Adam Koan

From Moving Bodies Festival, Torino, Italy. Photographer: Emanuele Pensavalle

Adam is an international Butoh performer, educator, writer, and scholar with 400+ hours of guiding experience. Former facilitator at Himalaya Subbody Butoh and the organizer for the yearly 2-week Sesalac Butoh Retreat in Serbia. He/ze/they are a classically trained dancer (Hillsborough Community College & University of South Florida 2010 – 2013) and developed as a Butoh dancer after beginning Butoh in Fall of 2013 at the Himalaya Subbody Butoh School. Since then, ze has been dedicated to the art and has been exposed to various other Butoh masters such as Ken Mai, Tadashi Endo, Diego Piñón, and Yumiko Yoshioka (see here for a detailed list of training and teaching history).

The Shadowbody Butoh workshop draws upon various exercises and perspectives utilizing body-mind, improvisation, imagination, shamanic motifs, and unlearning. It also pulls from seemingly unrelated genres and disciplines in order to discover fresh material.

Clear instruction is emphasized. The workshop cultivates individual deep creation within, keeping in mind sustainability (safety), ethics, and care. Both beginners and experienced practitioners can gain material to construct their personal Butoh body. The material can be linked back to the Shadowbody Butoh Manual, free here:

For more information see the Shadowbody workshop page here:

Butoh Lantern is a performance and teaching project created by Adam Koan of Shadowbody, Julie Becton Gillum of Asheville Butoh Collective, and Özerk Sonat Pamir.

The idea rose out of a friendship carved by continuity, creativity and support in the face of shock and driving through unknown forces over which we had little power or control.

By continuing to collaborate, teach and perform throughout this debacle, the three of us became a tight-knit group. Our vigilant effort to stop crime, the grief we shared and the support we gave to each other created a power between us.

We work to implement the following within the Butoh world:

(1) A universal ethics & the breaking of silence, with a zero tolerance for abuse, especially to women and children.

(2) A culture of coexistence through dance, which increases the demographic & reaches out to those that are marginalized due to finances, age, gender & ability.

(3) A research into the aesthetics of sustainability & necessity.

(4) A re-communication between natural-urban & emotional ecosystems.