Helen Smith is physical theatre performer with a specialism in Butoh. She is a researcher, teacher and director, devising and performing solo work, as well as ensemble pieces as a member of Gabrielle New’s The Space Between Performance Collective.
Helen developed her passion for Butoh after meeting Brisbane-based, physical theatre company, Zen ZenZo in Japan and with whom she has taught, performed and toured internationally since 1993. Helen spent 3 years in Tokyo from 2007-2010 where she worked with Dairakudakanas well as Butoh masters, such as YoshitoOhno, Natsu Nakajima, Yukio Waguri and Seisaku. Under the guidance of these teachers, she created and performed her first Butoh solo, A Dance For All Seasons. Since returning to Australia, she has relocated from Brisbane to Melbourne in order to pursue her academic interest in Butoh. At the same time, she continues to teach and perform. Her debut Melbourne performance was in Gabrielle New’sCreature at Theatre Works in 2011. In 2012, she performed with Melbourne-based Butoh performer, Yumi Umiumare, in her highly successful Butoh cabaret series, Dasshoku, for the Melbourne fringe. This year sees her staging her own ensemble butoh piece Ten Worlds at Dancehouse with members of the Space Between Performance Collective.
Helen is a recipient of an APA scholarship and is researching Transformation in Butoh at Monash University, Melbourne.