Body Weather is a comprehensive performance training originated in Japan by Min Tanaka. Tanaka founded the Body Weather farm in the village Hakushu nearby Tokyo in 1985, a space dedicated to common land farming, communal living and dance creations. The bodies were trained by farming life, living practicalities and dance laboratories Tanaka was conducting in the form of workshops. In 2000 the farm workshop was closed for participants and since then the work has been further developed and circulated by members of Tanaka’s dance company Maijuku. The essence of this training is the renewal, the next, the possible and potential instead of fixation and staying to known pathways.

Min Tanaka on Body Weather practice:

“The body that measures the landscape, the body in intercourse with weather, the body kissing mass of peat, the body in love-death relation to the day. For me the dance has been a symbol of despair and courage.”

I have been practicing Body Weather since 2009 and studied mainly with Katerina Bakatsaki, Frank van de Ven and Hisako Horikawa. Since 2015 I have been taking part in the annual Body Weather research laboratory led by Frank and/or Katerina in Amsterdam. I currently transmit, unfold and evolve this work in the frame of my own expanded dance practice and roaming teaching. The form of such transmission is usually a response to an invitation for a workshop, laboratory, creation or joining forces in grassroots movement projects. I often consider the following questions to approach the bodies of participants:  

What to offer in a space that is looking to designate the next?

How to keep nourishing the intersection of training, making and performing?

How to avoid conditioning and not to fall in the trap of training for improvement?

How to connect my own with the already existent practice and the context/site?

Body Weather is not about commodification or aesthetisization of dance practice. How do I bring bodies in and how do I give content respecting this integral parameter?

The transmittance of this practice entails the entanglement of dance/somatic training, performance and composition. I approach this entanglement as an exchange in terms of leadership and followership that constantly shifts between my body, other bodies and the site. In my work, I approach choreography as the constructive practice of thirdness; an intersubjective mental and physical space, a joined horizon of mutual recognition and coexistence. Bodies treated as subjects that meet other subjects in game like scores designed to make space for corporeal dialogue and inference. This kind of choreography makes unavoidably use of agreements, rules, patterns, landmarks and significants. On the other hand, dance is like a floating lightness than manifests in the body and has little to do with all the above. Body weather has been an exact practice for me to be able to physically understand and disseminate such lightness.

body weather laboratory at Four Sisters project, Amsterdam, NL

lab for dissident grains #1, Nantes, FR | photo: Stephane Verlet-Bottero

bw workshop with Hisako Horikawa, amsterdam, NL

nature addicts foundation, elefsis 2021, athens, GR | ph: Petros Chytiris

dutch art institute, roaming academy, ait ben haddou, MOR | ph: Nika Timashkova

with inland project gathering, asturias, ESP | ph: Sarah Herrlander

dutch art institute, roaming academy, tanakita, IND

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