OHNO KAZOU – You will be missed.

By Patricia Sauthoff

Butoh legend Ohno Kazou passed away at 103, according to a report by the BBC. The dancer helped found the avant garde style in the 1960s with Hijikata Tatsumi.

Ohno was a strong athlete and bad student in his youth. Born 1906, he didn’t begin to dance until 1930s when he taught physical education in a Japan high school. In 1938 he was drafted into the military and served until the end of WWII, when he was released from a New Guinea POW camp.

Ohno was an active dancer until late 1990s when he became wheelchair bound and taught until his death.

The Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio, which Ohno founded in 1949, announced the June 1 death with a statement as simply presented but as fraught with emotion as Ohno’s work itself.

Yoshito Ohno, Kazuo’s son, has carried on his father’s legacy and work, conducting workshops for anyone who is interested several times a week.

Click here for more thoughts on the passing of this performative legend.

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