Photo: Gunnar H Stening
Brutal and beautiful, raw and sublime
Swedish choreographer and Butoh artist SU-EN is pursuing the issues of the body and the world in her artistic activities. With roots in the Japanese Butoh and influence from conceptual and performance art the work is directed towards exploring the urgent and extreme situation of the contemporary body.
SU-EN was living in Japan between 1986-1994. She was for 5 years a disciple of Tomoe Shizune, artistic director of the Tomoe Shizune & Hakutobo Butoh group, originally formed by the late Tatsumi Hijikata. SU-EN was also a member of the sister group of Tomoe Shizune & Hakutobo, Gnome where Yoko Ashikawa was teaching and choreographing.
In 1992 SU-EN danced in the performance Kaze no Cho, designed and choregraphed by Tomoe Shizune and produced with generous support of the dancers in the Tomoe Shizune and Hakutobo group. SU-EN also has a licence in the Izumo school of Jiuta-mai (traditional Japanese dance) as well as a wide experience in various Japanese body methods and martial arts.
SU-EN’s work might be described as a body where the human shapes have been erased. The body is urged to confront other living matters as well as the social, cultural and political situation around. A power in the body beyond the individual human power is aimed for. Images and fragments from nature, its shapes and conditions of living are present and presented. Simple and visual as the dance may appear, it initiates a strong concentration and presence of the viewer.
The activities are based in Sweden where the process of finding a nordic Butoh body is in process. SU-EN is presently active in a wide area of performing; touring to festivals with choreographed pieces, site-specific happenings/art interventions and collaborations with different artists and musicians. Since 1994 performances have been created for and in shopping centres, nature art festivals, rock festivals, scrapyards, castles, trucks, boats and so on.