Butoh For Now

Embodiment in the Age of Pandemia

by Nobonke

September 2020 – January 2021

"Those who do not move, do not notice their chains." — Rosa Luxemburg

The Butoh Body-movement practice was born out of the devastation following the atomic bombings of Japan in 1945. This authentic expression heals.

Butoh for Now – Embodiment in the Age of Pandemia
  • is an online movement course in Body movement for adults serving humanity,
  • meets the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of professionals in human change,
  • addresses Pandemia in embodied ways as a new way of learning,
  • cares for potentially harmful and sedentary states of being,
  • provides a space for Pandemia to become an era of integrated human experience,
  • is for everyone who yearns for meaningful guided and witnessed Body-movement,
  • is for the philosopher of the Body inherent in everybody.

Pandemia expresses a clear moment affecting all life on the planet. It spans beyond a virus into a different reality of the world. Humanity is at an accelerated pace to redefine itself. Words such as survival, sanity, stability, common sense, judgement, clarity and health, and a deepened humanity foreground the media and conversations. Our way of being embodied is now at stake.

Butoh for Now responds to this time on our planet as an expression of sensible embodiment, a felt sense of awakening and emergent wisdom in simple and easy ways.

Five months
September 2020 – January 2021
This course is now closed to participants.
120 minutes per session
Zoom →
Should you be interested in this particular exploration of embodiment for your group, contact Nobonke for further information.

Butoh for Now

Is the embodied response to a lifestyle
which considers the presence of the Body
in its most authentic expression of being

Nobonke van Tonder is a South African Butoh dancer and ontological coach. Her explorations of the Body-mind in times of crisis and transformation began in 1980. As in humankind's previous eras, the sustainable connection between psyche and Body during watershed moments is now at stake. Van Tonder's application of Butoh methodology to those who wish to move their Bodies offers participants an unusual opportunity to experience the vastness of humanity and the potential strides it could make at this time of Pandemia.

Read here about The Unity of Embodied Existence when the Body becomes an integrated entity of wholeness.

Butoh for Now

Three Crossings

Crossing One ~ REACH        3 September – 29 October 2020

Nine weeks' exploration of the intrinsic intelligence of the Body in Motion.

  • The Flowing Body
  • The Primal Body
  • The Instinctive Body
  • The Integral Body
  • The Sacred Body
  • The Subtle Body
  • The Humane Body
  • The Sane Body
  • The Compassionate Body


Butoh has been a wonderful companion during this time, a sacred space of exploration, holding and embodiment of patterns, themes and concepts that we are all facing in daily life at this point in history.
More Comments

You made me aware of many things I previously took for granted or simply did not see. I love music but never realised that there are so many rhythms in our bodies and lives. It was fascinating to be made aware of the interaction between body and mind.

This work encourages the suspension of judgement in favour of acceptance and tolerance of myself as well as others.

This work has been an unmissable experience. It delves into the different 'bodies' we have with precision, cutting through sentimentality and the realm of the personal affect, for each of us in our own way to embody the infinite array of intelligences that are available. You structure the sessions with Buddhist simplicity and human complexity so that each exercise becomes a world of metaphoric realities. Here, the pressures and tensions of being human and facing the devastation of the 21st century and our responsibility in it, can be met, explored and touched, as we are touched. When we get these deep wisdoms of consciousness in the body, we can live them into our lives. When we are touched by these sacred encounters with ourselves, we feel an immense capacity to stand up and suffer our loving and be loved. You bring together mind, body, soul and spirit within the one house of our skin and we dance, alive, alert, and witness to the resilience of our being present, here and now, with this terrible beauty. Thank you.

The idea of having a movement vocabulary, as obvious as that sounds, really landed for me during Butoh. There have been so many times we have embodied and practised aspects of situations or patterns that I'm dealing with in some area, personal, socially, or work, that have helped me to process, or prepared me for something.

You have touched us all so deeply with these sessions, both stimulating and releasing tensions within these many bodies, that I have insufficient words to describe my gratitude and joy.

I just want to thank you for the sessions so far. I'm experiencing them as such a gift of learning and I have been looking forward to the next one each time.

Crossing Two ~ TOUCH        5 November – 10 December 2020

Six weeks' exploration of the intrinsic intelligence of the Body as Pandemia.

  • Rise and Fall and Rise
  • Still and Unknown
  • Darkness and Calmness
  • Complexity and Simplicity
  • Infinitesimally Small and Cosmically Vast
  • Attuned Presence


The best psychotherapy and philosophical immersion available!
More Comments

We moved into a membrane-like quality of a group soul.

I felt myself moving constantly between hard work and light work. I need another 20 years of training (at least) to get the full extent of the complex material you offer. It seemed like neural work, like my nervous system being woken up.

You have that rare gift of introducing people to new ways of doing and seeing and breaking conventional barriers in our lives.

Being able to move in terms of various themes was wonderful.

It is the learning process with the other members that makes the difference.

It's really hard to encapsulate the whole experience of Butoh as it is so rich and layered, and feeds into so many aspects of other things that have been unfolding in my life.

The great integrity with which you hold the space, and of the group that has assembled as a reflection of your authentic artistry, is really a privilege to be part of. To witness and be witnessed has been transformational.

Crossing Three ~ YIELD        7 – 28 January 2021

Four weeks' exploration of the intrinsic intelligence of the Body, surrendering.

  • States of Consciousness
  • Presence Absence Presence
  • Crossing
  • "I am here to stay." "You are welcome."


Without consort, here is where I can practice to hold my boundaries, and to live with acceptance and generosity.
More Comments

I now know that to sacrifice takes consciousness to a higher frequency, which is lighter somehow than life. It is a territory I now know intimately.

My love is poised and respectful, what form it takes in this lifetime, is yet to come.

Working with you is a sober delight.

Frequently Asked Questions

+ How does the course Butoh-For-Now work?
Butoh for Now is an online facilitation of movement practice. You register here and will receive a Zoom link which you access 15 minutes before the time. Choose one of two time slots on Thursdays, either at 10h00 or at 17h00 South African Standard Time.
The full course: 3 September 2020 – 28 January 2021, with a break from 17 December 2020 – 7 January 2021.

+ How long are the sessions?
Each session is two hours long which will give you an experiential exploration of a theme for the day. Embodiment practice is best not crammed into a short time. The gains are sustainable and optimal in 120 uninterrupted minutes.

+ When will the sessions take place?
The sessions are weekly, September 2020 – January 2021. Two sessions covering the same material will take place each Thursday at 10h00 and 17h00 South Africa Standard Time.

+ What do I wear and where do I do the sessions?
Wear comfortable clothes. Gently warm up your Body in your own way since it will enhance your experience. Have water and a snack if you are so inclined. Create a space in a room or office with your internet and computer for your Body to move in with a sense of ease and space. Decide how you wish your room to accommodate your personal comfort and hygiene. Peace, to access your movement, is what you want.

+ Does one have to have a certain physical fitness?
The way you are when you showed an interest in this course is where you begin. As you may learn over time, your honouring and respect for your Body is what gives you access to the course content. This feeling grows throughout the course. You may then develop an interest in what your Body wants at this time. The gift of the work you do will bring compassion for your Body's journey during this time. More than fitness, you need curiosity and interest in the being you are, in movement.

+ How much does the course cost?
In registering for each Crossing you Go Here.

The first session of Crossing 1 - The Flowing Body - is free.

Crossing One~ 9 weeks3 September – 29 OctoberZAR3200 / Euro320 / USD320
Crossing Two~ 6 weeks5 November – 10 DecemberZAR2400 / Euro240 / USD240
Crossing Three~ 4 weeks7 January – 28 JanuaryZAR1600 / Euro 160 / USD160

+ How soon before a Crossing do I register?
Not less than 24 hours. This way you will be prepared with the theme, music and Zoom link.

Crossing One runs for 9 weeks from 3 September to 29 October. The first session is free. Admission to the remaining 8 sessions must be paid for in full by 7 September 2020.

Crossing Two builds on Crossing One. Admission to Crossing Two is therefore limited to participants who have completed Crossing One. The deadline for payment in full for Crossing Two is 2 November 2020.

Crossing Three builds on Crossings One and Two. Admission to Crossing Three is therefore limited to participants who have completed Crossings One and Two. The deadline for payment in full for Crossing Three is 4 January 2021.

+ Could I attend Crossing Two or Three without Crossing One?
Unfortunately not. You want to develop your movement vocabulary to give you the support and firm basis for deeper explorations of Pandemia and your embodiment of this time. This is the kind of course that you need to have a strong Body-mind for. You will attain this from Crossing One through to Three with support and guidance.

+ How will I know what the theme and music will be?
24 hours before the session you will receive an email with Notes - a description of the day's work, the Music that will be played, and your Zoom link. You need this to be able to join the group with a sense of what is contained in the session. Most important is the Zoom link. Music will be played through your machine on the Zoom call. If you have access to Spotify, you may wish to open the playlist yourself.

+ Will I be able to move to the choice of music?
The music is carefully chosen to accommodate your movement to the easy instructions. It will support your access to the inner world of movement. It is mostly ambient, discreet yet containing the processes you will be exploring. If you are a mover preferring independence of music you may turn your sound off.

+ Is there an age limit to Butoh?
At the time of this writing I am 65 years old. In my experience Butoh grows with ageing because it rewards with integration and wisdom. As we age, the notions of Body and mind seem to separate surreptitiously. Any attempt to nudge your movement and your thinking about your movement closer, will benefit your overall health. If you wish to work with Conscious Ageing, a workshop I offer here, by forming your group, you will discover how vital the integrity of the Body is to healthy mental activity. In my assessment, presence of mind is largely presence of Body. Butoh's orginators, Hijikata and Ono, danced till their last days. You may also be interested in Butoh Earth Works, a coaching and movement offer for people who wish to overcome the tragic environmental disconnect that impacts on our beings in disastrous ways, ecologically and psychologically.

I truly experience conscious ageing as the most transformative event in my life. I don't take ageing for granted. It comes with enormous gifts which would be sad to lose out on. Living-with / dying-with is a profound concept we work with in Conscious Aging and Butoh Earth Works which you may want to explore.

+ What would the themes for the five months be?
Crossing One~ REACH~ 9 sessions
– will familiarise you with how to access yourself through your Body movement. You will learn about this methodology with care and compassion for your process of embodiment.
Crossing Two~ TOUCH~ 6 sessions
– will apply your movement technique to the current era of Pandemia.
Crossing Three~ YIELD~ 4 sessions
– will immerse you in the spiritual richness of movement and its value in Pandemia. For more information go here.

+ Could one continue with Butoh after the end of this course?
Butoh for Now ~ Embodiment in the Age of Pandemia is an opportunity to uncover our embodiment practices now. Once you have completed this course, another course will be offered to practitioners of this method for deepened embodiment. This is an embodied journey in personal evolution. We live in a challenging time. Your personal transformation will inspire future work in any field you work and live in.

+ Who are you?
Nobonke ~ we are all together now ~ is my Xhosa name as I belong to the Majoli clan in South Africa. My ancestors Hendriks and Van Tonder arrived in the Cape in 1700. I live in Cape Town. Dance is my signature. Butoh is my practice. As Ontological Coach I assist in language, emotions and Body to be in service of people who are changing. See the rest of my activities here.


"A very affirming experience of self-value, hope in the moment in what is unknown."

"I am so enjoying this strange art revealed to me so slowly and carefully."

The work is great and pioneering.

"Today I moved in an ancient sacred space."

Through this work I know uncertainty very well. It became the truth of everything around me. Truth is easy. That's how it is.

"Thank you for such depth."

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