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I've seen the company a few times, beginning in the 1980s. They were one of the first butoh groups to tour internationally, and so their particular version of that dance practice is the one that seems to be a benchmark for some people. Butoh has roots both in traditional Asian philosophy and aesthetics, and German expressionism -- to a traditional western eye the work seems extreme, a slow and thorough exploration of natural images verging on distortion. Audiences frequently get caught up in the striking visual images to start with -- they often perform nude, after shaving all their body hair and coating themselves in rice powder -- but I find their physicality even more striking than the 'costume.' If you can, I would certainly suggest that you see them, knowing that they might be significant different than other work you've seen.

I hope this is helpful -- if you're still perplexed, let me know what other modern dance you've seen recently, and perhaps I can make some comparisons.

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