AMA–NO–GAWA explores the material and movement of the cosmos through the Butoh body. Ankoku Butoh, the controversial avant-garde Japanese dance form also known as the ‘dance of darkness’, has inspired, primarily through its originating spirit, Tatsumi Hijikata and his principal performer Yoko Ashikawa – a seemingly inexhaustible exploration into the realm of body consciousness.

AMA–NO–GAWA features Swedish Butoh choreographer and performer, Frauke, one of the leading exponents of Ankoku Butoh who has developed the Butoh body in both Sweden and Japan. Frauke choreographs and collaborates with South Africa’s First Physical Theatre Company in creating a new African Butoh work. The dance explores the AMA–NO–GAWA or ‘heavenly river’ of the cosmos and the natural and energetic material phenomenon within the universe. The work was created through a deep investigation into the embodiment of the performers from which resonates an inspired constellation of movement that moves beyond conventional dance vocabularies. It is a dance of cosmic energies that aims to move audiences on an elemental and physical level.

AMA-NO-GAWA features an original music score written by Henrik Åström.


A hybrid experimental piece that integrates dance and the choreography of space within the structure of narrative film. The film portrays immigration as a dehumanizing process executed by an indifferent bureaucratic machine. It follows a young immigrant woman, waiting her turn to see the bureaucrat in-charge of her case.

The camera delves into the world of paper work and investigates, through movement and multiple points of view, alienated interpersonal relationships as they are molded by the structure of space the bureaucratic machine operates in. Space is deconstructed and reconstructed in an attempt to reach a reference point for the bureaucratic world and to connect the un-connectable – the gap between those who seek aid and those who are trying to give it.Directed by Daphna Mero

Music and Sound Design by Henrik Åström

Awards and prizes:

Special Jury Award, SHORT to the Point, Romania.
Award Winner, Best Experimental Short Film, Lanus International Film Festival, Argentina.
Social Justice Award, In/Motion Dance Film Festival, Loyola University, Chicago.