This year long program is an unusual explorative study into the ontology ('way of being')
of the human as extraordinary times:
Pandemia | Post-colony | Decolony | Animism | Anthropocene | Chthulocene | and more....

The diagram below illustrates the interfacing of the Body, Soul and Spirit in this work.

We embody lasting behaviour patterns – micro and vast – that may or may not be the result of a traumatic experience, but may latently hold the embodied sense-making.
We are present with the
effects of an event and this is treated as a longing that may underlie the wise choice of a lingering behaviour.
The choice of behaviour or longing may be the result of an unmet need close to our unspoken future way of being.

In Butoh Trauma we are creative beings, inviting into our ontology
extraordinary futures from an unthinkable past.

Butoh Trauma is

  • an unusually brave undertaking to study your ontology
  • expanding your experiential vocabulary to understand your innate choices
  • a creative approach on the edge of urbanity, anarchy and performance
  • holding your physical being in extremely high regard to gift you with movement
  • movement always accompanying you fullest ontology possible
  • an undertaking of forces of the self into the unknown of times
  • a learning emanating from being real in uncertain waters

As a group you will receive all notes underlying this study. An appointed member of your
group will load this onto a facility such as Google Drive into which you may add your own
notes of the different dances and extractions of knowledge. These will be treated as an
archive of your experience as a group and which you may wish to revisit over time.

Twelve months: Eleven Butoh portals and one Conjunction.
First Thursday of each month 2021-2022
Commencing Thursday 3 June 2021
Three hours 9-12 SAST
Online Zoom
Requirement: Registration closing Friday 14 May 2021
Fee R6600 for full program | Two tranches at R3300 | R550 per portal for 12 portals preceding each portal.



"In Kyoto, a friend and I sat in a tiny seven seater theatre and watched a Butoh performance called "Underworld Flower." It was exquisite, we were mesmerised. Every muscle in my body and soul ached as if I had been the dancer myself. This year with you, that experience has been realised in time and space, stretching through eternity and happening in the blink of an eye. My being has been stretched beyond comfort and yet I feel more at home than ever. A rare and treasured flowering of experience. Gratitude is inadequate, I think I have fallen into "love!""

"Butoh as an incredible discovery into how the body wants to speak and what wants to speak through. A moving act of imagination that was completely enthralling and left me with a rich experience, to be slowly digested after each class. My group morphed into aspects and characters I was happy to see come alive!"

"As deeply as I could die to the one who interprets my life, the more this dancing soul took me across thresholds and into images in ways that touched and tore me open. I am so grateful for the searing honesty of each of your classes, the gentle guidance into reimagining shock as the longing unmet, and the profound moments when I felt it in my body - the love of being met, of meeting images in me."

"I feel sometimes there are no words. I'm just so grateful. For the content, for the timing. Thank you for the prayer, the egg. Thank you for the fearless falling, the shaking, destroying and creating. Thank you for the music. I'm very happy to have the notes and playlists to refer back to. I bless you with a fruitful garden."

"this work/play has been quite extraordinary for me...
never been a dancer and never really even drawn, to be honest, to butoh, necessarily,
but i arrived because of some recognition that there's something happening here with
this tossie women, something she's stirring in the inexpressible realms, having reached out, herself,
perhaps, or been born into it, (who's to say)...but she carries the lamp, and i'm glad i arrived because
each week has been revelation - of possibilities, of depths; tho
some weeks, sure, there's lightness and glad play, others go to the furious core...
but always this shining appreciation of us, and delight in whatever we present, the forms the sounds
vibrate us towards... while she, in unrelenting, steady gentle accepting holds
us in awareness, allowing us to play out our inner children, inner angsty aunts,
inner mortal deaths and outer joys...
too much to say and nothing that can be fashioned into words, only
mountains of gratitude, oceans of honey, dreams of the material, ephemeral and real.. ..."things are
not as they appear, nor are they otherwise..."

"I do not want anybody to see me doing this work, except you. I am no longer being consoled by my history. I feel indigenous to myself."

"It is the embodiment of one's experience of facets of trauma that interests me. The willing and conscious manifestations of images felt within a dynamic paradoxical tension in body movement is the soul's yearning for selflove."

"This incredible year-long journey carried me through the pandemic. Each session opened up spaces inside parts of my psyche which initially felt too traumatized and closed up to access. It has been amazing to bring imagination, exploration and play into all the more messy or difficult parts of human experience. And to find a depth of knowledge and creativity to carry me through."

Nobonke van Tonder
Image: Nico Athene

Artist's Residency ~ Environmental Learning Research Centre, Department of Education, Rhodes University, Eastern Cape, South Africa.