Photo: Stein Stie

2021 Butoh Encounters: bio-art // Rebellion of the Cell

Rebellion of the Cell is a multidisciplinary collaboration between a Butoh dancer, scientists, designers and Butoh Encounters team and is about the dancer experiencing the body as a coalition of individual cells, himself as a single cell, and even part of a cell, which mutates, and so performs mutiny against that coalition. This self focused cell mutiny is the essence of what cancer is. The performance aims to raise thoughts about what it means to be an individual, a concept which gets increasingly blurry the closer one looks at the body. By using cancer research and Butoh as mutual lenses to examine one another, we hope to challenge taboo and connect people and ways of thinking that might otherwise have remained isolated. As such, we invite the public to a dialogue between scientific and artistic processes. 

The premiere will be followed by a talk with the artists and the scientists moderated by Øyvind Jørgensen, organised by Danseinformasjonen. 

Premiere: 6th November 2021

Grusomhetens teater, Oslo 

Direction: Karolina Bieszczad-Stie & Adam Bartley 

Choreography: Yuko Kaseki & Karolina Bieszczad-Stie

Dance: Yuko Kaseki 

Stage design: Adam Bartley

Costumes: Zofia Jakubiec

Light design: Stein Stie 

Music: Simen Korsmo Robertsen 

Collaborators: Centre for Cancer Cell Reprogramming at UiO - Harald Stenmark, Ragnhild Eskeland

Production: Butoh Encounters 

Supported by:


Chunichi Inadomi Fondet


Photo: curtesy of KUKA Robotics.

2021 Butoh Encounters: trans-human // Limit(less) - pilot project

Limit(less) is a scenario where Karolina Bieszczad-Stie explores human-robot interaction (HRI) in collaboration with Mathias Hauan Arbo from NTNU. She is interested in co-located interactions (dancer-robotic arm-choreographer) and remote interactions (choreographer-programmer-robotic arm). Together with the Department of Engineering Cybernetics they will run a series of practical experiments of the information flow: visuals cues of the dancer’s movement translated into visual gestures of the robot; programming of the robot based on motion capture data from the dancer; dancer’s choreography based on extended mobile possibilities of the robot or on mathematical patterns and rhythms found in the robot programming; butoh-fu - creating impossible images for the dancer to explore in the embodied relation to the robot; exploration of the physical contact - tuning in, moving against each other, teaching/learning of each other. Through this practice, they would also like to examine the limits and crossing the limits of mechanics and body programs, possibilities of developing future kinaesthetic empathy as well as non-classical psychological responses to the robot, and dancer’s interaction with autonomous systems in relation to the human locus of control. 

The artistic collaborative processes will be shared with the audience as choreographic material in a dance duet Limit(less) between a KUKA robotic arm and Japanese dancer Azumaru.

The pilot project will be further developed into a full scale production in 2022. 

Director & producer: Karolina Bieszczad-Stie

Dancer: Azumaru

Collaborator: Department of Engineering Cybernetics at NTNU and KUKA Robotics. 

April - September 2021

Oslo/Trondheim, Norway

Supported by: