9TH ASHEVILLE BUTOH FESTIVAL features NYC’S BUTOH STAR “VANGELINE”


Vangeline Theater- Yi Chun Wu

TIME OUT CHICAGO
“BEST DANCE VISITS 2011″-

NEW YORK TIMES
“CAPTIVATING”

LOS ANGELES TIMES
“VANGELINE MOVES WITH THE CLOCKWORK DELIBERATION OF A PRACTICED JAPANESE BUTOH ARTIST”

JAPANCULTURENYC.ORG
“A TRIUMPH”

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LEGACY BUTOH & ASHEVILLE CONTEMPORARY DANCE THEATRE To Present:
“WOMEN OF BUTOH”
9th Annual Asheville Butoh Festival

Legacy Butoh, in partnership with the Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre, will present the 9th Annual Asheville Butoh Festival on Thursday, September 18 through Monday, September 22 at the BeBe Theatre in downtown Asheville.
The Festival, under the artistic direction of Julie Becton Gillum, will feature internationally renowned butoh choreographer and dancer Vangeline, along with solo works by Asheville dancers Jenni Cockrell, Susan Collard, Megan Ransmeir, and Julia Taylor. Ticketed performances and workshops open to dancers of all skill levels will be offered.

“We’re so fortunate to have Vangeline as the featured artist in the Asheville Butoh Festival this year,” said Julie Gillum. “Vangeline believes that Butoh can be a vehicle for collective and individual transformation in the 21st century, and I’m eager for her to share her artistic vision, her extraordinary choreographic skills, and her mesmerizing performances, with Asheville dancers and audiences.”

The unique art of butoh originated in post-World War II Japan as a reaction to the loss of identity caused by the westernization of Japanese culture, as well as a realization that ancient Japanese performing traditions no longer spoke to a contemporary audience. One of the major developments in contemporary dance in the latter half of the 20th century, butoh combines dance, theater, improvisation and influences of Japanese traditional performing arts to create a unique performing art form that is both controversial and universal in its expression.

***

Photography by Michael Blase

Photography by Michael Blase

3 WORKSHOP DISCOUNT – $75 – If you sign up for all 3 workshops by September 15!

9th Annual Asheville Butoh Festival Schedule of Events:

***All events take place at the BeBe theatre, 20 commerce street, Asheville
Thursday, September 18
8:00 PM “WOMEN OF BUTOH”
$17 in advance; $20 at the door; Senior $12, Student $10

***

Friday, September 19
8:00 PM “WOMEN OF BUTOH”
$17 in advance; $20 at the door; Senior $12, Student $10

***

Saturday, September 20
11 AM – 2 PM Butoh Workshop with Vangeline
$30

8:00 PM “WOMEN OF BUTOH”
BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce Street, Asheville
$17 in advance; $20 at the door; Senior $12, Student $10

***

Sunday, September 21
11 AM – 2 PM Butoh Workshop with Vangeline
BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce Street, Asheville, $30

7:00 PM “WOMEN OF BUTOH”
BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce Street, Asheville
$17 in advance; $20 at the door; Senior $12, Student $10

***

Monday, September 22
6 – 9 PM Butoh Workshop with Vangeline
BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce Street, Asheville, $30

***

Advance and door tickets for all Festival performances and workshops may be purchased in person at the BeBe Theatre, located at 20 Commerce Street in downtown Asheville, or by calling the box office at 828-254-2621.

For updated information on the Festival schedule and artists, visit www.ashevillebutoh.com. For ticket information and box office hours, visit www.acdt.org or call 828-254-2621.

***

Photography by Michael Blase

Photography by Michael Blase

Butoh Dance Workshop with Vangeline

“Butoh can lead us back to our rebellions, our private wars, our wounded selves, and through this process brings what is hidden into the light. “The process is deeply healing and transformative. Shedding various masks and layers of conditioning leads to more honesty. When we are stripped of our defenses, we can offer our best. We become capable of intimacy and humanity.” ~Vangeline

This Butoh workshop creates a supportive environment to start an individual and collective process of investigation through creative movement. Participants start a spiritual and energetic journey to express, heal and transform hidden aspects of themselves. The work incorporates Japanese Butoh techniques, guided imagery, bio-energetics, core energetics, creative movement, improvisation, release techniques, elements of Noguchi gymnastics. This unique training is an invaluable tool for dancers, actors, adult beginners, encouraging participants to open up and expand physically and energetically.

*All levels and complete beginners are welcome.

***

Vangeline - "Downrise" photography by Michael Blase

Vangeline – “Downrise”
photography by Michael Blase

Featured Artist: Vangeline

After 15 sold out shows at the Avignon Festival in July 2014, Vangeline is delighted to perform her solo FIFTH OF BEETHOVEN-Admiring Tatsumi Hijikata” in Asheville.

Beethoven meets Butoh as Vangeline’s performance conjures up the ghosts of two passionate giants who left us with an immeasurable legacy.

Tatsumi Hijikata’s costume worn for his last public solo performance in 1968 (is inspiration for Vangeline’s costume created by New York designer Todd Thomas (Katie Perry Prismatic Tour).

***

[photography by Michael Blase

[photography by Michael Blase

“Fifth of Beethoven – Admiring Tatsumi Hijikata”

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VANGELINE "STREETS"

VANGELINE “STREETS”

Vangeline 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 (NYC), a dance company firmly rooted in the tradition of Japanese Butoh while carrying it into the 21st century. She was born in Bourgogne, France and moved to New York in 1993.

Vangeline’s choreographic work spans performance on stage and in film and has been performed throughout the US for the past 10 years. Her work has been heralded in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and LA Weekly to name a few. Time OUT Chicago named Vangeline’s, “one of the best Dance Visits of 2011.”

Since its inception in 2002, the Vangeline Theater has fused the post-apocalyptic vision of Butoh with the aesthetics of 21st century film noir. The Company’s unique style, which might be described as “butoh meets film noir,” is informed by Vangeline’s extensive training with Butoh Masters, including Tetsuro Fukuhara, Yoshito Ohno, Yumiko Yoshioka, Diego Pinon and Katsura Kan, as well as performing Butoh solo on stage and film.

Vangeline’s critically acclaimed choreographed works have been presented in New York at Joyce SoHo, White Wave, the New Museum, Dance Theater Workshop, PS122 Performance Space, and Abrons Arts Center. She was the recipient of a six-month artist residency at PS122 Performance Space (“New, New Stuff”); since 2006 she has received prestigious awards from the Puffin Foundation, the Japan Foundation, the New York Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Asian American Arts Alliance, Brooklyn Arts Council, and the Robert Friedman Foundation.

She is the founder of the 7-year running, award-winning program “The Dream a Dream Project”, which brings Butoh dance to incarcerated men and women at correctional facilities across New York City.

Also active in film and theatre, Vangeline performed the critically acclaimed role of the ghost of Elizabeth Short (the “Black Dahlia”) in the 2011 Los Angeles production of ‘The Chanteuse and the Devil’s Muse.’ directed by David J (Bauhaus). The Los Angeles press unanimously praised her Butoh performance. THEATER IN LA selected her performance as one of the best 2011 performances in Los Angeles.

Recent film projects include a starring role alongside actors James Franco and Winona Ryder in the feature film by director Jay Anania, ‘The Letter (2012-Lionsgate). Vangeline is currently in collaboration with the Marina Abromovic Institute and Neuroscientist Suzanne Dikker, exploring the intersection of Butoh and Neuroscience.

***

photography by Kosuke Mori

Artistic Director: Julie Becton Gillum

photography by Kosuke Mori

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www.vangeline.com–
www.ashevillebutoh.com
www.vangeline.com
www.vimeo.com/vangeline
www.facebook.com/vangelinetheater
@vangelinebutoh on twitter

Butoh “POWERHOUSE” Vanessa Skantz Returns to Asheville for Workshop /Performance

Vanessa Skantz

Vanessa Skantz


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 17, 2014
Press Contact: Sara Baird
PH: (646) 522-2518
email: info@anemonedance.org

Asheville dance companies Anemone Dance Theater and Legacy Butoh will collaborate to host acclaimed Butoh artist and choreographer Vanessa Skantze for an artist residency in Asheville the week of August 5-12.

Highlights of the residency include:

“Listening to the Bones: The Body as Instrument and Offering”
a movement workshop and performance open to the public

When: Saturday, August 9, 2:00 – 5:00 pm
Where: Bebe Theater
20 Commerce Street
Asheville, NC 28801
Description: Creating a space of curiosity and trust while fostering intense physical/mental focus, the workshop will facilitate awareness of the concurrent structural and energetic alignment of the body; explore limits of flexibility and strength, speed and stillness, instability and ground; work in pairs to develop listening beyond the skin; and invoke imagery to be absorbed into the body–creating the offering of Butoh dance. Follow the workshop, a studio performance will feature workshop participants performing the newly created dance piece as well as Vanessa Skantze performing a solo set.

For more information or to register, email Sara Baird at info@anemonedance.org or call (646)522-2518. Suggested donation is $30.

“Radiant Poison”
During her residency, Vanessa Skantze will work with professional dancers to choreograph Radiant Poison, a dance that journeys through four gardens: origins, illusion, creation, and dissolution. Radiant Poison will premiere October 25 and 26 at Grove Park in Asheville as part of UWABE – Art in the Park, a free outdoor dance series funded in part by the Asheville Area Arts Council with support from Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center.

Vanessa Skantze, a Butoh artist and teacher of yoga and dance, has performed in the U.S. and Europe for more than 20 years and is now based in Seattle. She co-founded the New Orleans sound/movement ensemble Death Posture and collaborates with renowned musicians such as Jarboe and percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani. Skantze has trained and performed with Jinen Butoh founder Atsushi Takenouchi, has created numerous ensemble works and solo pieces under the name Danse Perdue, and taught as part of Lydia Lunch’s Post-Catastrophe Collaborative.

Anemone Dance Theater, under the artistic direction of Sara Baird, is influenced by the philosophy of Japanese Butoh Dance – a theatrical poetry of opposites, absurdities and unanticipated beauty. In addition to directing her own company, Baird has performed with the Butoh Rockettes directed by Celeste Hastings, Poppo & Gogo Boys, Richard Move for the Guggenheim Museum, VH1, and the Cannes Film Festival, and has toured the U.S., South America, and Europe. In 2007, Baird was chosen by master Akira Kasai to perform at The Japan Society in NYC for his commission, Butoh America.

Legacy Butoh was founded in 2005 by Julie Becton Gillum, an icon of the Asheville dance community who previously founded three modern dance companies. Gillum has been creating, performing, and teaching dance in the US, France, Cuba and Mexico for over 40 years. Since 1998, she has created and presented major Butoh pieces at a variety of venues in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Mexico, along with producing the annual Asheville Butoh Festival. In 2009, she was awarded the prestigious Choreography Fellowship by the North Carolina Arts Council, which enabled her to travel to Japan to study with Butoh masters.

Sara Baird, Artistic Director of Anemone Dance Theater, and Julie Becton Gillum, Artistic Director of Legacy Butoh, are frequent collaborators, having choreographed and performed together at the Asheville Fringe Festival, as part of NC Stage’s Catalyst Series, at Black Mountain College Museum + Art Center’s Re-Happening, and at many Asheville street festivals.

NICOLE LEGETTE, CHICAGO’S BUTOH “MAVERICK” RETURNS TO ASHEVILLE

WHAT: Butoh Dance Workshop with Nicole LeGette (No Experience Necessary)

WHEN: Friday April 25, 7:00 – 9:00 PM

WHERE: Bryson Gym, on the campus of Warren Wilson College at North entrance

COST: FREE to WWC students; Students with ID – $5; Adults and Seniors – $10-25 (sliding scale)

FOR INFORMATION: Email JULIE ; call /text 828 683 1377

photo of Nicole LeGette by Michelle Tupko

2013 Asheville Butoh Festival Segment

Have a peek at one of the pieces from the Asheville Butoh Festival

8th Asheville Butoh Festival WORKSHOP INFORMATION

Jenni Cockrell

*ALL WORKSHOPS WILL BE TAUGHT AT THE

BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce Street

This years festival will offer four exciting workshops for you to really get yourself satiated with the expressive art of butoh. Each workshop is designed for all levels of experience so spring into action and bring butoh into your body and life.

#1

WHEN: Friday April 26, 10 AM-1PM

TAUGHT BY: Maureen “momo” Freehill

#2

WHEN: Saturday April 27, 12 PM – 3 PM

TITLE: “One Drop”

TAUGHT BY: Keiko Hashimoto

DESCRIPTION: This class will explore the following questions:

How can we connect the unchanging and the ever-changing in our life?                            How can we bring one drop of life to the big river?

Through the human body, using exercises in space like walking, standing, levels, qualities of strength and delicacy, we will discover “space flower” or “stone back”. This workshop will connect to Friday’s workshop with momo, in that both these teachers’ primary mentor was butoh c0-founder Kazuo Ohno.


#3

WHEN: Sunday April 28, 12 – 3 PM

TAUGHT BY: Florence Poulain and Bob Lyness

TITLE: “Collective Consciousness at Play”

DESCRIPTION: In the tradition of butoh master Diego Pinon, this workshop will focus on exploring states of mind and attitudes, ranging from the subtle to the grotesque, through individual and interactive explorations. In this process of self-discovery we will connect with one another,  cultivating a supportive energetic exchange.

#4

TITLE: “Dance and the Archetypal Symbol: An Improvisational Butoh Workshop”

DESCRIPTION: This improvisational, Butoh inspired class will explore the question “How does the soul experience image and archetype?”  Through Butoh exercises and improvisation, we will delve into symbols and images, exploring them as vital seeds for dance, performance and the human experience.

TAUGHT BY: Jenni Cockrell

WHEN: Monday April 29, 6 – 9 PM


“8th ASHEVILLE BUTOH FESTIVAL”

Keiko Hashimoto
photography by Stanka Usha Tsonkova

P R E S S  R E L E A S E

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 8, 2013

CONTACT: Julie Becton Gillum, 828-683-1377 / jbgbutoh@gmail.com

LEGACY BUTOH & ASHEVILLE CONTEMPORARY DANCE THEATRE
TO PRESENT
8TH ASHEVILLE BUTOH FESTIVAL
Legacy Butoh, in partnership with the Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre, will present the 8th Asheville Butoh Festival on Thursday, April 25 through Monday, April 29 at the BeBe Theatre and other venues in downtown Asheville. The Festival, under the artistic direction of Julie Becton Gillum, will feature both local and international dancers and will include ticketed performances and workshops, along with several free outdoor events.
The unique art of butoh originated in post-World War II Japan as a reaction to the loss of identity caused by the westernization of Japanese culture, as well as a realization that ancient Japanese performing traditions no longer spoke to a contemporary audience. One of the major developments in contemporary dance in the latter half of the 20th century, butoh combines dance, theater, improvisation and influences of Japanese traditional performing arts to create a unique performing art form that is both controversial and universal in its expression. Hallmarks of butoh include white painted faces and bodies, very slow and controlled movement, and contorted postures. The dances are often based on themes of nature and evoke images of decay and resurrection, of fear and desperation, and of eroticism, ecstasy and stillness.
“Butoh is a wonderful art form for dancers of every discipline to experience and learn, but it’s also great for actors and other performing artists,” said Susan Collard, Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre co-artistic director and the co-producer of the annual butoh festivals. “We’re proud to give our community the opportunity to interact with some of the butoh world’s most accomplished artists.”

Julie Becton Gillum

photography by Reiner Doost

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR JULIE BECTON GILLUM
The 8th Asheville Butoh Festival is directed by the acclaimed Asheville area butoh dancer, choreographer, and teacher Julie Becton Gillum. As founder of three modern dance companies, and ultimately Legacy Butoh, Gillum has been creating, performing and teaching dance in the US, France, Cuba and Mexico for over 40 years. She currently teaches modern dance, musical theatre, performance art and butoh at Warren Wilson College. Gillum’s primary form of artistic expression has become butoh, which she has been practicing, performing and teaching since 1998. She has created and presented major pieces in the genre at a variety of venues in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Mexico. Gillum was awarded the prestigious 2009 Choreography Fellowship by the North Carolina Arts Council, which enabled her to travel to Japan to study with several renowned butoh masters.
“Butoh is a natural for Asheville because we have so many adventurous spirits here,” said Gillum. “Interest has definitely been building for audiences and artists alike. In fact, I fielded so many requests to participate in this year’s Festival that I had to turn some dancers away.” Gillum is particularly excited about the four free outdoor performances occurring throughout the Festival. “The free concerts are our way of giving more people an entry point into butoh so they can see that it’s not intimidating or esoteric,” she said. “Butoh is actually the opposite of esoteric; it’s simply the body speaking for itself. The butoh workshops are also an entry point, as they are open to anyone 18 years or older regardless of their movement experience. Participants should wear comfortable clothes and come with an open mind.”

"sky reach"

photography by Esneiver Keko Zorrilla

FEATURED ARTISTS
The internationally acclaimed Japanese actor /dancer Keiko Hashimoto experiments with using the “body as subject” through voice, movement, and theater. She studied and performed with Kazuo Ohno and his son Yoshito Ohno, the originators of the butoh movement, and went on to receive numerous grants for her performance work in the US, Japan, Paraguay, and Brazil.

Maureen “momo” Freehill is Artistic Director of the MomoButoh International Dance Company, based in the Seattle area. She has 30 years experience as a performer, educator and director of body-based practice and performance, and danced  for five years with Kazuo and Yoshito Ohno in Japan.

Bob Lyness, who hails from Washington, DC, has studied butoh with Diego Pinon and Yoshito Ohno, his main mentor and inspiration, and has performed with various Butoh artists in Japan, Hawaii, New York, England and Mexico.

Florence Poulain, Born in the Loire Valley, France now resides in New York City. A professional photographer, Florence’s mentor is Diego Pinon. Florence presently co-directs Deep Tanks Studio an art /performance space on Staten Island.

Local butoh performers include Jenni Cockrell, Lucas Baumann, Sara Baird, Melissa McKee, Monika Gross, Giles Collard, Julie Becton Gillum, Valeria Watson-Doost, and Brit Castaneda. There will also be a “Sound Installation by CILLA VEE LIFE ARTS”.

Florence Poulain

photography by Kristopher Johnson

8TH ASHEVILLE BUTOH FESTIVAL

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Thursday, April 25

5:00 PM “Black White Les Butoh” Valeria Watson-Doost, Brit Castaneda, and others
Pack Square Park
FREE, no tickets required
(Check www.ashevillebutoh.com for updates)

8:00 PM “Uninvited Guests” a concert featuring local butoh dancers
BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce Street.
$15 in advance; $17 at the door; Senior $12, Student $10

Friday, April 26 10:00 AM -1:00 PM Workshop with Maureen “momo” Freehill
BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce Street
$25 in advance; $30 at the door

5:00 PM “Butoh Tarot” by Jenni Cockrell
Vance Monument
FREE, no tickets required

8:00 PM “Uninvited Guests” a concert featuring Keiko Hashimoto, Florence Poulain, Bob Lynnes, Maureen “momo” Freehill, and local dancers
BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce Street
$15 in advance; $17 at the door; Senior $12, Student $10

Saturday, April 27

12 noon – 3:00 PM Workshop with Keiko Hashimoto
BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce Street
$25 in advance; $30 at the door

5:00 PM Performance of “Oracle of the Snake” by Maureen “momo” Freehill
Pritchard Park
FREE, no tickets required

8:00 PM “Uninvited Guests” a concert featuring Keiko Hashimoto, Florence Poulain, Bob Lynnes, Maureen “momo” Freehill, and local dancers
BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce Street
$15 in advance; $17 at the door; Senior $12, Student $10
Sunday, April 28

12 noon – 3:00 PM “Collective Consciousness at Play” a workshop with Florence Poulain
BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce Street
$25 in advance; $30 at the door

5:00 PM “Toothwort” by Melissa Mckee
Skully’s courtyard on Lexington Avenue
- FREE, no tickets required

8:00 PM “Uninvited Guests” a concert featuring Keiko Hashimoto, Florence Poulain, Bob Lynnes, Maureen “momo” Freehill, and local dancers
BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce Street
$15 in advance; $17 at the door; Senior $12, Student $10

Monday, April 29

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM “Dance and the Archetypal Symbol: An Improvisational Butoh Workshop” by Jenni Cockrell
BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce Street
$25 in advance; $30 at the door

Advance and door tickets for all Festival performances and workshops may be purchased in person at the BeBe Theatre, located at 20 Commerce Street in downtown Asheville, or by calling the box office at 828-254-2621. Discounted advance tickets must be purchased by April 24.

For updated information on the Festival schedule, artists, and workshops visit www.ashevillebutoh.com. For ticket information and box office hours, visit www.acdt.org or call 828-254-2621.

Florence Poulain

photography by Kristopher Johnson

# # #

BUTOH DANCE PRACTICE IN ASHEVILLE

Come to our regular butoh practice led by Julie Becton Gillum and other practitioners of the form.

Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30 – 11:30 AM,

Place: BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce Street, downtown Asheville

Cost: $5

For Info: jbgbutoh@gmail.com or 828 683-1377

“Butoh In Seattle” a review of 30 /30 Concert, written by Amontaine Aurore

photo by Briana Jones

Critic Mark Holborn has written that Butoh is defined by its very evasion of definition. A dance art form that started and developed in Japan after World War II, allegedly in response to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Butoh has spread to the United States and overseas, and continues to defy simple categorization. Unlike Hip Hop that also began as an underground movement but got quickly co-opted by corporate interest Concerts and molded for mass consumption, Butoh has remained true to its subversive roots. I recently witnessed what was described as a ‘Butoh-inspired’ performance in Seattle where Butoh has captured a following among a dedicated group of artists that have been evolving the form since the 90s. The production entitled 30/30 Concert was a two-day long performance that presented the work of four choreographers: Sheri Brown, Helen Thorsen, Diana Garcia-Snyder and Joan Laage, and featured a stellar lineup of Butoh dancers in and around the Seattle area. The slow, controlled movements and white-faced makeup that characterizes the form was still in use. Yet, I noted that these performances were ‘not your mother’s Butoh.’ Employing pioneering multimedia installations and fusing the form with modern dance sensibilities, there seemed a marked departure, an evolution from what had previously gone before. However, the iconoclastic underbelly remained, as well as the venturing into dangerous, uncharted territory where few dance forms would dare to tread. This, I suspect, is due at least in part by the organic structure and philosophical underpinnings of the form. Rather than mimicking a system of already devised steps, jumps, leaps and turns, Butoh is derived from the body discovering movement. As one enters into the discovery, bodies, minds, perceptions expand, and so necessarily, do the possibilities. It was precisely these possibilities, morphing into incredibility, which made the performances so thrilling.

Take for instance the piece entitled, Divided by Zero, choreographed by Sheri Brown, who also danced in it, along with collaborators, Angela Martinelli, Kaoru Okumura, Alisa Popova, Douglas Ridings and Alan Sutherland. The work poses the premise, “What happens when mathematical impossibility becomes bodily possibility? When humans import the infinite into their finite beings, putting the ungraspable on display in their bodies? Brown, who is a math teacher, and her dance collaborators, created an eclectic work that commingled the trademark Butoh slow adagio movements with gongs, spoken words, and da Vinciesque perfected anatomical poses. In developing the piece, Brown was interested in the discovery of how dance can be considered a valid and integral investigation into mathematical/cultural frontiers. She sites mathematical breakthroughs worked out first on paper that led to engineering know-how in building the space shuttle and traveling to the moon. What mathematical suppositions and technological triumphs can be derived from dance when its thrust is perpetual discovery? Fastidious control and precision movement, some of which brought to mind equations and geometric calculations being carved through space, shattered my notions of what the body can and cannot do. Brown, a petite woman, at one point during the performance carried a grown man across her back.

Breaking up the live performances, was the amazing short film, Scrap Life, choreographed by SU-EN from Sweden and featuring performers from the SU-EN Butoh Company. Filmed in a junkyard, dancers emerge from the rubbish, elegantly dressed, arms and hands moving in sublime and sacred phraseology. The junkyard setting seems pertinent, as Butoh is famous for being performed in unfathomable spaces, such as caves, or where life is absurd, dramatic or extreme.

Although the Seattle Butoh community has not received as much press in Seattle as some other art forms, it was interesting to note the full house and enthusiastic reactions of their audience, as they have garnered a most remarkable following. What’s most palpable in this teeming and blossoming milieu is the driven devotion of the artists themselves that are not only dancing the form, but living it fiercely.

photo by Briana Jones

30/30 Concert was performed on June 22 and 23rd at Velocity Dance Center in Seattle, and was produced by DAIPANbutoh Collective, Last Leg and Danse Perdue.

ASHEVILLE BUTOH FESTIVAL WORKSHOPS

The Asheville Butoh Festival will host three exciting workshops by butoh artists: Vanessa Skantz of Danse Perdue from Seattle, Chicago dancer Nicole LeGette of Blushing Poppy Productions, and Monika Gross, a recent transplant to Asheville from NYC. Classes are open to all – no previous dance or butoh experience required. All workshops are $25 if registered before June 15; $30 on the day of the workshop.

“Deep Listening”

Ankoku Butoh Workshop with Vanessa Skantz

Saturday, June 16, 1 – 4 PM

BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce Street

"The Mona Lisa"Vanessa’s workshops are dedicated to creating a shared space of curiosity and trust while fostering intense physical/mental focus. The body in crisis of Butoh differs from a body that moves habitually. Its total existence is compelling. By witnessing  the simplest of movement:- crawling, rising, walking, falling-displays the naked immediacy of the natural world. Tree, stone, animal, water- embracing these energies re-connects the human body to the world beyond its skin and to the evolution of life within its own cells.

Workshop goals are:

- Communion with the breath

- Rigorous and rhythmic physical work, exploring limits of flexibility and strength, speed and stillness, lightness and weight, and the edge of balance

- Listening to the bones, understanding anatomical and energetic structure as one source

- Employing the instrument of the body with its spirals, waves, folds and twists

- Working with sound/voice to develop listening skills

- Honing “deep listening” skills through partner work involving direct touch, echoing, and the practice of being moved, being danced.

- Listening to the dance being born inside, seeking the unknown, allowing the world to be created anew at each moment

These elements are tools to create an empathetic bridge of our bodies. We strive for a dance in which we sacrifice our energy in recognition of the intense life that brought about who we are in this moment. To make this dance we must become, in the words of Antonin Artaud,” acrobats of the heart” as well as technicians of the physical body.

As these body practices are honed, we place imagery into the body to become other, and make the leap into transformation-a kind of willed possession in which the dancer viscerally draws other into his body.  How to find the raw feeling of the flower breaking through the earth, sucking at the sun, rather than the ideal?

Butoh Workshop by Nicole LeGette

Sunday June 17, 1 – 4 PM

BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce Street

Taxonomy of Transformation”

Transformation is one of the salient and radical aspects of butoh. The dance itself is found within the very act of transformation. Yet oftentimes, the detailed process of transmutation, this deliberate transit of the transition, is overlooked, not crafted. A certain indulgent sameness results, with focus on A and B rather than the space the lies between A-B.  In this workshop we will identify and investigate specific techniques that bring renewed attention to and encourage detailed crafting of the dance of transformation.


BUTOH WORKSHOP:
“The Continuity of Becoming” by Monika Gross,

Monday June 18, 6 – 9 PM

BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce Street

This workshop offers simple principles of the Alexander Technique as a way into the butoh dancer’s imaginative process of continuous conscious transformation:  A widened awareness of infinite Time and Space. An undivided perception of Self. Giving consent to being “danced.” Moving with curiosity and confidence from the Known into the Unknown. Falling upward. Rising downward. Slipping effortlessly into the Between Space of endless possibility.

Monika Gross is a Senior Teacher of the Alexander Technique, teaching sine 1985. She has a BFA in Drama from the NC School of the Arts and has trained in butoh over the past ten years with such teachers as Akira Kasai, Tadashi Endo, Yukio Waguri, and Atsushi Takenouchi.
www.FormFitnessFunction.com

ASHEVILLE BUTOH FESTIVAL FILM NIGHT

What: Asheville Butoh Festival presents an evening of butoh inspired films by video artists: Lucas Baumann, Peter Brezny, Rainer Doost, and Megan Ransmeier.

When: June 13, 2012 @ 6:00 PM

Where: Black Mountain College Museum, 56 Broadway, Asheville

Cost: $5

Here is the line-up.

“LAKE EDEN”

(2012)

-Directed by Megan Ransmeier and Lucas Baumann

-Photography and Editing by Lucas Baumann

-Performance by Julia Taylor, Mariana Templin, Amelia Burns, and Megan Ransmeier.

Shot in and around Lake Eden, site of the former Black Mountain College, this film presents emotionally evocative images of contemplative movement, influenced by the local landscape and individual narratives. Characters emerge and recede within an abstract world of relation, while housed in sculptural costume and situation.

2011 BOULDER BUTOH FESTIVAL

Excerpts from the performances of Diego Pinon, Yukio Suzuki, and Yukio Waruri


-Filmed and edited by Peter Brezny

OBLIVION, THE ORIGINS, IMPACTS AND FUTURE OF BUTOH”

Pre-release excerpts from the documentary film

a collaboration between Peter Brezny and Julie Becton Gillum

(currently in production)

GHOSTS OF THE SOUTH” An Affrilachian Butoh Homage

Filmed and edited by Rainer Doost, Zamani Productions

Directed by Julie Becton Gillum in collaboration with Valeria Watson-Doost

The 18 minute film honors and calls forth the Ghosts of the Asheville River Arts District, a part of town in which blacks thrived and from which they were displaced.Fo otage is derived from a live performance at the fall 2011 opening of Valeria Watson-Doost’s art exhibit entitled “NiceNasty.” The exhibit and performance addressed the continuing inhumanity we visit on each other through war, torture and racism.

The choreographers and lead performers Valeria Watson-Doost (a black woman) and Julie Becton Gillium (a white women) both have deep historic roots in Western North Carolina. In this profoundly personal performance the two dancers take us from deep racial dissonance to possible redemption.

It is the same ray of hope that makes Valeria Watson-Doost’s art not only bearable, but beautiful.

THROW BODY”

5 minutes – 2012

-Photography by Megan Ransmeier

-Performance and Editing by Lucas Baumann

A short picture of human grace, curiosity and persistence in the forest.