Japanese dancer and choreographer Carlotta Ikeda has died at her home in France at the age of 73, her dance company said Thursday.
Ikeda, whose real name was Sanae Ikeda, was a leading proponent of butoh, a form of contemporary dance or silent theatre typically performed by white-painted dancers.
She died at her home in the southwestern city of Bordeaux on Wednesday after a long illness, Adrien Joubert, the assistant production director of the Ariadone company, told AFP.
Born in the coastal village of Fukui, Ikeda first attended dance school in Tokyo aged 19. She trained in classical dance before she was converted to butoh by its inventor Tatsumi Hijikata.
In 1974, Ikeda founded Ariadone, the first all-female butoh dance company, in Bordeaux. She guided the company until her death.
She brought butoh to Paris in 1975 with a performance of "Mesu Kasan" ("Female Volcano") and continued dancing for three more decades.
In 2005, when she was well into her sixties, she performed the ballet "Zarathustra".
She gave butoh lessons around the world and regularly travelled to the United States.
Fabien Robert, deputy mayor of Bordeaux with responsibility for culture, said: "It's a huge and signficant loss for the world of dance but also for the city because of the international reputation of this form of choreography and the company."