Tuesday, April 10, 2007Home

The Art of Butoh Meets a Traditional Technique, Still Avant-Garde

Michael Philip Manheim’s career began at age 13, when he found an outlet for his creative disposition in photography. He has been a professional photographer since 1969, when advancements in photographic equipment and their creative applications were very much the rage.

Throughout his career, Manheim has always been drawn to themes of change and transformation. In 1998, he began experimenting with layered phases of movement to create impressions of living motion. He has employed this technique in his portfolios “Under Nature’s Canopy,” “Solo Souls,” and now “New Butoh And The Nature of Being.”

Manheim utilizes his unique style to capture the contemporary dance form that started in Japan. One of butoh’s central elements is the full release of emotion, revealing inner emotions though movements that can be wild or subtle, passionate or meditative. Manheim encourages his models to explore emotional states with movement and dance, and captures moments of expression that merge into a unique conception of motion. All of this is done without darkroom manipulation.

Michael Philip Manheim’s website:

Muybridge and Janey pioneered a repetitive technique of capturing action, as did Edgerton with his 1931 invention of the strobe. My approach honors those innovators but bypasses their regularity, introducing elements of chance and painterly blurring, for an impression of motion originated from emotion.

Michael Philip Manheim has been exhibited throughout the United States, as well as in Germany, Italy, and Greece. He has been featured in
Zoom magazine (US and Italy), Photographers International (Taiwan), La Fotographia (Spain), and Black and White (US), among many others. You can see his website here.


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