A Re-Creation of Mary Wigman’s Ceremonial Figure Emphasizing the Noh Theater and Butoh Elements

No Thumbnail Available
Whaley, Ginny
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
This project is a re-creation of Mary Wigman’s Ceremonial Figure that aims to highlight and re-contextualize the Noh Theater and butoh influences. Mary Wigman, along with other modern dance pioneers, was inspired by Eastern cultures that she deemed exotic and closer to nature. Beginning in 1925, Wigman was inspired by Noh Theater and its use of the mask as a transformative element. Noh Theater is a ritual theater formed through possession rituals that began in the 1300s. Wigman, in turn, inspired butoh, an avant-garde Japanese dance form that was also inspired by Noh Theater and began in the 1960s. The re-creation of Wigman’s Ceremonial Figure is thus an attempt to reconcile modern dance's history of borrowing movement without context and Wigman's hope for a transcultural dance form. To construct the re-creation, I studied butoh exercises, Wigman’s choreographies, and Noh Theater’s structure. From butoh, I utilize the technique and quality of the movement. From Wigman, I utilize the performative quality, movement, and theme. Lastly, from Noh, I utilize the transformative element, character development, and mask technique.
dance, anthropology, interdisciplinary, butoh, Noh Theater, Mary Wigman