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Tashi Iwaoka (b.1976 Ehime, Japan)



2004-07          Performance Research at DasArts / Advanced Studies in the Performing Arts (Amsterdam, NL)

2002-03          Dance and Choreography as a guest student at SNDO (Amsterdam, NL)

1997-01          Contemporary Arts BA(Hons) at Nottingham Trent University (Nottingham, UK)

1996-97          Art Foundation at Vantan Design Institute (Tokyo, JP)

1995-96          Fashion Design at Vantan Design Institute

1992-95          Industrial Chemistry at Matsuyama Technical high school (Ehime, JP)



2020-present          Revisiting Butoh as the root of his physical training
2010-present          Bujinkan and other Budo related body skills

2004-2005               Workshops on various theories and practices by guest teachers at DasArts

2002-03                    Various contemporary dance technique and composition classes at SNDO

1997-present          Numerous workshops led by Gaby Agis (Skinner release), Simone Aughterlony, Rosemary Butcher, Jill Clark, Didier Danthois

                                  (Clowning), Katie Duck, Pauline de Groot, Julyen Hamilton, Deborah Hey, Akira Hino, Carlotta Ikeda, Kim Itoh, Oleg

                                  Soulimenko, Miranda Tufnell, Saburo Teshigawara, Fin Walker, Simon Whitehead, Yumiko Yoshioka and many others

                                  throughout Europe.

1997-2009               Butoh based exercises (borrowed from Kim Itoh with combined elements from other practices conceived by Iwaoka)

1997                         Butoh workshops by Kim Itoh and Kazuo Ohno in Japan



Departing from my ontological quests; ‘what are we?’, the focal point in my practice is ‘what is being a human?’ attempting to see every ‘human-ness’ important. I consider developing the awareness and understandings of our existence, in relation to our surroundings, would be the key to important changes within us that I believe will benefit us as well as all other beings. Having had a Budo (Japanese term for martial arts in general) class with Akira Hino in 2008, I have found Budo as my way to practice it all together, alongside with keep working on 'improvisation'.

In relation to the attempt to fuse my oriental roots and Western perspectives to form a more proper view on ‘being a human’ in this world, I challenge myself to (re)discover what is a ‘natural’ being as a human and place the body, simultaneously, as the guide and vehicle for searching the most ‘natural’ state in being a human.

Having been fascinated by the depth of human studies in Budo, I joined Bujinkan training in 2010. Since then a new world has been opening in each step through this very old wisdom formed in Japan.


I had been deeply influenced by existential phenomenological thinking, especially by works of Merleau-Ponty. Following my conclusion that concepts of ‘theatre’ could hold any aspects of performativity within the frame of everyday life and beyond, I had been working under the idea of ‘theatre as a medium’. That came up after the intensive questioning about the boarder(s) between art and everyday life through my study in Nottingham.

These histories still have got an effect on my work today.


Types of my work vary from a one-minute frantic ‘punk’ dance performance piece to three and a half hours of standing still performance-protest (against NATO bombing in 1999), from outdoor open-improvisations to carefully structured black box theatre pieces. I work both as a solo artist and collectively with others.


At the end of 2004 Anna Torkkel, a Turku based Finnish choreographer/dancer and I set up an international performance makers’ collective called EHKÄ production (meaning ‘Maybe production’), which is run by Anna Torkkel and Maija Raumanni together with other associated artists. Since 2009 EHKÄ has run a space for contemporary art, KUTOMO where I have been involved in many projects.


I have become an official Tatsumura method finger yoga instructor since the summer 2014.

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