The Zen Zen Zo aesthetic was forged partly from the ancient Asian dance-theatre traditions, where spirituality is at the fore, and partly in contemporary pop culture, where sound, light, movement and spectacle generate a visceral experience. Central to our work has also been the notion of “the carnivalesque” — the playful world of transgression and the grotesque, of inversion and the shadow.

This fusion of intercultural practice, visual theatre, and deep questioning about the human experience gives Zen Zen Zo its unique appeal, and continues to draw new audiences to the theatre.

Simon Woods, Performance Company Director

“It is forbidden to walk on the grass. It is not forbidden to fly over the grass.”
– Augusto Boal


“When I sleep I dream strange, unspeakable things. When I wake, I cannot do them, so I dance them…”
MARO Akaji (Dairakudakan) 

“Inspired by Japanese butoh performance, burlesque, cabaret, contemporary dance and performance art, Zen Zen Zo mix it all together and produce their own brand of entertainment. It’s a style that’s brave, unapologetic, a little bit crazy and completely captivating for the audience. 5 Stars” (Kelly Apter – The Scotsman)

ITCOS_1In April 2016 Zen Zen Zo debuted our latest work, In the Company of Shadows. A co-production with QUT Precincts and in collaboration with Dairakudakan & the Deep Blue Orchestra, this innovative contemporary performance piece invited an intimate audience of 4 patrons at a time to join us for a Sleepover, during which time they journeyed (on a king-sized bed!) through a surreal night of dreams, fantasies and nightmares. Each intimate audience pre-selected the tone of their night’s dreaming – playful & edgy OR sensual & sublime… Featuring 11 Zen Zen Zo performers, 1 Dairakudakan dancer, and 4 Deep Blue Orchestra musicians, this innovative new work took intimate and immersive theatre to a whole new level! Continue Reading –>