Extended Practice — Butoh Walk

By Paola Esposito

A butoh walk is a walking meditation that is grounded both in physical technique and in imagination. You will learn how to ground yourself in your body and how to gently transform your bodymind. Daily practice of this walk will enhance your ability to perceive movement in and around you. This will bring nuance to your research observations and writing. It will also help you deal with uncomfortable emotions that may arise in the research process, write-up stage, or presentation of findings. Finally, the practice of embodying images can become a useful mnemonic and creative device for your work.



I wish to thank Jeannie Donald, Ana Barbour and Macarena Ortuzar, whose butoh walks have inspired the one I proposed to you.

Further Reading

Alishina, J., & Torregiani, C. (2015). Butoh dance training: Secrets of Japanese dance through the Alishina method. London: Singing Dragon.

Calomaneri, Tanya (2012). Becoming nothing to become something: methods of performer training in Hijikata Tatsumi’s butō dance. Ph.D. thesis. Temple University.

Esposito, Paola (2013). Butoh dance in the UK: an ethnographic performance investigation. PhD thesis. Oxford Brookes University.

Liao, Pao-Yi (2006). An inquiry into the creative process of butoh: with reference to the implications of Eastern and Western significances. PhD thesis. Laban City University London.

Nicely, Megan V. (2018). Butoh’s subversive somatics. Journal Of Dance & Somatic Practices, 10(1), pp. 111-126.

A variation of butoh walk is the ‘ash walk’. You can find an excellent explanation on the ‘Learn Butoh’ series on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCU3gBbcXKE