About DAN

Our Values
The concept underlying the non-profit organization Dance Archive Network,hereafter referred to as DAN, is to overtake the responsibility of the archives of its acting parent organization, the Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio.

Kazuo Ohno (1906-2010), founder of the Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio, studied under many of the pioneers of Japanese modern dance since the 1930s, before embarking on a solo career as a dancer in the late 1940s. In the 1960s, alongside Tatsumi Hijikata and other Japanese contemporary dancers, Ohno created a new dance form commonly referred to as Butoh, before going on to produce a series of outstanding performances that have been inscribed in the 20th century’s dance history. Nowadays, the original Japanese dance phenomenon of Butoh has attained international acclaim and continues to exercise significant influence on contemporary art forms worldwide. The Kazuo Ohno Archives, which was established to preserve the wealth of material accumulated by Ohno over his lifetime, has continually promoted activities such as book / DVD publishing, multi-media exhibitions, programming dance festival in Japan and overseas, while also taking the initiative to inform the world of the importance of dance archives.

In the Europe and North America, dance archives are generally housed in universities and public cultural facilities; in Japan, however, there are relatively few campuses with a dance department, and moreover hardly any cultural facilities that focus on disseminating historical materials related to contemporary dance. Given that by its very nature dance is a performative act, the work itself is ephemeral and will not continue to exist after the performance; what does remain, however, are the various materials related to its creation, ranging from the initial sketches to the finalized program. Usually, these primary source materials are largely in the possession and preserved by individual dancers, dance companies, as well as those connected to dance circles. The overriding problems facing such “private archives” are their management structures’ vulnerability and the difficulties in procuring sufficient funds to ensure proper maintenance of the archived materials. A management structure capable of preserving and disseminating valuable materials to future generations is thus essential; in some exceptional cases the archive material will eventually disappear. This predicament evidently poses an existential threat to ensuring a permanent transmission of dance culture.

As well as assuming responsibility for the activities of the Kazuo Ohno Archives, DAN also embraces the function of creating a new dance archive system that will grapple with prevailing issues such as permanency and proper maintenance. The dance archive of the future should be an agency that actively contributes to transmitting and renewing dance culture. DAN is thus an archive facility that will expand the concept underpinning existing archives as a reference and store room for historical source materials, while acting as a business entity for research, creation, and performance.

The Dance Archive Network is a not-for profit organization that engages in the following activities:

  • Collection, preservation, publication, and dissemination of important primary source materials related to the history of Butoh and Western Dance in Japan.
  • Content planning production availing of archive materials (performances, exhibitions, publications, etc.)
  • Development and dissemination of databases with the objective of gathering archive materials
  • Development and dissemination of advanced archiving methods (Virtual Reality etc.)
  • Establishing an international network of archives
  • Business initiatives to use archive materials for cultural facilities, educational institutions, etc.

Based on fundamental principles, the Dance Archive Network embraces the ideal of establishing a new form of dance archive built around a just and equitable management structure.

We would appreciate any support that you might be able to give us.

NPO Dance Archive Network
Representative Director: Toshio Mizohata

Our Organization


NPO Dance Archive Network (Japanese name: 特定非営利活動法人ダンスアーカイヴ構想)


5-11-19 Minamishinagawa, Shinagawa, Tokyo 140-0004


19 December 2016

Board of Directors

Toshio Mizohata
Representative Director
Takahashi Morishita
Representative Director of Butoh Laboratory, Japan
Naoto Iina
Director of Dance and Media Japan
Dai Matsuoka
Sankaijuku Dancer | Director of LAND FES
Kazuko Takahashi
Professor at Shizuoka Sangyo University | Professor Emeritus at Yokohama National University


Etsuko Ohno
Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio


c. 1989
Discussions on building a Kazuo Ohno archive begin.
Selected works by Kazuo Ohno are performed and recorded for the “Kazuo Ohno Retrospectives” at the Yokohama Izumi Citizen Culture Center (Théâtre Fonté).
"A database of materials for Kazuo Ohno’s archive start being put together.
Kazuo Ohno Workshop Words is published (Film Art Inc), the first work produced as a result of archiving efforts."
Kazuo Ohno Archive opens in the Department of Music and Performing Arts at the University of Bologna.
"The first Kazuo Ohno Festival organised by the Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio and BankART1929 is held in Yokohama.
In order to facilitate the creation of a dance archive, a number of large scale exhibitions, symposiums and publications start being produced as part of festivals until 2015."
Dance Archives around the World symposium held as part of the second Kazuo Ohno Festival.
Kazuo Ohno exhibition held at the Archaeological Museum of Bologna.
Kazuo Ohno’s World exhibition held as part of the seventh Kazuo Ohno Festival.
Dance Archives Exist: Practitioners’ Talk on How to Run Archives symposium held as part of the eighth Kazuo Ohno Festival.
"Plans for the organisation Dance Archive Network begin.
Get Together! Dance Archives! exhibition held as part of the ninth Kazuo Ohno Festival. "
A symposium is held in Italy to commemorate 10 years of the Kazuo Ohno Archive at the University of Bologna.
Dance Archive Project 2015: The Operation Theatre | About Kazuo Ohno | Tango | Odorubaka performances, and Searching for the Japanese Modern Dance Roots exhibition.
"Dance Archive Project 2016: It Was That Way | Butoh? | Dance Becoming Physical Education - Through the Life and Work of Kazuo Ohno, the PE Teacher.
The non-profit organisation Dance Archive Network is established."
"Dance Archive Project 2017: Modern Dance in the Theatre of War: Wheat and Soldiers
Dance Archive Project productions go on a national tour across four cities
Dance Archive Project in Tokyo 2017: Clear-Eyed Spirits"
Dance Archive Project 2018: Dance Becoming Physical Education? Vol.2: Dance as Nation - founding Calisthenics
Dance Archive Project 2019: All About Zero
An international survey on the current Butoh world is carried out over the course of 3 years.
"Findings on the current Butoh world are published in Something called Butoh, and presented at a symposium.
Tokyo Tokyo FESTIVAL Special 13 TOKYO REAL UNDERGROUND festival (postponed)
Dance Archive Project 2020: Japan, the Dance, and Myself"
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  • *(B) photo : Lucia Baldini

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