Realm of the Sacred Secular - 6 day Butoh + Voice Performance Workshop with Yuko Kaseki and Valerie Renay

June 5 – 10 at 12-17h
(Workshop Presentation on June 10 at 20h)

Studio 2 / Kunstquartier Bethanien
Mariannenplatz. 2, 10997 Berlin

Fee: 350 Euro (320 Euro paid by May 20)

Registration/ Info:
Please send your motivation letter for application.

“When one considers the body in relation to dance, it is then that one truly realizes what suffering is: it is a part of our lives. No matter how much we search for it from the outside there is no way we can find it without delving into ourselves.”
- Tatsumi Hijikata

This Collaboration workshop with Butoh performer Yuko Kaseki and voice artist Valerie Renay is part of a wider research process of performative rebirth with focus on the relationship between body and voice in a primitive and fundamental way.

By digging into the personal history of our bodies we aim to awaken the genuine and authentic Self and find new expression of physical resonance. By vocalizing forms, sculptures, landscapes and ancestral realities, a sacred space of collective creation can be shaped, in which each individual explores their own identity.

The Exploration of physical and vocal performance as a ritual to re-enforce earthiness, life strength and feminine wisdom in relationship to nature and the urban jungle shapes the frame of a surreal journey from the body to the soul, evoking long forgotten emotions and pulsations.

First part of the Workshop will focus separately on the methods of movement and voice used by the two artists in their performance practice. Gradually the research will be guided to mix the tools and find a common ground and expression language, constructing the “sounding body” and setting the theme for a collective performance, presented at the end of the workshop.

This research format is open for all people who want to investigate and challenge their deeper self and who have curiosity, courage and desire to play with movement and performative expression.

For application we invite interested participants to formulate their personal research objectives and describe their core inquiry of the proposed themes in a motivation letter.

Physical work: 

The workshop’s emphasis is to develop original movement through body awareness, sensitivity, and also discover hidden dynamic energy. Warm up with various physical training methods such as Noguchi gymnastics, elements of Tai-Chi Dao-yin, Butoh methodology, for permeability and awakening deeper layers of motion/emotion of the body. Direct physical connection with others and spaces will stimulate and enhance physical imagination and help accumulate a vocabulary of movement. Finding the core of our body (Tanden), which is our energy source, listening honestly to the variants of inner and develop this in relation to the outer would will be an ongoing focuspoint. Participants are encouraged to discover authentic movement of own Self from a deeper sense, through playful Improvisation with imagination of elements, essence of quality, gravity, scale, dimension, directionality... searching balance between both extremes of tense and release, silence and chaos, strong existence with disappearance...

Voice work:

Singing: “Expiration of air with the vocal cords drawn close so as to vibrate audibly” 

Voice is a manifestation of energy that can be heard and perceived by touch through its vibration even by deaf people. 
I will be working with voice, and sound as a way to awaken the senses, helping discovering new realm of communication. The simple voice exercises will encourage people to connect deeply with themselves on a physical level through the sensation of the vibration they create, discovering new ways to interact with their surroundings and other people, in an open, relaxed and confident manner.

Collective work:

The individual training of voice and body, combining the various elements of our research process will finally resonate and incorporate the internal and external experiences into the sounding body.

Practical activities of play and observation, improvisation and feedback with each other but also self-reflective awareness training will enhance and expand our understanding of the individual and collective body. Tools like repetition, reduced simplicity, erosion and investigation, erasing improvisation and coming back to original questions, isolation and bricolage of new material will help us to inherit the energy of movement and find back to the fundamental and grounded state of being.

Exploring the relationship of opposites like body silence / inside screaming, frantic movement / calm breath, shifitng between habitual expression and core resonance we aim to reveal an original self identity. Continuing the process of exposing this authenticity through performative methods we will try to construct a collective and universal identitiy in space, to create new performative form the magic moments of quotidian reality in the realm of the sacred secular.


Valerie Renay is a Berlin based French-Caribbean singer, performer, director. An experienced voice coach leading workshops at Universität der Künste Berlin, and teaching individual singing classes for people of all abilities and background. She puts emphases on physical approach, her training develops breathing, range, resonance, power and creativity.

Yuko Kaseki is director, choreographer, Butoh dancer, performance artist, improviser and teacher, based in Berlin. She teaches and performs in solo and ensemble pieces and improvisations through out 26 countries. These works are poetic and vivid images that incorporate the spirit of Butoh and her performance aims to reflect the outsider’s existence. Various International collaborations include inkBoat (SF), Tableau Stations (SF), CAVE (NY), Poema Theatre (Moscow), Salad Theater (Seoul) and more. She is also a key collaborator with mixed ability artists including Theater Thikwa (Berlin).

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