Dancing Into Darkness

Butoh, Zen, and Japan

Fraleigh's wide-ranging text is a kaleidoscope of her butoh and Zen experiences that blend with notes on Buthoh's origins. . . . Yet this is not a surface account, but a carefully crafted record from an American dance academic. . . There is a dream-time quality about the writing itself with cultural, personal and historical all inter-linked.
Dance Now

Dancing Into Darkness is Sondra Horton Fraleigh's chronological diary of her deepening understanding of and appreciation for this art form, as she moves from a position of aesthetic response as an audience member to that of assimilation as a student. As a student of Zen and butoh, Fraleigh witnesses her own artistic and personal transformation through essays, poems, interviews, and reflections spanning twelve years of study, much of it in Japan. Numerous performance photographs and original calligraphy by Fraleigh's Zen teacher Shodo Akane illuminate her words.
The pieces of Dancing Into Darkness cross boundaries, just as butoh anticipates a growing global amalgamation. “Butoh is not an aesthetic movement grafted onto Western dance, ” Fraleigh concludes, “and Western dance may be more Eastern than we have been able to see. “

288 Pages, 6 x 8 in.

February, 2010

isbn : 9780822961154

about the author

Sondra Horton Fraleigh

Sondra Horton Fraleigh chairs the Department of Dance at the State University of New York, Brockport. She is the author of Dance and the Lived Body and co-editor (with Penelope Hanstein) of Researching Dance: Evolving Modes of Inquiry. Her articles have been published in texts on dance and movement, philosophy, and cognitive development. She has been a guest teacher of dance and somatic therapy in America, Japan, England, and Norway. She has served as president of the Congress of Research in Dance and is a Faculty Exchange Scholar for the State University of New York. Her innovative choreography has been seen on tour in America, Germany, and Japan, where she has also been a visiting scholar at several universities.

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Sondra Horton Fraleigh