 20+ cast for this bizarre experiment, ButohBAR OUT of ORDER will feature recent graduate performers gleaned from the ButohOUT! training workshops alongside seasoned professionals Emma Bathgate, Hal Tanaka (Online), Willow J Conway, and Yumi Umiumare, with guest artists Maude Davey, Moira Finucane, Weave Movement Theatre, and Dan West also a part of the season.

In collaboration with the Hokkaido Butoh Festival, this years’ finale performance for ButohOUT! will also be an international event. Renowned Butoh artist and Hokkaido Butoh Festival co-founder Hal Tanaka will join the show nightly via livestream, performing at various locations around Japan.

The only creative platform of its kind in Australia focusing on the distinctive art form of Butoh, ButohOUT! has woven its way into the fabric of the Melbourne art scene since 2017. It has built a unique Artists-led creative and laboratory space across Victoria, providing artists and community members of all ages a creative ground.

ButohOUT! celebrates diversity and authentic expression through the idiosyncratic artform of Butoh and continuously aims to actualise a vision for a radically inclusive artistic practice.

Industrial School – Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford
Season: 15 – 19 November 2023
Information and Bookings: www.butohout.com

Image: Taka Takiguchi – photo by Vikk Shayen