Archive for the Category Performances


NiceNasty/Ghosts of the South

“YUGEN” performances

photography by Wesley Duffee-Braun

Anemone Dance Theater and Legacy Butoh

in association with North Carolina Stage Company’s Catalyst Series present an evening of butoh dance


June 23, 24, 25 and June 30, July 1 & 2, 2011

7pm pre-show at 15 Stage Lane and 7:30 curtain

Anemone Dance Theater and Legacy Butoh, in association with North Carolina Stage Company’s Catalyst Series, present Yugen; an evening of butoh dance. The performance runs for two weekends – June 23, 24, 25 and June 30, July 1 & 2, 2011 at North Carolina Stage Company located at 15 Stage Lane Asheville, NC with a 7pm pre-show in Stage Lane and 7:30 curtain.

Sara Baird, choreographer and Anemone Dance Theater’s artistic director, is Odysseus’s sea Siren, mesmerizing us with her spell of pure beauty.”- June Juilian, NY Arts Magazine

Luscious” – Jennifer Dunning, New York Times

Sara Baird, artistic director of Anemone Dance Theater and Julie Becton Gillum, artistic director of Legacy Butoh premiere Yugen - an evening of experimental butoh dance. Sara Baird relocated her dance company Anemone Dance Theater from New York City and teamed up with Julie Becton Gillum of Asheville’s own Legacy Butoh two years ago. Yugen is the result of their unique artistic relationship.

Butoh originated in post-WWII Japan and is a postmodern movement in which formal dance technique is eschewed in favor of idiosyncratic movements. Butoh was born from many influences: the German expressionistic dances of Mary Wigman, western writers Genet, Artaud, and de Sade, and the artistic movements of Surrealism and Dada. Butoh uses the body brazenly to attain personal, social, or political transformations and to challenge convention to reveal the fervent beauty of the unique human spirit.

Joining Yugen are the talented and virtuosic performers John Crutchfield, Jenni Cockrell, and Julia Taylor with musicians Chandra Shukla, Elisa Faires, and Kimathi Moore. The “Procession of Bones” pre-show travels down Stage Lane while creating live music and dance from 7-7:30pm. Once inside, the performance unfolds like a dreamscape with each dance creating it’s own unique world; bizarre and beautiful – arresting and startling. Yugen refers to a concept in traditional Japanese aesthetics which means “a profound, mysterious sense of the beauty of the universe… and the sad beauty of human suffering.”

A butoh photography exhibit by Wesley Photography is on display in the lobby of North Carolina Stage Company in conjunction with the Yugen performances and received support from the North Carolina Arts Council – Regional Arts Program Grant, Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center, and generous personal donors.

Press photos and additional information is located at

Photo credits: Wesley Photography

photography by Wesley Duffee-Braun

April Fools Butoh Festival

Dear Friends,

This is to let you know about a very exciting upcoming event in the Asheville arts community. In light of recent disasters such as in Japan, Haiti, and Pakistan, a portion of the proceeds from this event will be donated to The Red Cross and Doctors without Borders. Hope you can participate.

Julie Becton Gillum

Press Release for April Fools Butoh Festival

What? 3 BUTOH Performances

When? Friday & Saturday, April 1, 2, 2011 @ 7:30
Sunday April 3 @ 6:00 PM

Where? BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce Street, downtown Asheville

Who? Seattle Dancers: Sheri Brown, Maureen “momo” Freehill
Local Dancers: Julie B. Gillum, Sara Baird, Megan Ransmeier,
Lucas Baumann, Andrew Braddock, Melissa McKee, Jenni Cockrell

How Much? In Advance – $15 (general), $10 (Seniors, Students)
At the Door – $17, $12

What? 3 BUTOH Workshops

When /Who? Saturday April 2, 1:00-4:00, Julie Gillum (Asheville)
Sunday April 3, 1:00-4:00, Sheri Brown (Seattle)
Monday April 4, 6:00-9:00 -“momo” Freehill (Seattle)

Where? BeBe Theatre, New Studio Of Dance,
20 Commerce Street, downtown Asheville

How Much? $50 per single workshop
$90 for all 3 workshops (9 hours!)

Get ready for the “APRIL FOOLS BUTOH FESTIVAL” Produced by the Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre and Legacy Butoh, the festival will feature guest artists Sheri Brown and Maureen “momo” Freehill from the Seattle area as well as Asheville dancers in a smorgasbord of workshops and performances at the infamous BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce Street in downtown Asheville. Performances are Friday April 1 and Saturday April 2 at 7:30 PM with a Sunday April 3 show at 6:00 PM. For tickets or information, please check out our websites at and or call 828 254 2621.
Butoh originated in post-WWII Japan as an artistic reaction to the chaotic climate in the country following the war and the uneasy shift towards democratic values. Butoh dance is a postmodern m movement in which formal dance technique is eschewed in favor of primal and idiosyncratic movements. Butoh was born from an amalgamation of influences including the German expressionistic dances of Mary Wigman and Harold Krautzberg, western writers such as Genet, Artaud and de Sade, and the artistic movements of Surrealism and Dada. Butoh uses the body brazenly, in its most corporeal state, as a battleground to attain personal, social, or political transformations. Butoh dance challenges convention and avoids definition in order to reveal the fervent beauty of the unique human spirit. The “APRIL FOOLS BUTOH FESTIVAL” gives the Asheville community a rare opportunity to see a broad spectrum butoh dance performed by seasoned professionals as well as emerging artists in the field.
Sheri Brown met butoh in 2000, after 11 years of theatre and street performance and never looked back. She has studied with butoh masters Katsura Kan, Diego Pinon, Akira Kasai, Natsu Nakajima, and Yoshito Ohno to name a few. Brown collaborates with artists from all disciplines and has received numerous grants and awards for her artistic work, both regionally in the NW and internationally. Brown serves as the Artistic & Programs Director of Seattle-based DAIPANbutoh (, an organization dedicated to strengthening the presence of Butoh in the Northwest, through producing performances and workshops for and by local, regional and international artists. And when she has time she tours as a solo performer and teaches butoh workshops.
Brown will perform “Ainsi Soit-Il” (“Amen“) a solo incorporating aspects of mother, father, dreams, and the subconscious. “Ainsi Soit-Il” means “Amen” or “So be it” in French. “Rivers of Industry” is work-in-progress informed by butoh-fu (movement vocabulary) created by the Vangeline Theatre in NYC, recent travel to Bangkok, and collaborative fusion with Alan Sutherland from Seattle, and Asheville’s own Megan Ransmeier, “Rivers “ will be performed by Ransmeier and Andrew Braddock.
Performing Sunday only, Maureen “momo” Freehill, is Artistic Director of MomoButoh International Dance Company; based in Seattle area, with 30 years experience as performer, educator & director of body-based practice & performance. She holds an MFA from U of Hawaii & Certifications in Yoga, Hypnotherapy & Dance Therapy. Momo danced for 5 years with Kazuo and Yoshito Ohno in Japan. Momo will perform “Flower Child” about babies, bees and her New Haven child-hood memories of protests and socio-cultural experiments during the 60s and 70s. In addition, Freehill will be joined by Sheri Brown for a duet in Sunday’s performance ONLY.
For those of you who want to learn more about the delicious enigma that is BUTOH, there are three tasty workshops offered during “April Fools Butoh Festival.” On Saturday April 2, 1:00-4:00 PM, Julie B Gillum will offer material from her recent work in Japan with Seisaku, a Yoko Ashikawa disciple. Sheri Brown’s workshop, Sunday April 3, 1:00-4:00 PM will focus on searching for the eternal presence of pure force beyond the civilizations of Capitalism, Socialism, Westernization, and Modernization. On Monday April 4, 6:00-9:00 PM, Momo’s workshop incorporates Poetry, Visual Art, Music and Dance to evoke our soul’s deepest “Callings” toward an artful Life. All of these exciting workshops taught by professionals whose total combined years of experience falls just short of 100, can be had for the same price $90 . . . or $50 for a single workshop.

Jeezard Video

Video from the ‘Jeezard’ performances around the Asheville Fringe Festival 2011

Jeezard from Julie Gillum on Vimeo.

Asheville Fringe Arts Festival 2011

It’s time to get fringey again.  I am also including some performance events outside of the itinerary listed. Hope you can make it out for the festivities.

title: “The Jeezard Medicine Shows”
created by Julie Becton Gillum in collaboration with Sara Baird and Andrew Braddock
performers: Julie Becton Gillum, Andrew Braddock, Lucas Baumann (part 3)

part 1 – “Making The Jeezard”
location – in front of Asheville Art Museum at Pack Place
time – Thursday, January 20, 2011, 6:45 PM

part 2 – “Tongues”
location – Pritchard Park
times – Friday, January 21, 2011, 5:30 PM & Saturday, January 22, 2011, 5:30 PM

part 3 – “Snakearl”
locations – Friday @ BeBe Theatre, Saturday @ Black Mountain College Museum
times – Friday, January 21, 2011, 7:15 & Saturday, January 22, 2011, 7:15 PM

part 4 – “End Of The Jeezard”
location – starting at 140-D Roberts Street and ending at 123 Roberts Street
time – 7:30 PM both nights
music: Xambuco

The Asheville Fringe Arts Festival, January 20, 21, 22, 23, 2011

This is the annual multi-day and multiple venue performing extravaganza that ask artists of all types of genres and media (theatre, movement, music, spoken word, puppetry, spectacle, whatever!) to push their own boundaries and presents original and innovative performance art to a culturally adventurous audience. Now in our ninth year, join us and explore the Fringe. Keeping the “We” in Weird for Asheville for nine years!

The festival opening night event will be at the Asheville Art Museum, Pack Place on Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. ARTmob will present Pecha Kucha Night. Pecha Kucha means “chit chat” in Japanese. The Pecha Kucha experience features a visual avalanche of images that are collected from many contributors, each image is shown for 20 seconds. Pecha Kucha is fast paced and entertaining. Tickets for this event are priced at $3 for Art Museum Members; $5 for Non-Members

Among the 2011 Fringe venues will be the official Fringe box office and headquarters, the BeBe Theatre on Commerce Street. Featured in the shows at the BeBe will be Brooklyn’s Mari Meade Dance Collective. Led by choreographer Mari Meade Montoya, the company will perform “questions and unfinished sentences” a multi-media movement exploration of people’s life questions. Also performing at the BeBe is Taryn Packheiser from Greensboro, Taryn be will performing a solo multi-media piece entitled “Stag Unassisted.” Also featured are funny and strange videos by Kathleen Hahn and beloved local comedy sketch group, the Feral Chihuahuas and a profound shadow puppet piece by Red Herring Puppets, Lisa Struz.

At the Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center on Broadway Street, there will be audio arts, experimental music and performance art for 2 nights (January 21 and 22, 2011). Musicians and composers such as Vincent Wrenn and Elisa Faires will premiere and showcase new music and ambient sounds along with digital visual artist Jason Scott Furr’s multimedia explorations. Featured at BMCM+AC will be AV Dance from Richmond, VA, led by artistic director, Ashley Valo, AVDance will perform “Tailed II” a movement piece that explores clothing and improvisation. Also premiering is “The Next Dog King” a theatrical performance collaboration from Jim Julien and composer Chandra Sukula with veterinarian Dr. Mark Ledyard that focuses on a young dog’s rise to power within a dog pack. Amanda Levesque and Tom Kilby of Interweave will perform an unique improvisational movement piece.

In the River Arts District, local dance company Moving Women and artist Shelley Pereda are collaborating on an installation and movement piece. Fringe performances by Runaway Circus, butoh dance priestess Julie Becton Gillum and dancer Amy Hamilton will be featured in a studio in the Wedge Building. Also, performances by multimedia artists, Stina Andersen and Marston Blow along with exotic dance performance by Dima.

An addition to the performances over the weekend is Saturday Fringe Ed Classes at Terpsicorps Dance Studio in the Wedge Building on Roberts Street. Among the class offerings are an intense Master Class with Mari Mead Dance Collective and theatre improvisation class with local imrov master, Mondy Carter along with movement improvisation with Kathy Meyers of Moving Women.

Artist performance schedules are subject to change and acts of gods and humans.

The Asheville FringeArts Festival is an annual presentation of the Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre.

The Asheville FringeArts Festival is recommended for mature audiences only.

Tickets for the individual shows at the BeBe Theatre, BMCM+AC and the River Arts District are $12.00, $10.00 students/seniors. An all-access Fringe Freak Pass is available for $25.00.

Individual show Tickets and Fringe Freak All Access Passes will be available in January, 2011 at the BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce St. Asheville, NC   Box Office Phone; 828 254-2621

Find out more at

Jim Julien
Asheville Fringe Arts Festival
work phone: 828-255-1900

Our Mission–“The Asheville Fringe Arts Festival provides artists with opportunities to explore the edges of their work, to collaborate across genres and to bring new and innovative performances to culturally adventurous audiences.”

Boulder Butoh Festival

Julie has been invited to perform in the first annual Boulder Butoh Festival. Here is the link:

Check it out.

Butoh Garden Party

When: Saturday, October 2, 2010
Where: 104 Flint Street, Asheville

Come enjoy live performances with dancers and musicians Julie Becton Gillum, Erik Moellering, Julia Taylor, Elisa Faires, and Chandra Shukla

Join us for a glass of wine and live music and dance in the gardens. Suggested donation is $20/pay what you can.

All proceeds benefit Anemone Dance Theater and Legacy Butoh for the production of Yugen at the NC Stage Company’s Catalyst Series June 23-July 2 2011.

Please bring your friends. We hope you will join us!

Call Sara Baird/Anemone Dance Theater with any questions, 646.522-2518.
More information:

Julie’s new vimeo chanel

Check out videos of some of Julie’s performances now online at vimeo:

More updates and video coming soon.

20081010-butap from Julie Gillum on Vimeo.

Sankai Juku Workshop

Sankai Juku is known for their visually stunning, ritualistic movement style, sensually performed by only men. The workshop was taught by director Semimaru, who was the original member of the company whose work is choreographed by Amagatsu. Members of the company took class with us and performed with us during the final performance at the end of the week.

During this workshop I learned a lot about the Noguchi Taiso method of body conditioning which is used by many butoh teachers. This method defines the body as a skin bag filled with water in which float the bones, muscles and organs. Movements involve shaking, waving, floating. Spinal alignment, a central axis, relaxed shoulders, and hanging from a string are basic to Noguchi Taiso. Semimaru also uses the ideas of tension /relaxation, center of gravity, vertical /horizontal, breathing, and rhythm in this work. These exercises felt so good to my body. I plan to continue them to keep me loose and strong.

The movement material we performed was not particularly interesting and used the same quality (soft, slow, wavy) throughout.

I did not feel a strong connection with Semimaru who is not particularly warm or friendly. I felt he just wanted us to pay our money, not make too much trouble and then go quietly away.

Premiere of “Lifeblood” at Warren Wilson College

What: Butoh Performance

Where: The Pavillion at Warren Wilson College

When: Tuesday May 12, 2009, 6:30 PM (Bring a picnic)


“Lifeblood” a collaborative duet with Julie Becton Gillum and Michael McCue will premiere.  The piece explores friendship and gender roles. A new piece, yet to be titled, will be performed by the WWC butoh class. In addition, the Modern Dance Technique class will perform a demonstration of the work they have accomplished this semester and Heather Sevcik will perform a piece inspired by her independent study “Affects of Sexual Abuse on Pregnancy, Birth and Mothering.”