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Vangeline Theater – Queer Butoh 2021


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Vangeline Theater – Queer Butoh 2021
Now – Jun 30th, 2021
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Vangeline Theater/ New York Butoh Institute, in collaboration with Howl Arts presents Queer Butoh 2021 on June 8, 15 and 22nd, 2021 at 8pm, streaming free at After each live stream, the video presentations will be available at until June 30, 2021.

At its origin, the introduction of Butoh in Japan was widely controversial. The first homoerotic butoh performance, Kinjiki (Forbidden Colors) created by Tatsumi Hijikata in 1959, caused controversy amongst its spectators. This year, Queer Butoh returns during Pride month as a video series featuring LGBT/Q butoh dancers from Singapore, South Africa and Italy. The featured artists present their work and reflect on the intersection of Butoh and Queerness.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021 at 8pm: XUE (Singapore) in Flowers, performed in 2019 in Brooklyn, NY, with a live accompaniment on electric guitar by John Barrington, an improvised score integrated with ASMR style field recordings of hand-manipulated chrysanthemums. In collaboration with Mika Orotea and John Barrington.
VHS Documentation: Mika Orotea.
With introduction by the artist (60 minutes).

XUE is a surrogate for artist Sher Chew — an eponymous conductor of clandestine realities, activated through live performance informed by the art of butoh. XUE is interested in aesthetic production as intervention, cultivating an impressionistic style of world building as a form of critical resistance. XUE’s worlds are post-lingual spaces which often involve silent or disarticulate bodies routinely subject to invisible restrictions. By designing rigorous systems that provoke exhaustion, XUE is committed to unscripting the socialized body; allowing radical physical vocabularies to emerge through the body as it cedes to a state of surrender.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021 at 8pm: Damiano Fina (Italy) performs Helios and talks about Queer Butoh Pedagogy (60 minutes).

Damiano Fina is an artist and writer, founder of the FÜYA method. A pedagogical approach to dance, alchemy and their spiritual origin since the Pleistocene. Since 2004 its artistic research has been influenced by alchemy, the ancient rituals of Classical Greece, the teachings of the Zen master Dogen, butoh dance, radical queer theory and continuous readings and meditations. Its artistic research explores mysticism and philosophy through the body and its multiple possibilities of connection. It has performed in London, Paris, Berlin, Thessaloniki, Japan and various Italian festivals. Damiano holds a master’s degree in Pedagogy of Expression. In 2017 it connected queer theory with butoh dance in its project for a queer pedagogy, publishing the book “The dance of Eros and Thanatos: butoh and queer pedagogy”. In 2020 it published the book “Dance and Alchemy”, that introduces to the FÜYA method.

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021 at 8pm: Tebby W. T. Ramasike (South Africa) in In Search of a Soul: A Blind Man’s Cry … the appeal, performed at TATWERK Berlin in February 2015. With introduction by the artist. (60 minutes).

Tebby Ramasike, is a South African choreographer, dancer/performer, dance teacher & researcher, butoh practitioner, cultural activist, residing in Europe since 1995. He travelled extensively during a period of research and collaborations, working with internationally acclaimed choreographers and teachers. He was nominated and won a number of prestigious choreography and dance awards. In 1999 he founded TeBogO Dance Ensemble (TBO), renamed TeBogO Dance – TBO, which since its inauguration has been invited to perform and teach internationally. Holder of an MA degree in Choreography from the Dance Unlimited Programme in Arnhem, Netherlands, was the first recipient of the international choreography bursary from the Michel Tesson Performing Arts Trust and subsequently the Creative Arts Foundation. In 2002 he became a member of World Dance Alliance-Europe and currently he is a member of UNESCO’s International Dance Council (CID). Currently, he is working on an interactive multidisciplinary crossover collaborative project and focuses on his on-going research of his Afro-Butoh concept. His latest collaboration butoh project has been selected to be part of the European Capital of Cultures 2022 Programme of Esch2022 & Kaunas2022. 

Vangeline (curator) is a teacher, dancer, and choreographer specializing in the Japanese postwar avant-garde movement form Butoh. She is the artistic director of the Vangeline Theater (New York), a dance company firmly rooted in the tradition of Japanese Butoh while carrying it into the 21st century, and the founder of the New York Butoh Institute. Vangeline is a 2018 NYFA/ NYSCA Artist Fellow in Choreography. She is also the winner of the 2015 Gibney Dance’s Beth Silverman-Yam Social Action Award and is the author of the critically acclaimed book Butoh: Cradling Empty Space (2020).

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