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.

      

Butoh Lantern 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, races, social statuses and economic levels. Through dance, we support a culture of co-existence and communion between natural, urban and emotional landscapes. 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.     

     On our recent tour in India we became involved in an incident that forced us to confront the concept of ethics in art. We learned that our teacher /mentor was a pedophile through his own confession to a group of students and teachers. His devotees immediately chose sides and acted.                    

     Adam, Ozerk and Julie instigated contact with Indian welfare agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) responsible for child endangerment issues. We met with a therapist, a lawyer, and a former mayor of the city who were connected to these organizations and shared all that we knew. We publicized the information we learned to all of our artistic and social media contacts and created a petition.

 

We work toward a culture of coexistence through dance, which increases the demographic & reaches out to those that are marginalized due to finances, age, gender & ability.

    

   We are dedicated to the accessibility of ART FOR ALL ages, abilities, genders, races, social statuses and economic levels. Through our dance, we support a culture of co-existence and communion between natural, urban and emotional landscapes. 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.     

     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 many very popular European butoh festivals and workshop retreats which many working artists could not afford to attend.

     Adam’s goal 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.

 

Our work researches 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. 

 

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 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.