The Statement

   

When Özerk mentioned Diogenes’ lantern in the daylight searching for an honest man, we knew this had to become a symbol for the “Butoh Vigilantes”. 

 

We strive for a universal ethics & breaking of silence with a zero tolerance for abuse, especially to women and children.

 

Our mission demands ethical and responsible art making. We oppose the exploitation of all living beings, particularly children, and those who are helpless or less fortunate. Our offerings intend to raise awareness of the impact dance can have on an individual or a community. We are dedicated to the accessibility of ART FOR ALL ages, abilities, genders, social statuses and economic levels. Through our dance, we support a culture of co-existence and communion between natural, urban and emotional landscapes.

On our recent tour in India we became involved in an incident that forced us to confront the concept of ethics in art.

In confronting this situation, our ethical standards have been seriously questioned. The art form we have dedicated our lives to we felt had been has been degraded. We have been horrified at the lies, statements, actions and inactions of many artists in the field. Through this horrendous episode in our dance community, Adam, Julie and Özerk have remained faithful to finding the truth, protecting innocence and purging the demons from the dance. 

 

We strive for a culture of co-existence through dance, which increases the demographic & reaches out to those that are marginalized due to finances, age, gender & ability.

 

The demographics of our group conform to our mission. We are artists from three different countries, continents and cultures with different backgrounds, training and aesthetic sensibilities. Julie is a senior citizen, Adam’s heritage is Colombian and Venezuelan and Ozerk is Turkish. 

Adam, Julie and Özerk first came together during the “Sesalac Butoh Retreat” in August 2019 in Sesalac, Serbia. The retreat was organized by Adam as a response to the prohibitive cost of the very popular “Exit International Dance Exchange” in Schloss Broellin, Germany which he could not afford to attend.

Adam’s mission was to provide access to training, creating, connecting and collaborating for international artists in the field of butoh dance at minimal cost. This event was a huge success, 67 dancers from Europe, Asia, Australia, North and South America came together for two weeks.

The financial accessibility envisioned by Adam for the retreat, included volunteer work from students as well as minimal compensation accepted by the master guides, cooks and the facility providing the space. All costs were covered by this minimal charge.

 

We strive for a research into the aesthetics of sustainability & necessity.

 

Through research into the aesthetics of necessity and sustainability we encourage co-existence among humans within nature and society. By reusing /recycling materials as props and costumes we avoid consumerism and create in a more eco friendly manner. Our workshop and performance fees reflect the idea of accessibility rather than financial gain. We charge only enough to sustain our needs. Because of the original inspiration for our collaboration, we will be donating a percentage of our income from this tour to a designated child welfare organization.

 

We strive for a re-communication between natural-urban & emotional ecosystems.

 

Within our own work as well our workshops, we delve into emotional landscapes experienced by the human being and their relationship to physical, mental and expressive states. By mapping the body as an eco system in which all experience serves a purpose for the existence of the organism, we try to communicate non judgmentally with its functions and feelings, including the dark areas. The body serves as a recycling center for memories, dreams and thoughts which become fodder for the creative body to develop using space, time and qualities of movement.

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 strive to implement the following within the Butoh world:

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

(2) A culture of co-existence 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.