Kokoro Dance trains dancers through classes at KW Studios located in the Woodward’s Heritage Building in downtown Vancouver (110-351 Abbott Street). Dancers receive technical training in both western modern dance and in butoh aesthetics through regular classes taught by Barbara Bourget and Jay Hirabayashi. When funding permits, Kokoro Dance invites renowned butoh artists to conduct workshops. In past years, Kokoro Dance has benefited from workshops with Koichi Tamano, Hiroko Tamano, Natsu Nakajima, Minoru Hideshima, Masahide Ohmori, Gustavo Collini-Sartor, Denise Fujiwara, Itto Morita, Yukio Waguri, SU-EN, Lori Ohtani and Dan Hermon, Diego Piñón, Yumiko Yoshioka, Tadashi Endo, Taketeru Kudo, and Yoshito Ohno.

Our modern and butoh dance classes build strength, flexibility, and stamina, as well as developing technical and performance skills. The difference between the two types of classes reflects the different approaches to the same end taken by Barbara and Jay. Barbara’s classes focus on technical training and have a consistent structure from warm-up to movement in space. Jay’s classes are more eclectically varied and include more time for improvisational exploration. The two approaches complement each other and dancers are recommended to take both.



Drop in rate:


Kokoro Dance Member rate:

$120/Ten class card (annual Kokoro Dance membership: $32)


There will be no classes from December 25 to 31, 2017. Classes resume on January 1, 2018

Entrance to the studios is adjacent to the entrance to the lobby of the Woodward’s Heritage Building. Classes are taught by Barbara Bourget, Monday, Wednesday and Friday; and Jay Hirabayashi on Tuesday and Thursday. Classes run between 10am and 11:30am. Please be aware that there are no late comers and doors will lock at 10am. Please arrive by 9:45am so that classes can start on time.

For more information, call Barbara’s cell at 604-318-7190 or Jay’s cell at 604-512-9425

23rd Annual Wreck Beach Butoh Workshop

July 2 – 15, 2018

2017 Wreck Beach Butoh photo by Lara Abadir

Wreck Beach Butoh has been performed annually by Kokoro Dance for the past twentyyears. It is one of our favourite performances but also a test of the stamina and spirit of our performers. This intensive two week long butoh performance workshop is open to anyone who is willing to work physically hard and to face challenging performing conditions. Two-hour-long morning classes are followed by three-hour-long studio rehearsals in the afternoons. The performances on July 14th and 15th, 2018 are in the nude, rain or shine. Conditions on the beach are primal and challenging. First time participants pay a one time fee of $400 + $20 GST + annual $32 registration fee ($452 CDN total). After the first year, returning participants can take part for only the $32 annual registration fee.

To get more information or to register, please download the registration form (Adobe Acrobat getacro format) or call 604.662.7441. For information on Wreck Beach visit http://www.wreckbeach.org/.

Kokoro Dance Auditions

On-going auditions

Dancers interested in working with Kokoro Dance are advised to take classes from Barbara Bourget and Jay Hirabayashi. Most of our dancers come from our own training practice. Please introduce yourself to Barbara and Jay and indicate your interest in pursuing a professional relationship with the company. Kokoro Dance hires dancers on a project basis. We also accept apprentice students who have demonstrated commitment to our training process through attendance of our classes..