Min Tanaka

Profile

Min Tanaka (Tokyo, 1945) is a pioneer within the vast landscape of dance. With training in classical ballet and modern dance, Tanaka is seen as an avant-garde and experimental dancer. He is recognized internationally as a pioneer of Butoh. In 1966, Tanaka started with solo performances. He withdrew himself from the Japanese Contemporary Dance Association, and started his own dance activities in 1974. Tanaka’s practices developed into his “hyper-dance”, emphasizing a complete unity of mind and body. In 1985, he founded the Body Weather Farm in Hakushu town, Yamanashi, a cooperative environment for dancers exploring the origins of dance through farming life. His search for the origin of dance continues and has come to take an even more deep-rooted approach with the Locus Focus project, a continuing series of site-specific and improvisational dance performance taking place throughout Japan and abroad. In addition to his own original solo and group work, Min Tanaka has been keen to revive important works of dance and created his version of The Rite of Spring with international groups dancers in Japan, France, the Czech Republic and Slovakia between 1990-1992, and with Russian folk dancers in Moscow in 1997. In 2003, he was appointed as Master of the new dance department at the School of Dramatic Art in Moscow. With the dance company in Moscow he staged an original dance work Goya—Guests from the Dark in 2005. Tanaka has collaborated with renowned artists from various disciplines – composers such as Luciano Berio and Hans Werner Henze, improvisers such as Milford Graves, Cecil Taylor and John Cale, visual artists like Karel Appel and Richard Serra and the writer Susan Sontag. He has been awarded Chevalier des arts et des lettre from France and participated in projects around the globe.