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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter speaks to love and power in Butoh, Pina Bausch, and Elizabeth Streb, as also embodied imagery in dance theater. Relationships of love and power in dance and theater draw on questions of consciousness and human will. All of the artists explored have challenged conventional paradigms of theater. The chapter explains butoh and contrasts it with the work of Bausch and Streb. Bausch’s expressionist tanztheater draws up gender clashes and the social body, while butoh bonds with nature and sinks toward disappearance. Bausch and butoh are both rooted in surrealist methods that use subconscious life and the irrational absurd, but with highly contrasting aesthetic results. Streb provides a keen contrast to both butoh and Bausch, being physically cast in relation to laws of nature, such as gravity. Butoh and Bausch are decidedly subjective, while Streb is a study in objective awareness.

Keywords: Pina Bausch, Elizabeth Streb, butoh, dance theater, embodied imagery, tanztheater

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