|Born||October 27, 1906
Hakodate, Hokkaido, Japan
Kazuo Ohno (or Ohno Kazuo, 大野一雄) (born October 27, 1906) is a Japanese dancer who has become a guru and inspirational figure in the dance form known as Butoh. It has been written of him that his very presence is an "artistic fact."
Ohno was born in Hakodate, Hokkaido. A late bloomer, he only began studying dance formally in 1933, not long after seeing the dancer La Argentina. Roughly 50 years later, he paid homage to her with his solo performance entitled "Admiring La Argentina."
In 1960, he began working directly with Hijikata Tatsumi, who many consider to be the originator of the Butoh technique. Ohno, unlike Tatsumi, was less of a technician and choreographer, and more of a solo performer. Ohno and Tatsumi form the nucleus of what has become known as Butoh. Students who have spent time with Ohno generally seem to be more eclectic and individual in approach.
A devout Baptist since his conversion as a young man, Ohno supported himself through much of his life as a physical education teacher at Kanto Gakuin High School, a private Christian school in Yokohama.
Now a wheelchair user, Ohno taught and performed with his son Yoshito well into his nineties. Ohno's studio is currently open for students to attend. Classes are directed by Yoshito.
In October 2006, soon after Ohno's 100th birthday, Kyoto-based publisher Seigensha released a photography book in homage to Ohno featuring the works of Eikoh Hosoe entitled "The Butterfly Dream".