The Asheville Butoh Collective serves as a hub for the creative work of Sara Baird, Jenni Cockrell, Julie Becton Gillum, and Constance Humphries as well as the Asheville Butoh Festival which is entering its 12th season. The collective brings together four diverse artists and with over one hundred cumulative years of professional dancing, choreographing, collaborating, and teaching.
Sara Baird, director of Anemone Dance Theater, has danced, choreographed, and taught across the U.S., South America, and Europe for the last 25 years. She’s worked with Butoh master Akira Kasai, punk avant-garde artist Poppo Shiraishi and Butoh-Fu expert Yukio Waguri. Many artistic grants have supported Sara’s work including the N.C. Arts Council Fellowship in Choreography. She holds an MFA degree from University of Wisconsin. (anemonedance.org)
Jenni Cockrell of strange daughters butoh is a dancer, choreographer and teacher of butoh and modern dance. She has created and performed her own work in addition to that of Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre, Moving Women, Legacy Butoh and Anemone Dance Theater, and has regularly performed in the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival. She received her M.A. in Dance and Women’s Studies from UNC Greensboro in 2002. (strangedaughtersbutoh.
Julie Becton Gillum, artistic director of the Asheville Butoh Festival, has been creating, performing and teaching dance in the US, France, and Mexico for over 40 years. Julie has received numerous grants and awards for her choreography. She was awarded the 2008-09 NC Choreography Fellowship and used the funds to travel to Japan to study Butoh, her primary form of artistic expression. (ashevillebutoh.com/legacy-
Constance Humphries has been teaching, creating and presenting live performance internationally since 1992. Her creative practice is based on investigations via butoh dance. She holds degrees from UNC Chapel Hill and UNC Asheville. Recent projects include the Just Gather Film Festival, Edinburgh, UK , Help! at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle, UK and a residency at Experimental Studios, Newcastle, UK. (constancehumphries.com)