A brief introduction to the history, philosophy, and techniques of the Japanese avant-garde dance movement, Ankoku Buto. Evoking images of grotesque beauty, revelling in the seamy underside of human behavior, Buto dance groups such as Sankai Juku and Dai Rakuda-kan have performed to wide critical and popular acclaim, making Buto one of the most influential new forces in the dance world today. The monograph traces the development of Buto from its birth in the bleak post-war landscape of 1950s Japan, and then addresses the question of Buto as a post-modern phenomenon, before going on to examine the influence of traditional Japanese performance on Buto techniques. The last chapter analyzes a specific dance (Niwa – The Garden) by Muteki-sha, to show how these techniques are used concretely. Includes translations of four essays on Buto by contemporary Japanese dance critics.