Dance Archive Network’s Fundamental Principles:

The concept underlying the not-for profit organization Dance Archive Network,hereafter referred to as DAN, is to overtake the responsibility of the archives of its acting parent organization, the Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio.

Kazuo Ohno (1906-2010), founder of the Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio, studied under many of the pioneers of Japanese modern dance since the 1930s, before embarking on a solo career as a dancer in the late 1940s. In the 1960s, alongside Tatsumi Hijikata and other Japanese contemporary dancers, Ohno created a new dance form commonly referred to as Butoh, before going on to produce a series of outstanding performances that have been inscribed in the 20th century’s dance history. Nowadays, the original Japanese dance phenomenon of Butoh has attained international acclaim and continues to exercise significant influence on contemporary art forms worldwide. The Kazuo Ohno Archives, which was established to preserve the wealth of material accumulated by Ohno over his lifetime, has continually promoted activities such as book / DVD publishing, multi-media exhibitions, programming dance festival in Japan and overseas, while also taking the initiative to inform the world of the importance of dance archives.

In the Europe and North America, dance archives are generally housed in universities and public cultural facilities; in Japan, however, there are relatively few campuses with a dance department, and moreover hardly any cultural facilities that focus on disseminating historical materials related to contemporary dance. Given that by its very nature dance is a performative act, the work itself is ephemeral and will not continue to exist after the performance; what does remain, however, are the various materials related to its creation, ranging from the initial sketches to the finalized program. Usually, these primary source materials are largely in the possession and preserved by individual dancers, dance companies, as well as those connected to dance circles. The overriding problems facing such “private archives” are their management structures’ vulnerability and the difficulties in procuring sufficient funds to ensure proper maintenance of the archived materials. A management structure capable of preserving and disseminating valuable materials to future generations is thus essential; in some exceptional cases the archive material will eventually disappear. This predicament evidently poses an existential threat to ensuring a permanent transmission of dance culture.

As well as assuming responsibility for the activities of the Kazuo Ohno Archives, DAN also embraces the function of creating a new dance archive system that will grapple with prevailing issues such as permanency and proper maintenance. The dance archive of the future should be an agency that actively contributes to transmitting and renewing dance culture. DAN is thus an archive facility that will expand the concept underpinning existing archives as a reference and store room for historical source materials, while acting as a business entity for research, creation, and performance.

The Dance Archive Network is a not-for profit organization that engages in the following activities:
· Collection, preservation, publication, and dissemination of important primary source materials related to the history of Butoh and Western Dance in Japan.
· Content planning production availing of archive materials (performances, exhibitions, publications, etc.)
· Development and dissemination of databases with the objective of gathering archive materials
· Development and dissemination of advanced archiving methods (Virtual Reality etc.)
· Establishing an international network of archives
· Business initiatives to use archive materials for cultural facilities, educational institutions, etc.

Based on fundamental principles, the Dance Archive Network embraces the ideal of establishing a new form of dance archive built around a just and equitable management structure.

We would appreciate any support that you might be able to give us.

NPO Dance Archive Network
Director: Toshio Mizohata

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DAN has collected some 25,000 items related to Kazuo Ohno and Yoshito Ohno: flyers, programs, photographs, videos, films, memos and so forth. We will expand our collection by supplementing it with materials from the worlds of butoh as well as its source, namely, modern dance. Once the archival data has been digitalized, we will commence uploading it.
(*The below is just a glimpse.)

  • Tatsumi HIJIKATA's "Dance Experience" (1960)
  • "Mr O's Book of The Dead" (1976)
  • "Admiring La Argentina" (1977 permiere)
  • "My Mother" (1981 premiere)
  • Kazuo Ohno's performance in Jerusalem (1983)
  • "Flowers-Birds-Wind-Moon" (1992)
  • "The Palace Soars through the Sky" (1993)
  • "Ogurihangan and Terute-hime" (1993)
  • "Requiem for the 20th Century" (1999)
  • Admiring La Argentina 1977
  • South America Tour 1986
  • Admiring La Argentina 1991
  • The Palace Soars Through the Sky 1993
  • Seoul Butoh Festival 1993
  • North American Tour 1993
  • Perfornace at Jardin du Palais Royal, Paris 1994
  • Kazuo Ohno's centenary 2006-2007
  • Gala performance to celebrate Kazuo Ohno's centenary "Hyakkaryoran" 2007
  • Kazuo Ohno's 1st modern dance recital (1949)
  • Kazuo Ohno's 4th modern dance recital (1953)
  • Kazuo Ohno's modern dance recital "The Old Man and Sea" (1959)
  • "Admiring La Argentina" (1977 premiere)
  • The 14th Nancy Festival (1980)
  • Kazuo Ohno's performance in Stockholm (1980)
  • "My Mother" (1981 premiere)
  • Kazuo Ohno's performances in South America (1986)
  • Helsinki Festival (1991)
  • "Bee" (1951)
  • "Rose-coloured Dance" (1965)
  • "The Old Man and Sea" (1959)
  • At the dressing room (1987)
  • "My Mother" (1986)
  • At the "Infinite Festival" (1978)
  • With Pina Bausch
  • "Admiring La Argentina" (1977)
  • "Water Lilies" at Amherst (1993)
  • Conversation with a critic Naruo Goda
  • "Kazuo Ohno's World" at the Keio University (1996)
  • "From Divinarianes" in Yokohama (1996)
  • Tour in North America (1993)
  • Tour in North America (1993)
  • "My Mother" in Kushiro (1996)
  • From the news clip (New York 1996)
  • "Ogurihangan Terute-hime" in Fujisawa (1993)
  • Kazuo Ohno's Dance Training and Pedagogical Methods at Soshin Girls' School, Yokohama/ Kazuko Takahashi, Yokohama National University
    (Click to view the PDF file)
  • "Admiring La Argentina" (date unknown)
  • "Admiring La Argentina" (date unknown)
  • "Admiring La Argentina" (date unknown)
  • "The Old Man and Sea" (1959)
  • "The Old Man and Sea" (1959)
  • "My Mother" (1981)
  • "My Mother" (1981)
  • "My Mother" (1986
  • "My Mother" (1987)
  • Tokyo Newspaper, Dec.3, 1949
  • Shinyukan Newpaper, Dec.9, 1949
  • The Sun Pictorial Daily, Jan. 25, 1957
  • The Sun Pictorial Daily, April 30, 1959
  • Le Monde, May 21, 1980
  • Quarterly magazine "Dance Work" vol.28, Dec.1980
  • Weekly magazine "Asahi graph" no.2984, Aug.1, 1980
  • The New York Times, Jul.31, 1981
  • Khair, Mar.11, 1983


  • Butoh Archive Project
    All About Zero

    Guided by Noh actor Kanji Shimizu, we will trace the pass of three legendary artists, Hironobu Oikawa, Mamako Yoneyama and Yoshito Ohno, who have been active as artists since 1950s when Butoh was not yet called as Butoh. Answers may lay in those Butoh-Zero years which we will witness through various media including videos, live performances and talks in this “Event.”

    Saturday, June 8, 2019. 15:00~ at Theater X (cai) in Ryogoku, Tokyo (http://www.theaterx.jp/access.php)

    In detail (only in Japanese) Facebook
  • Tokyo Zokei University Film & Moving Image + Dance and Media Japan + NPO Dance Archive Network
    International Dance Film Festival 2018-2019 “Lingering Bodies”

    What does the documented body convey? Observing the link between video and performing arts, as seen through the lens of recorded images, with exhibition, workshop and discussion.

    Thursday 31 January through Sunday 17 February 2019 at the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse No.1

    In detail
  • Butoh Archive Project
    Online Survey: Butoh’s Current Situation Outside Japan Targeting Individual Performers

    Dance Archive Network is conducting online survey to outline the current situation of Butoh in the world. We greatly appreciate your cooperation.

    In detail
  • Lecture-Performance by Saiko Kino
    Dance Becoming Physical Education?

    At Dance New Air 2018, Saiko Kino will present both lecture-performances she premiered in Dance Archive Project 2016 & 2018, “Through the Life and Work of Kazuo Ohno, the PE Teacher” and “Dance as Nation-founding Calisthenics.”

    Saturday, October 6 & Sunday, October 7, 2018 at the Goethe-Institut Tokyo

    In detail
  • Is this Dance? “Kazuo Ohno” is still among us.
    The Kazuo Ohno exhibition “Daily Bread”  :  the life of the Butoh dancer who passed away at the age of 103

    This exhibition seeks to tap into the innermost “Kazuo Ohno” with the help of unpublished materials, snapshots, videos, testimonies by relatives, and so on.

    Friday 28 Sept. thru Saturday 8 Dec., 2018 at Wakyama Art Museum-Media Art Gallery in Tokyo

    In detail
  • Week-days Show! Let’s go to see dance on weeknights!
    Inspired by the anti-war masterpiece The Green Table 2017

    Premiered in Kobe in March 2017 and performed in Aichi in April this year, “The Green Table 2017” will be finally played in Tokyo this fall.

    Wednesday 5 & Thursday 6, 2018 at the Goethe-Institut Tokyo

    In detail
  • Dance Archive Project 2018
    Dance Becoming Physical Education? Vol. 2:
    Dance as Nation-founding Calisthenics

    The premiere of Saiko Kino’s lecture-performance “Dance as Nation-founding Calisthenics” last February was well received and eye-opening, so here we present the second opportunity for you to experience it!

    Saturday 12 May 2018 at the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery’s conference room

    In detail
  • We edited a new book

    The new book on Yoshito Ohno “The Portrait of Ōno Yoshito”, written by Inuhiko Yomota and edited by Dance Archive Network, has been published.

    In detail
  • Dance Archive Project 2018
    Takao Kawaguchi / Digital 3D in Motion
    ~ Digital archiving Kazuo Ohno's movements through Takao Kawaguchi's body
    In detail
  • Butoh Archive Project (BAP)
    The Sick Dancer -- With the texts from Tatsumi Hijikata’s “Yameru Maihime" (The Ailing Dance Mistress)
    In detail


Please support us in our efforts. Proper future administration of the Dance Archive Network will be ensured by contributions and donations from the public. For those who agree with our objectives and activities, please support us through your donations.
A minimum donation is three thousand yen, and multiples thereof.

DAN will issue a receipt indicating the amount of the donation. As of yet, DAN is not an accredited NPO so it cannot, to date, offer any tax incentives. DAN, however, aims to become an certified NPO in the near future, so we would greatly appreciate your continued support in helping us.

For applications and inquiries, please contact:info@dance-archive.net

Bank Account:
MUFG Bank, Ltd.
Address: 1-6-8 Oi, Shinagawa, Tokyo 140-0014
Account Number: 357-0044880 Swift Code: BOTKJPJT
Account Holder: Dance Archive Network

NPO Dance Archive Network
5-11-19 Minamishinagawa, Shinagawa, Tokyo 140-0004
Phone & Fax +81 3 3450 6507
Corporate Number : 0107-05-002548