Butoh is a type of modern Japanese dance that came into existence after World War II, in conjunction with the Japanese student riots. The inventors of Butoh, returning to Japan after studying modern dance in Germany, sought a new form of expression through movement that maintained a cultural connection to Japan rather than copying the western techniques. The first Butoh performances were provocative, and wild, causing the style and performers to be banned.

Butoh performers commonly wear white body makeup and use slow, hyper-controlled motions. The idea behind butoh is to allow the body to express itself much more naturally than traditional Japanese dance, to reenact the movements of the common people rather than those of trained dancers. By distorting the face and body, the performer frees him/herself from the socially acceptable forms of expression and instead allows the body to move in an organic, natural way.

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