Diego Piñon, a master teacher, choreographer and performer in the Japanese dance form butoh, came to Alfred University for a residency that included a lecture and intensive workshop open to students, faculty, staff and community members. Piñon is among the most well-regarded and sought-after performers, directors, and teachers of butoh, a contemporary dance form that originated in Japan in the 1950s. He has studied extensively and performed with many of the masters of butoh, including Kazuo Ohno, one of the founders of the form. A native of Mexico, with a background in modern dance and theater, he incorporates Mesoamerican ritual practice and philosophy into his approach to teaching and dancemaking; this approach, which he calls Butoh Ritual Mexicano, has aesthetic ends, though the larger purpose is, as he states:
“[…] touching, if only for a moment, the inexplicable matter of the human soul.”
While based in Tlalpujajua, Mexico, Piñon regularly teaches, lectures, performs and choreographs ensemble works throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe. Since the early 1990s, he has spent a substantial amount of time in Japan studying and collaborating with first- and second-generation butoh masters. As a result, Piñon’s dance work and teaching reflect a distinctly Japanese perspective on butoh, coupled with a deep investigative knowledge of his own Mexican cultural heritage. His residency at AU will include a lecture and three intensive experiential workshops in Butoh Ritual Mexicano.