Category Archives: Workshops

11th Asheville Butoh Festival
(Advance, online ticket sales end 12 hours before each show/workshop. Tickets will be available at the door)

Asheville Butoh and Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre are honored to present the Asheville Butoh Festival April 20 – 23, now in it’s 11th year. The 2017 festival features international guest artists as well as local butoh artists.

We are pleased to welcome Paul Michael Henry from Glasgow, Scotland and Ken Mai from Japan via Helsinki, Finland. Both of these seasoned butoh dancers have toured their work throughout the European festival circuit, including Edinburgh Festival, WOMAD Festival UK, Moving Bodies Festival in Italy and Ireland, FLOW Festival in Helsinki, and various butoh festivals worldwide.

New work by local butoh dancers Sara Baird, Jenni Cockrell, Julie B. Gillum and Constance Humphries highlight the festival as well.

The 2017 Asheville Butoh Festival includes 4 evenings of performance April 20 – 23 Thursday through Saturday at 8:00 PM and Sunday at 7:00 PM.

Workshops are on Saturday April 22 and Sunday the 23rd, 1:00 – 4:00 PM.

All events take place at the BeBeTheatre, 20 Commerce Street in downtown Asheviille.


Paul Michael Henry​ has trained with many of the best known Butoh masters alive today, including Yoshito Ohno, Yukio Waguri, Akira Kasai, Masaki Iwana, Kayo Mikami, Seisaku & Yuri,​ Tadashi Endo, Yumiko Yoshioka, Imre Thormann, Yuko Kaseki​ and Gyohei Zaitsu.​ Since 2001, he has been making performances and other artworks. His starting points are dance, music, writing and ritual. The end results can be body-based performance, multimedia work, writing or pure improvisation.

Henry is artistic director of UNFIX Fes​tival​ in Glasgow, Scotland where he is based. UNFIX​ is an evolving festival of performance and ecological activism set up in 2015 in Glasgow and New York. Henry’s workshop, entitled The Dreaming Body​ is a synthesis of his training along with his own experiences with personal research. The Asheville Butoh Festival​ is thrilled to offer this workshop​ on Sunday​ April 23, 2017 1:00-4:00 PM​.

Ken Mai​ has studied the unique styles of both butoh founders, Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno​. Mai’s style of performance and teaching combines butoh elements with his own background in acting, German expressionist dance, gymnastics, martial arts, singing, Zen, and yoga. He has been performing his solo dance work throughout the world, teaching, as well as directing and collaborating with internationally acclaimed dancers, actors, musicians, sculptors, and visual artists.

Mai currently resides in Helsinki, Finland where he has been since 2008, teaching at the National Theatre Academy of Finland​. He previously worked in Kyoto 1998-2006 and made a name for himself in his home country with many significant performances in Japanese cities including Kazuo Ohno Homage Event “Kazuo Ohno’s Universe and Flower”​ (2004) in Osaka with Kazuo and Yoshito Ohno​ present in the audience. Mai has directed professional dance and theatre companies as well as university programs as far away as Mexico City, Buenas Aires, Helsinki, India, and Oxford. Mai has also worked to benefit patients with Multiple Sclerosis​ in the Czech republic.


For the 2017 Asheville Butoh Festiva​l, Paul Michael Henry​ will present his own text, dance and music in Laughter at Being Crushed ​ a solo performance based on the poetry of Persian Sufi mystic Rumi.​ With this work, Henry attempts to say ‘Hello’ to the audience as a broken human without mask or artifice, the hardest task in the world. Translations of Rumi ​by Coleman Barks​ are used with the kind permission of Mr. Barks. “…trampled into nothing, I have found the only option left is to become everything let the body be danced…”

Ken Mai ​will premiere Requiem of Flower​, a solo he created for his 2017​ US Tour​ that includes San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, Portland and Asheville. Requiem​ is about the life and death of a flower, expressing the universal law of life, death, and rebirth. This simple poetic theme reveals the essence of all living things: human, animal, plant, and insect. To dedicate one’s life to the greatest achievement of beauty, wisdom, compassion, or instinct. To live so that there is no regret when death comes.

Sara Baird​, artistic director of Anemone Dance Theater​, premiers Koromo-dako (Cloth Octopus). Performed by Julie Becton Gillum, Jenni Cockrell, Constance Humphries, and Sara Baird​, this multimedia work layers the dancers with original video projections,sound, and sculpture to create a surrealistic subterranean territory. (​​)

Jenni Cockrell ​of strange daughters butoh reimagines the tragic tale of Ophelia​ from ​Shakespeare​’s Hamlet​, turning it on its head. weedy trophies, a solo exploration of themes such as vulnerability, contradiction, strength, approval, value and loss of self, investigates Ophelia​ from an experimental point of view. (

Asheville Butoh Festival ​director Julie B. Gillum​ will present her solo Yo, La Peor de Todas (Me, the Worst of Them All), ​a tribute to Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz​, 17th century Mexican feminist/ poet/ nun. Inspired and produced in-part by the Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre​, the piece was performed in December 2016 at the Oc -’Ohtic Festival of Contemporary Dance ​in Merida, Mexico. (; ​

Carriage, presented by festival assistant director, Constance Humphries​, features choreography created in collaboration with Julie B. Gillum, live music by composer Zach Cooper​, costume collaboration with Genie Maples ​and dancers Sara Baird, Jenni Cockrell​ and Humphries. This trio illuminates physical and emotional burdens we carry, investigating the wisdom that a burden shared is a burden lifted. (​​)


General Admission $18, Students and Seniors $15

Thursday, April 20th, 8pm and Sunday, April 23rd, 7pm
Local Color: Sara Baird, Jenni Cockrell, Julie B. Gillum, Constance Humphries

Friday & Saturday, April 21st & 22nd, 8pm
Requiem of Flower created and performed by Ken Mai
Laughter at Being Crushed created and performed by Paul Michael Henry

Cost: $40 each; $75 for both

Saturday, April 22nd, 1:00-4:00 pm
Workshop by Ken Mai

Sunday, April 23rd, 1:00-4:00 pm
Workshop by Paul Michael Henry


Paul Michael Henry –
Ken Mai –
Sara Baird –
Jenni Cockrell –
Julie Gillum –
Constance Humphries –

Please consider making a tax deductible donation via Indiegogo: All proceeds go towards the production costs of the festival. All proceeds go towards the production costs of the festival.

Production costs for the 4 evening-length shows are $3200. Your tax-deductible donations are going toward the cost of presenting these important performances at the BeBe Theatre. All funds raised will contribute to the costs associated with presenting this unique and important festival. Contact ACDT at if you would like to make your donation tax deductible.

The Asheville Butoh Festival, produced by Julie B. Gillum and Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre has happened eleven times since 2000 featuring national and international dance artists. Artists such as: Diego Pinon (Mexico), Sheri Brown, Joan Laage, Vanessa Skantze (Seattle), Yumiko Yoshioka (Japan /Germany), Vangeline (New York) and Nicole LeGette (Chicago) have performed in downtown Asheville at the BeBe Theatre. In addition to Gillum, local butoh dancers Sara Baird, Jenni Cockrell, and Constance Humphries have made significant artistic contributions to this vibrant and growing festival through the years.

Butoh was founded by Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno in Japan in 1951. This avant-garde dance form was a reaction to the westernization of Japanese culture after WWII. Butoh is directly influenced by the artistic movements of German Expressionism, DADA, and Surrealism and Japanese primitive rituals, the theatrical arts Noh and Kabuki, and the traditional Japanese society. In the 1960’s and 70’s, Japanese dance and theatre artists Akaji Maru (Dai Rakuda Kan), Amagatsu (Sankai Juku), Eiko and Koma, and Min Tanak continued to shape butoh. Butoh often creates fragmentary, dream-like moments shrouded in satire, metaphor, and mystery. It is this intellectual yet visceral experience that makes butoh vital in our contemporary times as it seeks to address technological transformation, humanity’s struggle to understand cycles of life and death, and shifting perspectives that embrace a global viewpoint.

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Butoh Workshop: Finding Our Hiding Spots

Shadowbody photography by Li Yang
Photography by Li Yang

Finding Our Hiding Spot
Butoh Workshop with shadowbody

We will travel into subtle mind/body spaces hidden within us in three parts: warmup, form/breaking form, and creation.
*All ages and levels welcome.

Saturday September 3, 2016; 1:00 – 4:00 PM

New Studio of Dance, 20 Commerce Street, downtown Asheville, NC

Cost:$30 (general);  $25 (students /seniors)

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! A Technique For Butoh Dance


In this course, I would like to further develop the material from the original course taught in February, which barely scratched the surface. Several of the participants expressed interest in continuing to explore “A TECHNIQUE FOR BUTOH DANCE.” If you are interested, show up on June 13; if you have questions please contact me. All levels are welcome.

Who:  Taught by Julie Becton Gillum,, 828 683 1377
When:  Monday Evenings, 6:30 – 8:30 PM,  June 13, 20, 27, July 11, 18, 25
Where: French Broad Studios
475 Fletcher Martin Road,
Alexander, NC 28701
Cost: $100 for entire series OR $20 per session.

Based on exercises and improvisations from Butoh training, Noguchi Gymnastics, and Modern Dance, this course aims to introduce a method for training and preparing the body to dance butoh. Classes will introduce, explore, and develop physical skills and anatomical theories of the body. Graham’s contract/ release theories, Humphrey /Limon’s concepts of fall /recover /rebound /suspend, Cunningham’s isolation and articulation practices, as well as Noguchi’s work with body as a water bag will provide material to assist in developing alignment, control of the center, and balance which are necessary for any dance or theatre performance. We will explore how to shape space through the timing and effort of our own creative energy, applyiing it in  collaboration with gravity, and other physical forces. From the tiniest twitch to fully realized body forms and actions, the purpose of this work is to find the unique expression of your personal interior and exterior corporeal functions.

The Dance of Intimacy – Butoh Workshop

Photo: Audrey Goforth photography –

The Dance of Intimacy
Butoh Dance
June 26, 1-5pm
Instructor: Constance Humphries
Cost: $25

In this 4 hour workshop we will practice seeing and being seen through the lens of intimacy. Participants will make the invisible visible, learning more about the vulnerability of the body and mind. Through movement, we will find pathways to explore space, time and place and play with structures for improvising where we can witness and participate. Skills include release techniques and experiential anatomy to better understand the mechanics of the body. Additionally, we will work with patterns, imagery and perspective to create dances that are dynamic and alive in the moment.

Delivered in an approachable atmosphere which enables groups and individuals to develop and practice in a positive and challenging environment of serious play, the workshops are suitable for everyone, including actors, dancers, live/performance artists, musicians and anyone interested in exploring butoh as a means of creative investigation.

All aptitudes and abilities are welcome. No previous experience required. Participants are encouraged to work at their level.

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10th Asheville Butoh Festival

Yumiko Yoshioka

The 10th Asheville Butoh Festival
April 7-10, 2016
BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce Street, Asheville, NC


Thursday/Friday, April 7th & 8th – 7:30 pm
Before The Dawn created and performed by Yumiko Yoshioka
General Admission $18, Students and Seniors $15

*This event was generously funded by
Derek Dominy & Denise Carbonell @ The Cotton Mill Studios

Saturday/Sunday, April 9th & 10th – 1:00-5:00 pm
Workshops by Yumiko Yoshioka $40;  $75 for both

Saturday, April 9th – 7:30 pm
Local Color, 
Asheville’s own butoh crew: Sara Baird, Julie B Gillum,
Constance Humphries,
and Julia Taylor
With composers: Elisa Faires and Meghan Mulhearn
General Admission $18, Students and Seniors $15

Sunday, April 10th – 7:30 pm
strange daughters, an evening of solos by Jenni Cockrell 
General Admission $18, Students and Seniors $15

Reservations: BeBe Theatre 828 254 2621
Box Office hours: M – F, 3:00 – 6:00 pm

Produced by Julie Gillum and Asheville Contemporary Dance Theater

Asheville Butoh Festival on Facebook

 2016 marks the 10th Asheville Butoh Festival and twenty years of butoh dance in Asheville. Julie Becton Gillum and the Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre have collaborated to produce this uncommon festival. For Asheville Butoh’s landmark year, we have invited Yumiko Yoshioka, world renowned butoh performer and teacher to share her talents with us. Cities such as Portland, San Francisco, Vancouver, Montreal, New York, Chicago, and Asheville are havens for butoh dance, still finding itself in North America.

In honor of our 10th anniversary we have asked Yumiko to perform her seminal work Before the Dawn, a piece that represents butoh at its most profound level of movement exploration and philosophical inquiry. In this evening length epic, Yumiko Yoshioka, through her own transformation, illuminates secrets in our bodies. Her movement and gestures, execute a divine incantation in which she invites the sublime and monstrous beings from dreams and nightmares to dance with her. Her performances will be Thursday April 7 and Friday April 8 at 7:30 PM.

Yumiko will teach two butoh and organic movement workshops on Saturday April 9 and Sunday April 10, 1:00 – 5:00 PM. Cost is $40 for each workshop or $75 for both. The body is a receptacle of time. Body Resonance is a key to open the ever changing world inside and outside of us. The body unfolds its secrets, holding them up until they reverberate within the surrounding Universe. A dance of metamorphosis inevitably appears. One step to metamorphosis! All levels are welcome to this 8 hour corporeal feast. Performances and workshops take place at the BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce Street in downtown Asheville.

Local contemporary butoh will feature prominently in the Asheville Butoh Festival. Performances by Sara Baird, Jenni Cockrell, Constance Humphries, and Julia Taylor will highlight this year’s anniversary show. Composers Elisa Faires and Meg Mulhearn will make spotlight appearances to accompany in the Local Color show.

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 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 Kreutzberg, western writers 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.

Dancer, choreographer, teacher, art director, Yumiko Yoshioka was born in Tokyo, and has been residing in Germany since 1988. In the early seventies and eighties, she was a member of the first women’s Butoh dance company, ARIADONE. In 1978, she performed with Ko Murobushi and Carlotta Ikeda in Paris, in the first Butoh performance outside of Japan. She was also a member of tatoeba
 GROTESQUE with Minako Seki and delta RA’i.

Yumiko’s art-formation group TEN
, is a collaborative company residing at Schloss Broellin in northeastern Germany. Here, Yumiko researches the interactivity between dance, space, and visual art, exploring new zones in body works and performing arts.

Besides international tours throughout Asia, Europe, Oceania and North /South America, Yumiko, in collaboration with delta RA’ i, directs eX…it !, Dance Exchange Research Project. Since 1995, more than 100 artists and dance students from all over the world have participated in this exciting festival of contemporary butoh.

Rikka Shimputai Sea Grapes 2016

We are pleased to announce that Emiko Suzuki and the WNC Japanese Culture Center will provide lovely ikebana arrangements that will be up for silent auction at every performance. These beautiful floral gifts will help to support the Asheville Butoh Festival as well as introduce Emiko and Japanese culture to Asheville audiences.

WNC Japanese Culture Center at 629 5th Avenue West in downtown Hendersonville, is a dream venue of Manabu and Emiko Suzuki who are originally from Japan. They wish to share their native culture by teaching Origami, Japanese songs, Ikebana (traditional flower arrangement) and the tea ceremony ritual. The center shows Japanese films and provides gallery space for art related to Japanese culture. Emiko is an advisor of Ikenobo Ikebana Society (Blue Ridge Chapter) and Ikebana International (Asheville Chapter.) Ikebana and the tea ceremony are traditional Japanese art forms whose ritual and aesthetic have been transferred generation by generation for more than 500 years in Japan. Emiko has been studying these traditions for over 30 years.

For more information or to register for classes contact Emiko Suzuki, director of WNCJCC at

Chicago Butoh Veteran Nicole LeGette Revisits Asheville

photograph of Nicole LeGette by Sage Solier

photograph of Nicole LeGette by Sage Solier

Asheville Butoh Festival and Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre present

What:  Chicago Butoh Veteran Nicole LeGette  returns to Asheville to collaborate with dancers, teach workshops, present rare butoh films, and a Work-In-Progress showing.

Where: BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce Street, downtown Asheville

When:     Sunday, November 8, 1:00 – 4:00 PM – Workshop with Nicole

Tuesday, November 10, 8:00 PM – Butoh film screening

Sunday, November 15, 1:00 – 4:00 PM – Workshop with Nicole

Tuesday, November 17, 8:00 PM – Butoh film screening

Saturday, November 21, 4:00 PM – Work-In-Progress showing

Cost:     Workshops: $50 for BOTH OR $30 for single workshop

Films: Donation to Asheville Butoh Festival

Work-In-Progress showing:  Donation to Asheville Butoh Festival

The Legacy Butoh and Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre are proud to present the Midwest’s foremost butoh artist Nicole LeGette, to be in-residence in Asheville for the month of November. LeGette will be collaborating with local butoh dancers Julie Becton Gillum (Legacy Butoh), Sara Baird (Anemone), and Jenni Cockrell (strange daughters butoh) to create a new work to be premiered at the Asheville Butoh Festival April 7-10, 2016. On Saturday November 21, at 4:00 PM, a Work-In-Progress showing of the ongoing collaboration. This showing offers an opportunity to witness the “ma“ of butoh. The word “ma” in Japanese means the space and time between. The audience will witness the process of creation after conception and before performance.

LeGette’s accomplishments as resource, performer, teacher, curator, and producer will be employed for various activities during her time in Asheville. In addition to the creative collaboration, she will teach workshops and share rare butoh films with Asheville audiences. All events will take place at the BeBe Theatre, 20 Commerce Street, in downtown Asheville.

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 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 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.

LeGette’s FERTILE SOIL workshops will take place on consecutive Sundays, November 8 and 15, 1:00-4:00 PM. No prior experience in butoh, dance, or performing-arts is necessary. These workshops are appropriate for curious people who wish to explore and express through their bodies in both free-form and structured creative exercises. They are also suitable for performers and those wishing to thoroughly challenge themselves. Cost for one workshop is $30; you can take BOTH workshops for $50.

The workshop on November 8 entitled  ‘body, body, body, flesh” investigates different conceptions of the ‘body’ and how butoh training techniques push, pull and expand the very act of manifesting embodiment. On November 15 workshop participants will delve into the “Serious Play of Butoh.” In traversing butoh’s territory of the grotesque we will navigate the tricky terrain between silly and sublime, finding the best of butoh in the playfulness of the conjoined twindom: how to be deeply serious while at the same time equally inhabiting the opposite.

On Tuesdays November 10 and 17, at 8:00 PM, rare butoh videos drawn from Nicole LeGette’s private collection will be shown. We will gather to view and discuss the art of butoh dance. This is an opportunity to see some of the Japanese pioneers of butoh in their prime, as well as more contemporary butoh work. Suggested donation $5.

LeGette is no stranger to Asheville; she performed and taught a workshop for the 2012 Asheville Butoh Festival. In 2003, LeGette established “blushing poppy” production and performance company. Her performance – in ensemble, collaboration and solo – has been presented across the US, Mexico, Japan, and Indonesia. In Chicago, she hosts regional, national and international butoh artists through innovative events and partnerships.

6-Week Introduction to Butoh

photograph by Sandee Johnson

photograph by Sandee Johnson

For those of you who can’t make Sunday Butoh Practice, how about something completely different!

WHAT: 6-Week Introductory Course in Butoh ~ ALL LEVELS ARE WELCOME!
INSTIGATOR: Julie B Gillum of Legacy Butoh,, 828 683 1377
DATES: Mondays – October 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2, & 9
TIME: 6:30 – 8:30 PM
PLACE: French Broad Studios, 475 Fletcher Martin Road, Alexander, NC 28701,
COST: $15 per week or $60 for the full 6-Week course

The course will introduce some basic butoh concepts and exercises, along with their roots within the legacy of butoh, as I have learned from my mentors. Ideas include:
* Presence. Practicing one’s own existence in space and time; carrying one´s own body weight.
* Connecting the Inside with the outside while developing a sense of the subtlety and delicacy of space and time between.
* The desublimated body [We stand in between life and death.Decay is the dance of living organisms.  What is the beauty of fading out in dance?] vs the unleashed body [Movement without thinking in search of the body’s unconscious impulses.]
* Sensing. To use all ways of knowing to sense the essence of things. The power of focus in dance. The whole body has eyes.
* The empty body does not move intentionally. It is moved by something unseen.

Ongoing Butoh Training Practice

photograph by Sandee Johnson

photograph by Sandee Johnson

Ongoing Butoh Training Practice taught by Julie Becton Gillum
Sundays, 11:30 – 1:30 PM @ French Broad Studios
475 Fletcher Martin Road, Alexander, NC
Suggested Donation $20
Call Julie for more info. or about snow days: 828 683 1377
In honor of winter’s inward journey to the core of the dark cave of consciousness, our first classes will be structured around the concept of “Still Life.” We will explore the relationship between layers of the body from the interior core through bone, muscle, and skin outward into the exterior forces at work on our flesh. We will develop techniques and qualities of body action and inaction.


Vangeline Theater- Yi Chun Wu






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, Amy Hamilton, 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
$17 in advance; $20 at the door; Senior $12, Student $10


Friday, September 19
$17 in advance; $20 at the door; Senior $12, Student $10


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

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

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 For ticket information and box office hours, visit 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”




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

@vangelinebutoh on twitter