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Up Close from a Distance

UBC Okanagan Visual Arts Exhibition

Hosted by the UBCO Visual Arts Course Union (UBCOVACU))

Tony Yu 

Relive to Break Free, video, 2021

Tony Yu

     Butoh is a form of Japanese dance referred to as the antithesis of western dance traditions. It is predominantly performed utilizing slow movement and can be defined as a dance where one discovers how to use their feet. Butoh does not surpass the human concept nor the ideals of a superhuman apprehension but, it asks us to assimilate ourselves through a different mentality. 

     My performance takes place outdoors which allows me to relate to my immediate environment and adheres to the Butoh ideology of being one with nature. Through slow and controlled movements, I travel through space and alter my audience’s perception of time. I aim to take them on a journey that encourages self-reflection while immersing ourselves in nature. When the performance starts, I am no longer myself but an anonymous performer who demonstrates expressions of all aspects that can be found in the human body. 

     I apply a dark and light thematic by employing personal experiences and memories from serving in the Korean military. These images serve as choreography for my movements and are directly transmuted into Butoh dance. These themes fuse together seamlessly in a manner where one cannot exist without the other.


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