“Dance Happening 1961”, published in conjunction with Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio and the Japan Butoh Laboratory, presents 516 photographs taken by William Klein during his visit to Tokyo in June 1961.
On June 27, Klein photographed the dancers Tatsumi Hijikata, Kazuo Ohno and Yoshito Ohno on the streets of Tokyo as they gave impromptu performances - proto-“happenings – of a newly created dance theater form known as butoh. Klein’s photographs – which differed drastically from contemporary Japanese photography in its urgency, immediacy and in-your-faceness – form an invaluable documentation of early butoh.
Based on extensive research, the photographs are presented in chronological order in the book, categorized into three chapters by location (the group moved from Shimo-Meguro to Ginza), allowing the viewer to relive this day through the lens of Klein’s camera.
The book also includes the essays “Butoh’s Future in the Past”, written by Waseda University professor Futoshi Sakauchi and and “Tatsumi Hijikata: Before and After Kinjiki”, written by Takashi Morishita of the Hijikata Tatsumi Archive. All texts are included in Japanese and in English translation.