Japan's oldest dancer Ohno dies at 103.
Japan's oldest and internationally acclaimed Butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno died of respiratory failure Tuesday at a hospital in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, his office said. He was 103.
A native of Hakodate, Hokkaido, Ohno joined the dance studio led by Baku Ishii in 1933 and learned modern dance. After a break from dancing during World War II, he gave his first Tokyo performance in 1949.
His encounter with Tatsumi Hijikata and his ''Ankoku Butoh'' (Dance of Utter Darkness), as well as influences from modern dance, led him to establish a style of dancing called Butoh, characterized by white facial and body paint and slow movements.
Ohno's solo Butoh work directed by Hijikata, ''La Argentina Sho'' (Admiring La Argentina), earned great acclaim and was awarded the Dance Critics' Circle Award in 1977.
He gave numerous performances in Japan and abroad and continued to perform even after his 90th birthday, dancing with support from others and even in a seated position.