Sacred Flesh at Liverpool Hope

I have just returned from the Sacred Places Conference in Liverpool which ran from 20 – 22 April at Liverpool Hope University. My presentation interrogates the notion of Sacred Flesh, by reflecting on my experience of visiting the Sokushinbutsu or Flesh Buddhas of Japan with Ko Murobushi in 2014.

Keynote speakers included Anne Bean, and a range of artists, scientists, astronomers, anthropologists and was a fascinating mix of ideas, thoughts and provocations that addressed where the sacred might exist within the contemporary. Together we were given free reign to dialogue with a word that seems banned or relegated to a secret, unspoken realm within a culture driven by logic and rationalism: it was like being allowed to breathe a little deeper.

Some notes:

‘Home’ as the extension of self: a sacred space can be a moving place for nomadic people.

Body as ‘home’: if the body becomes a sacred space, how does it then become violated?

Sacred spaces as being detached from the mundane and representing an idealized purity.

Irradiation of spaces by the bodies of performers, actors.

“staying with the trouble requires learning to be truly present, not as a vanishing pivot between awful or edenic pasts and apocalyptic or salvific futures, but as mortal critters entwined in myriad unfinished configurations of places, times, matters, meanings…” Donna Haraway, Staying with the Trouble





Vacancies at Galerie Wedding

My work Rota is installed at Galerie Wedding’s Vacancies exhibition which runs until 24 September. I will also be developing a durational performance all day on 17 September during Berlin Art Week.

The concept of Vacancies is to reframe the gallery as a flatshare or WG in German. Each artist has proposed an axis of enquiry and the works respond to sharing spaces in the context of ‘Post Otherness’, a notion put forward by Bonaventure S.B. Ndikung and Regina Römhild in the ‘Post-Other as Avantgarde’ (2013).

Rota explores cycles within the temporalities of spaces by focusing on the mundane act of cleaning as a way to deterritorialise and allow the possibility of transformation.


photo : Olaf Kramzik






Black Walks goes to Delphi, Greece

After having branched out into Field Trip Asia last year, visiting Singapore and the Philippines in a travelling exhibition curated by Daisuke Takeya, Black Walks will be part of the Animart Conference in Delphi, Greece. I will present the project and screen some of the films I made from the performances in the programme ‘Made of Walking’ curated by Milena Principle


photo: Pablo Cousinou

No Winter’s Tale 17 January 2016

‘Kein Wintermärchen’ is a performance event taking place at Funkhaus, Berlin on 17 January 2016. ‘No Winter’s Tale’ doesn’t provide a red thread for finding your way through the maze, but it is up to the viewer to rediscover their own narratives, their own sense through a labyrinth of visual riddles and cryptic becomings.

I will be performing ‘RED – Twilight’ exploring the engulfing bowels of my gigantic red costume within the tunnels and recesses in the old radio building, Funkhaus.


Participating Artists:

Dominique Baron-Bonarjee (Berlin)
Gábor Czap (Budapest)
Marina Epp (Berlin)
Zoe Goldstein (Berlin)
Ksenia Lazarieva Guinea (Madrid)
Brigitta Horváth (Sers, France)
Tony Dionys Segers (Antwerp)
Saverio Tonoli (Berlin)
Iphigenia Vogiatzaki (Berlin)

Address: Funkhaus Berlin, Nalepastraße 18-50, Atelier 406

(Tram 21 from Rummelsburg or Frankfurter Tor to ‘Kopenicker Chaussee/Blockdammweg)




The Four Dignities – Butoh workshop 28 & 29 November

Dance exists between zero and one, when you get to one, you must return to zero“, Yoshito Ohno

Butoh emerged as a physical language of actions, happenings and revolt in 1960s Tokyo. Today it has gained popularity as a dance or theatre form in many countries. At its origins Butoh, more than a form, is a method for exploring what the moving, lived body is as flesh, as structure, as semiotic object.

In this workshop we will explore the material quality of the body through the concept of the ‘Four Dignities of Zen’ walking, standing, sitting and lying down. As the basic positions through which the body exists the majority of the time, we will become conscious of the minutiae of movement that are at work within the structures of our bodies. Moving between these states through alternate points of reference including space, time, anatomy and imagery we will move into dance as we go towards 1…and then go back to zero.

It is at this zero level that a dance can emerge directly from awareness and sensitivity. Over the 2 days we will move between subjective and objective positions of experience and observation of the body, always referring back to the creation of the body for dance and performance by developing solo pieces and group works.

This is an open-level workshop open to artists, performers, dancers and people with an interest in movement.

Place: London Buddhist Arts Centre, Bullards Place, London E2 0PT
Time: 10.30am – 5.30pm
Advance booking: £ 100 full / £ 85 conc. (2 days): £ 60 / £ 50 (1 day)

Payment on the day: £ 110 / 90 / 65

EMAIL RESERVATION & INFO dominique.bonarjee[at]

Feedback and comments from previous workshops:

“Thank you for a lovely workshop … I really am fascinated by this idea of ​​body as material also as it’s a really interesting part of Butoh that you brought to my attention – I usually use a lot of images and it was good for me to not use those images but go into the body as it is. “Azzie

” It was a really inspiring positive experience which provided me with food for thought, increased body awareness and gave me a great idea !! Big thanks to Dominique and the other people at the workshop It was great. ” Tania




It is with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Ko Murobushi, a great teacher, a fellow wanderer, someone who really lived, experienced, questioned, and danced…with many of us. I am re-blogging a series of conversations that I had with him over the course of the last two years 2013-2014, in various cafés around Takadanobaba, dance events, bars, his small apartment. We laughed, we drank, we misunderstood each other at times. And then we went to Yamagata, the last trip I made before I left Japan in 2014. He was returning to Yudono-san, the sacred mountain of spiritual rebirth part of the Dewa Sanzan. As we sat at the shrine, Ko, Kimiko, Arihiro (Yamada) and myself, with our feet dipping in the warm water, Ko told us that the last time he had been there was at the start of his journey, of his wandering… 47 years before when he experienced the Yamabushi life for a time. Perhaps he has returned there once again…   read more >>

At Mount Yudono
At Mount Yudono
Ko on the coast at sunset
In front of the Shrine of Tetsumonkai, Yamagata
In front of the Shrine of Tetsumonkai, Yamagata

“Time and space is body”: A conversation about choreography with Yukio Waguri

Dominique and Yukio Waguri at the Art Centre

© Dominique Baron-Bonarjee 2015

This interview is no longer available online

In the last three years, I interviewed a number of artists and dancers directly or indirectly linked to Butoh. I have published most of these conversations on this blog  at some point so as to share these exchanges publicly.

Today I am publishing a conversation I had with Yukio Waguri, one of the main dancers working with Tatsumi Hijikata in the 1970s. Waguri continues to teach, dance and discuss his experiences of this important time in the choreographic development of Butoh.

In this interview we discuss in great depth the development of Butoh-Fu by Hijikata as well as considering the implications of a choreographic system.

This conversation was facilitated by the Hijikata Archive at the Art Centre, Keio University. I wish to sincerely thank Mr Takashi Morishita for organising this interview and offering the meeting room and especially a very sincere thank you to Yu Homma who was present through out the conversation and provided an excellent translation of the more complex aspects of this interview.

7 August 2014, Hijikata Archive, Art Centre, Keio University, Tokyo

 Waguri Yukio and Dominique Baron-Bonarjee

 Translator: Homma Yu