Whole Body Openers (Updated 8/19/17)

“Shed the skin of the body that has been tamed and domesticated.” – Tatsumi Hijikata

The modern human has many mummified areas of the body not in use. We must open the entire body, and this includes the hidden joints such as the sternoclavicular, intercarpal, intertarsal, and costal joints. We must also be aware of the cavities such as the abdomen and mouth.

Endless Dots

Feel thousands of dots all throughout the body. Imagine that each of these dots is a star or universe. Each is a unique dancer. See Figure 2.

Figure 2, Endless Dots Body


Visualize your entire body breaking to tiny bits. Dance the new motions that result.

Odd Disco Dancer

Some naturally move a lot of their body at the disco. We can use this and take it further. Try disco dancing while in strange or difficult positions such as on all fours or bridge, handstand against the wall, or while hugging a tree with all four limbs. Make use of upbeat music.

Non-Mover Investigator

Try very hard to find areas that you have been hiding from yourself. If you find them and you still cannot move them, move around them and over time, you will get closer and closer to the target. This exercise can be taken further by having someone possess the movement wand which will be a flower or weed which they can touch to any part of the body that they feel is being ignored. Whichever part of the body is touched is to be danced.

Body Fish Tank

This exercise was shown by Denise Fujiwara at the 2000 Seattle Butoh Festival. The dancer’s body is full of water. A single fish swims to every location. Then more fish appear till there a hundred. Then the process reverses until all the fish disappear. Originally, the movements are meant to be minimal, but also try larger movement if this resonates.