koichi and Hiroko Tamano

Ankoku-Butoh Workshops: Sep., Oct, Nov. by josie j

It was a wonderful experiance working with Koichi and Hiroko Tamano and having them share the Tamano Ankoku-Butoh method. I have been working with the Tamano’s since 2010. I was delighted when they wanted me to facilitate workshops in Los Angeles. Here are some shots of the workshops. Thank you all who participated and thank you to the ones that want to continue to explore this method.

Photos by: Takeshi Kanemura




Ankoku-Butoh Workshop with the Harupin-Ha Dance Theater by DBL

The Harupin-Ha Dance Theater will be coming to Los Angeles September 15-16, Oct. 6-7, and Nov.3-4 to share their holistic style of Ankoku-Butoh.

Techniques transcend beyond the dance studio and stage. From daily maintenance, core work, and internal imagery, techniques become useful in daily life and provide a foundation for life long learning and growth. These workshop will culminate with a performance in December.

This is the first of the workshops. Feel free to invite anyone to this that you feel might be interested. It is truly a rare event to have butoh masters Koichi and Hiroko Tamano in LA.

September 15 &16 (Saturday and Sunday) 11am-3pm

October 6 &7 (Saturday and Sunday) 11am-3pm

November 3&4 (Saturday and Sunday) 11am-3pm

Cost: 40 for one day, 60 for both

To reserve a spot email:

josie: info@razethewhitebox.com

*Walk-ins welcomed

We Live in Space

2520 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90018


Harupin-Ha Dance Theater

Koichi and Hiroko Tamano were among the very first to perform Ankoku Butoh, which translates literally to “the dance of darkness.” The genre emerged in the late 1950s in post-atomic bomb Japan. It was created by two dancers, Kazuo Ohno and Tatsumi Hijikata, who sought to create a new, uniquely Japanese form of expression that completely rebelled against the Establishment, and both Eastern tradition and Western styles. Koichi joined Hijikata’s dance company in 1960, as did Hiroko a few years later. Hijikata encrouaged the Tamanos to introduce Butoh to the United States. The Tamano’s performance in the 1976 “Japan Now” exhibition at SFMOMA was the first Butoh seen by an American audience and made a big sensation. The Tamanos moved their dance company Harupin-Ha from Tokyo to Berkeley, California in 1979 with the blessings and encouragement of their teacher. For decades the Tamanos lead dance workshops in Berkeley and also operated the restaurants, Country Station and Tamasei, which served as meeting places for the dance and theater communities of the Bay Area. They are known for their holistic approach to the art of Butoh. The Mayor of the City of Berkeley, California declared March 28th, 2017 to be the “Koichi and Hiroko Tamano Day.”

Butoh Workshop in Ireland with Hiroko Tamano by DBL

Butoh Workshop in Ireland with Hiroko Tamano.

April 9-12. 

Full workshop (4 days): 100 euros

one day (drop ins): 30 euros

Work Shops Dates: 11AM~4PM , April 9th,10th, 11th

Location: Olympic Karate Club, 81-83, Shandon Street, Cork, Ireland Telephone:00-353-21-439766


Performance at same location : April 12, 2PM~3PM ( we may work Noon~4PM )

Work Shop :

Introducing " AnKoku- Butoh ( Dance of Darkness ) 12hr Workshop.

Through learning Butoh Master Koichi TAMANO's Method, you will know what body is, what mind is, why you are here in this life, a life with a limited time, a life that is in constant limbo between vitality and death, beauty and the grotesque, Joy and sorrow.

Performance : One hour performance based on Work Shop's vocabulary.

Please share if you know anyone that would be interested in this once in a lifetime opportunity to study with Hiroko Tamano Sensei, one of Hijikata Tatsumi's early bright students when he started out.

I am Not a Dancer.... by DBL

Some Have Influenced Me Profoundly.

I don't really connect myself to the Dancer lineage. I feel that those artist master their craft beyond what I can do, but I see now that there are and have been influential Dancers in my life. As I get older I am finding a long yet loose thread to some kind of lineage. Maybe my teenage angst is finally receding. Now I can except my elders more respectfully.

Maybe the first Dancer was Michael 'Boogaloo Shrimp' Chambers ,"Turbo" in the movie breaking. His sweep piece still sends chills through my body. Ko Murobushi, which a couple of years before his passing followed me on FB...just a lil possibly meaningless accomplishment. Of course my long time teacher/ sages the Tamano's. I learn something new each time just interacting with Hiroko Tamano. Lessons beyond movement. She is the closest I have experienced to a sage in my life. The closest that has changed it. Thank you profoundly.

Yesterday I saw one of these few influential Dancers in my life perform, Oguri. Oguri is based in Venice, Ca and like the others I mentioned has continued to develop his craft throughout his life. Seemingly ageless, something about his and the Tamano’s form that seem to not fear death but embrace the existence of the body, not to destroy it but be in it, sense in it, exist in it, understanding its fragility, and respecting it. Not to say they wish to be immortal...not at all. They stare at mortality and make it their intimate friend, not their over indulgent co-conspirator. This and their soft view on life and movement I believe slows their existence...a stroll to smell the flower on their chest.

I always have a profound experience watching Oguri. Yesterday was no different. In his form I see humanity, its ugliness, its silliness, its frailness and the way trauma can fracture it; transmuting these pieces into something wholesome, and healing. This piece I saw was about death and how our love ones from our childhood become the lovers of our present. How in dreams and memories these things blur, we embrace, this embrace becomes a holding of what was once before, a hope to remember a warmth from the past. We are just children hoping to be loved. Hoping to hold a familiar warm hand. Hoping to have someone there to tell us, it’s ok. To hold us to their chest and kiss us on our small foreheads.

Yet in life we sometimes are alone. Sometime we are scared. Sometimes we are broken. This is life, without this darkness the washing that is love would not feel so sweet.

I wonder why memory, for me, is so fresh in soreness. This lesson of memory as a warm fire, is a new one for me, it is something I am learning.

Thank you to my elders, thank you to the people I love.

My darkness finds home in your light.

Four Direction Prayer by DBL

One Human being presented on this Planet (under his feet=Earth, above
his head=Outer Space).

Standing toward to East (Sunrise, Future, Possibility, make things better).

on his Back=West ( Sunset, Past, Ancestors).

on his Right=South ( symbolized an old lady carry basket full eggs &
seeds. Nurture, Next Generations ).

on his Left=North (symbolized an old man with wisdom through his

experience. Teachers, Elders)

His body deform to Bird (to cross the sky), to Monkey (Hug a Tree), to be a Tree (Gather Energy of the Earth).

He release the Energy of the Earth through his body to the Sky, Carry back Sky into his body (Emptiness).

He presents himself to each direction, through his empty body, the
element of the direction blow through his body and exchanged to
opposite direction.

Dance of Life= Four Direction Pray
taught by Txi Whizz in Vancouver 1983

—Hiroko Tamano

Koichi and Hiroko Tamano at the Harrison House- Joshua Tree 08/22-08/24 by DBL

Greeting friends,

For anyone venturing out to Joshua Tree or for anyone wanting to experience the last performance and workshops by Kiochi and Hiroko Tamano and the Harupin-ha Dance Theater on the mainland here is the press release from Harrison House Music and Dance.  If I find a ride I will be there and performing as part of the troupe.


 *     *     *     *     * 

Dear Friends and Dance Lovers:

It is with great pleasure that we will host Harrison House artists-in-residence Koichi & Hiroko Tamano for a special farewell Butoh Dance Theater performance on August 22nd followed by a two-part workshop on August 23rd.

Living treasures, international touring artists and Harupin-ha creators, Koichi & Hiroko, have been performing and teaching Butoh for over 30 years and were the first to bring this dance form to the West.  The influence of Butoh originator Tatsumi Hijikata, who performed with and shaped the two artists, has left its imprint on them although the Tamanos have since forged their own style.

Many of you were in attendance when Koichi & Hiroko were last here, and we've received numerous requests for a return visit.  It is an honor to present their final U.S. mainland performance and workshops before they relocate back to Japan.

Monday, August 22, 2011, 7:30pm
“A Big Sky" (after the end of the world)
Donation: $15

Tuesday, August 23, 2011
"Create Your Own Horizon"
7:00 am~8:30am - $20
6:30 pm~9:00pm - $35

Workshops/Performance - $60
(Space is Limited)

Performance & Workshops will take place at Harrison House
(6881 Mt. Lassen Avenue, Joshua Tree, CA)

Tickets are available at: Joshua Tree Health Foods
(29 Palms Hwy at Sunset Street, Joshua Tree, CA)

For additional information call: 760.366.4712


Eva Soltes
Harrison House Music & Arts
P.O. Box 416
Joshua Tree, CA 92252