"An altered state of consciousness is an essential part of butoh training and performance"
--Itto Morita (2010 workshop in Rotterdam)
Through trance inducing techniques the bodymind is put into an altered state of consciousness similar to a meditative state. When in this trance, your daily mind goes to sleep and the totality of you takes over.
The verbal thinking slows down and you get more aware of feelings and sensations. The boundaries of self fade and connecting with other realities and other forms of consciousness gets easier.
Most Japanese masters call it being an empty shell, OSHO calls it no-mind, athletes call it being in the flow.
I call this baby mode, because I like to relate to actual body states (being a baby) that everyone has direct experience with.
baby mode: nowhere to go, nothing to do, fully relaxed, learning new patterns all the time without judgement or cultural stress.
trance inducing techniques
There are many many techniques to induce trance and most masters have there own specialisation and some of them are even religious about it.
Itto Morita, my first butoh master, insisted that we have to be in an altered state to dance butoh. He mainly used voice techniques to get us there. He is a member of the Japanese Society of Clinical Hypnosis
Lee Rhizome researches and experiments a lot but mostly follows Milton Erickson.
Natsu Nakajima starts her classes with Katsugen Undo.
Atsushi Takenouchi uses the shamanic voice, and life entrancing music and soundscapes by Hiroko Komiya