OddDance Theatre is a non-verbal, physical theatre, founded in 2002 by Natalia Zhestovskaya and Grigory Glazunov. Members of the theatre integrate and refine the experience of Butoh practice, improvisation, eastern and western movement systems into a clear system of immersion and self-observation. Focus of attention and dissolving in space, super slow and explosive movement, attention to the inner proccesses distinguish all theatre performances. OddDance takes off the social mask and plunges it into memories, impressions, dreams, giving birth here and now to ideas embodied in the movement and creating a parable expressed in the language of dance. The theatre holds regular seminars on Butoh, Animal Style and Mask in Russia (Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Yekaterinburg), Finland, Greece and others. Creates a unique methodological approach to Butoh.

«How do you tell a good, successful performance from an unsuccessful one? There is one simple criterion: if a transformation took place, a metamorphosis occurred, then the performance is good. In OddDance performances, an actor who puts on a mask ceases to be a person behind the mask – the performer becomes the mask itself. The mask starts to move and live its own independent life. Either the face becomes a mask, or a person suddenly turns into a branch, or an animal, or a stone. But something is sure to happen – something unexpected and magical».

Irina Sirotkina, candidate of psychological sciences, dance historian, theatre critic

«”The time both static and dynamic, the time that is running through your fingers like separate grains of sand and stretches out in a unceasing endless line – this is our tool; the space that spans rocks, lakes, rivers, swamps and puddles, ruins, the space of urban centers, stadiums and concert halls is our habitat”, – the artists say about themselves. But at each and every moment spontaneity turns out to be a trembling leaf on the branches of Providence tree. The sensitive, transparent, powerful language of the Russian world, referring to monkery, divine foolishness and blissfulness – that is what makes up the magic of this butoh. This language breathes out the air of pictural tradition».

Julia Kvasok, journalist, art critic


Natalia Zhestovskaya and Grigory Glazunov hold creative retreats, workshops and lectures on butoh in Russian cities (St. Petersburg, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Saratov, Kemerovo) as well as in Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Greece, Israel. They are the authors of the concept of teaching butoh based on a combination of the body and movement principles of Asia and Europe.

Butoh Basics

  • Body as a border
  • Minimalism and limitations
  • Invisible architecture
  • 10 steps
  • Explosion motivation
  • 5 channels of perception
  • Mask – look – mask

Lead master Grigory Glazunov

Animal style

  • 5 channels of perception
  • The miracle of intuition
  • Phoenix principle
  • Howling, summoning, hearing, smelling

Lead master Natalia Zhestovskaya


OddDance has participates and organized theatrical and anthropological expeditions to Paris and Prague – The Heritage project (2013), Switzerland and Germany – The Homecoming project (2011), Southern Europe – The Snail Dreams project (2012), Finland (Northern Karelia) – The Bruegel project (2014).

What is a BUTO expedition?

OddDance initiated “Professor and Theatre” research programs together with A.A. Ignatiev (PhD., professor of sociology and sociology of religion, Moscow) in 2012 and 2013 in Revonkylä (Finland) and Moscow.

Twice a year, in summer and winter, the theatre holds a retreat workshop for performers, artists and all those interested in exploration at the Art Residence of Revonkylä, visual artist Merja Malkki in Finland, who has been cooperating with OddDance Theatre for 12 years.

Three expeditions were conducted here with the master Buto Katsura Kan (Japan), the course “Professor and Theatre” with the professor of sociology and history of religion Andrei Ignatiev (Moscow), the course “Buto-drawing” and “Buto-costume” under the direction of Merya Malkki (Finland) ), a felting course with Natalya Ignatieva (Slovenia).


Some of the festivals where OddDance Theatre has performed:

– International festival PROLIVE DANCE (Moscow, 2019)
– International festival “Voice of the body” (St. Petersburg, 2018–2019)
– International festival “Wanderer” (Yekaterinburg, 2019)
– International festival PLASTFORMA, Belarus, (Minsk, 2019)
– The Night of Museums at the Museum of the Academy of Arts (St. Petersburg, 2019)
– Catapult Festival (St. Petersburg, 2019)
– Participation as lead teacher in the 19th Al Haddawi International Winter Schoole, Germany (2018)
– International festival “Terra Inkognita”, with the performance “Oracle and Enigma” – the laureate of the festival (St. Petersburg, 2018)
– The International Juuret Festival in Finland (Outokumpu, 2018–2019)
– International festival “Outokumpu dance department – 20 years” in Finland (Outokumpu, 2018)
– International Ecological Festival Karhofes, Finland (Kuopio, 2018)
– Tours of the theatre in Tampere and participation in the First International Buto Conference in Finland (Tampere, 2017)
– The international project “DEKAMERON” with participants from the USA, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Finland (Outokumpu, Finland, 2017)
– The ProToArt Improvisation Art Festival at the Central Exhibition Hall Manege (St. Petersburg, 2017)
– International festival “Whisper of Heaven” (Lago-Naki, Adygea, 2017-2019)
– The Night of Museums (St. Petersburg), organization and conduct of performances at the Central Exhibition Hall Manege, Small Hall (2015–2017)
– “Mayakovsky-fest” (St. Petersburg, 2016–2017)
– International Theatre Festival of Dostoevsky (St. Petersburg, 2016–2017)
– The international laboratory “Kalevala Without Borders” at the National Theatre of Karelia (Petrozavodsk, 2016)
– International Theatre Festival HIT (Helsinki, Finland, 2014)
– International Festival of Black and White (Imatra, Finland, 2014)
– International festival “Petrodzhaz – 2014” (St. Petersburg, 2014)
– Participation in the play “Macbeth”, directed by Luc Percival (Germany), the Baltic House Theatre, Golden Spotlights 2014 (2014–2020)
– International Art Buto Festival (Moscow – Nizhny Novgorod, 2013)
– Festival of street theatres “Open Streets” (Moscow, 2013–2014)
– Art expeditions “Heritage” (Moscow – Paris – Prague, 2013)
– Mysterious Art Festival “Phenomenon” and “Mysteriograph” (Moscow, 2012–2013)
– The international festival “Word and Body” (St. Petersburg, 2012–2018)
– Festivals “Autumn and Winter Exacerbation” and “Conference of Non-Adherents” (St. Petersburg, 2013)
– International festival “CookArt” (St. Petersburg, 2013, 2016)
– International festival “ArchStoyanie” in Nikola-Lenivets (Kaluga Region, 2012)
– International festival “Eurasia Buto” (Russia, Finland, 2012)
– International Festival of Experimental Arts in the Central Exhibition Hall “Manege” (2006–2015)
– International festival of theatrical anthropology and butoh “Roots of the Branch” (2012)
– The annual exhibition of new works of Petersburg artists “Petersburg” in the Central Exhibition Hall “Manege” (2006–2012)
– International Butoh Festival “Limits” in Basel (Switzerland, 2010) and Freiburg (Germany, 2010–2011)
– International festival of modern dance and avant-garde FAKI 13 (Zagreb, Croatia, 2011)
– International festival “Street of Truth” in the project of Alexander Petlyura (Berlin, Germany, 2009)
– International European Women’s Festival in Tornio and Haparant (Finland – Sweden, 2006-2007)
– Festival of experimental music and dance at the Foundation Boris Vian (Paris, France, 2007)
– International festival “KiHaus” (Filandia, 2006)
– 4th International Non-Verbal Arts Festival “Vertical 2007: Butohrelations”
– International festival Joensuu-Outokumpu Solo Dance Happening “Yksin Sateessa?” (2006)
– International festival “Moscow Action” (Moscow, 2005)
– Sergey Kuryokhin International Festival SKIF (2002, 2005)
– International festival “Outdot Kuviot” (Outokumpu, Finland, 2002)

Since 2004, OddDance has been collaborating with the Central Exhibition Hall “Manege”, at the venues of which were held:

  • International Festival “RootsBranches” (2004-2012) with the participation of performers from Russia, Finland, Italy, Switzerland, Ireland, Greece.
  • “Eurasia Butoh Festival” (2011) with the participation of the Japanese first-generation butoh master Katsura Kana.
  • Festival of laboratories “East-West” (2011-2014) with the participation of masters from different countries, including: Meria Malkki (Finland), Stamatis Efstatiu (Greece), Flavia Gisalberti (Switzerland), Anna Belich (Russia) and others.
  • “Non Finito” (2013–2014) with the participation of St. Petersburg masters – Olga Samokhotova, Olga Sorokina, Galina Parfenova, Elena Dergacheva, Igor Lamba.

With its vast improvisational language, OddDance was a member of live performances with Russian and foreign musicians, including: the Pilot band, the Yat-Ha band, Iraida Yusupova, Fedor Amirov, Olga Arefieva and the Ark band, the Eye project , Vladimir Belov, the group “Shaking Manas”. Nikolay Rubanov, Igor Vdovchenko (Stalker), German Olshuk (Gerasim), Gosha Solntsev, Dmitry Gusev (USA), Vera Dorn (Germany), Timo Seppala, Salla Seppo, Yatte Rikkonen and the Nu Transit group, Aki Hietala (Finland) and visual artists – Anne Pekhonen, Merja Malkki, Heli Mäkinen (Finland), Onya Ivers, Patrick Ward (Ireland).


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