Butoh residency / performace - Yumino Seki

9 - 13th May  2024

A point of Transformation.

This 5 day residential workshop culminates into a site-specific performance directed by Yumino Seki at Felinganol Woodland Retreat in West Wales. 

Submerged in the landscape of Felinganol we will explore its rhythm, space and terrain including the untamed woods and the river Mwldan.  During the day we will devise various themes from a Butoh perspective and evenings will involve simple costume making with  found materials from the landscape. 

Butoh is a form of avant-garde dance which emerged from the post war chaos in Japan in the late 50s when the country was grappled by the clash between new Western technology and traditional Japanese values.  Butoh was called ‘the dance of darkness’.  Influenced by German Expressionism, self-identity was radically explored with culturally diverse concepts through bodily expression. 

Shifting attention from ‘action’ to ‘active listening’ somatic practice* will  help widen the perception to connect to the deeper self in particular experiential anatomy and developmental movement.  This practice will aid the devising process, a series of guided improvisations using imageries and concepts, such as Wabi (humbleness/simplicity), Sabi (process of decay) and Ma (in between space which applies to both time & space).  The process will explore uniqueness of individual  expressions, which aim to embody dance, sensation and the themes through the transformative nature of the body.  Be playful, curious and attentive.   

The workshop will combine studio and outdoor work. Studio time focuses on body awareness drawn from somatic practice whereas outdoor work engages directly with the landscape where the boundaries of life & death become more fluid and the senses are more stimulated.  

Working in groups, pairs and individuals in both dynamic and quiet practice.  The performance will combine choreography and structured improvisation.      

Butoh sees dance as a living process and it pushes the boundaries of what we already know.  

‘My work starts from trust; trusting that the body has its own intelligence & experience.  Not moving but being moved.  Raw yet subtle, meditative yet self-destructive, stark yet sensual. Conflict and harmony co-exist in an ambiguous way.  I explore and reflect the inner self where the body becomes mere ‘being’ and where a point of transformation occurs’.  Yumino. 

*The Somatic is the study of a ‘person’ as a living functional body.  Integrating the body, mind and emotion whilst using movement as the main exploratory tool.

Yumino SEKI is a Japanese dance artist, Butoh practitioner and qualified somatic movement educator who performs, teaches and collaborates to make performances.

She has been interested in the authenticity of the temporal body for many years resulting in many dance pieces, which are site responsive and improvised in nature. Collaborating with artists from diverse disciplines has given her a broad approach to her movement practice.  Since 2013 developing her Butoh and somatic work SEKI has been directing group choreography with cross-discipline performances. 

Between 1999-2009 she performed in Butoh predominately with Tadashi Endo (Mamu Dance Theatre), Yumiko Yoshioka (Ten-Pen-Chii) both in Germany and Carlotta Ikeda (Ariadone) in France. In 2012  she became qualified in VMI Somatic Practice with Patricia Bardi in Amsterdam.

Expanding her work in theatre, music, film and visual art she collaborates with a broad range of artists including  Zadie Xa for her projects including performances at the 58th Venice Biennale, Art Night, Dance International Glasgow, Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada & The National Gallery, London.

SEKI's work is informed by the cultural depth and diversity of both the UK and Japan. Her development in her movement has been a gradual exploration of both her collective and self-identity.

Info tBC asap.


Starts: 4pm Thursday 9 May 2024

Ends: 1pm Monday 13th May 2024


£420 (incl. single occupancy cabin accommodation)

£250 (without accommodation)

Enquire directly for double cabins if attending with a partner.

Bed-linen £15pp or BYO (duvets, pillows & blankets included).


Felinganol cabins are cosy and immersed in in the forest alongside the river Mwldan and near the studio. They have electricity and heating. There are two showers & 2 compost toilets. There is a communal lodge for cooking, dining, making tea and a wood burning stove. There is also a covered fire circle for outdoor fires. We aspire to make as little impact on the environment as possible. It's a 5 minute drive to Mwnt beach and Aberteifi / Cardigan town.