Friday, Jan 27
Doors at 7pm
Performance at 8pm
$25 advance, $30 door
Pioneer Works is pleased to present “Virgin Writes,” an exclusive evening of lyrical, Butoh staging of the ancient greek mythological story of Iphigenia. “Virgin Writes” brings together a unique collaboration between three radical women artists, with lyrics written and sung by Grammy Award winner Esperanza Spalding, music composed and performed live by Yuka C. Honda (of Cibo Matto), and staging directed and performed by butoh dancer and choreographer Vangeline.
“Virgin Writes” finds a young screenwriter invoked to re-write the fate of Iphigenia, princess of Argos. Condemned to a sacrificial death after a transgression between her father Agamemnon and goddess Artemis, Iphigenia envelops her screenwriter within her tale and encourages him to suffer the burden of creation and reclaim impending doom by giving birth to his own inspired story. Set in the distorted, organic movements of the Japanese postwar, avant-garde movement form of Butoh, ‘Virgin Writes’ reclaims the expected horrific implications of Apocalypse by disrupting fate with revelation and rewriting destiny through creative intuition.
Four time Grammy Award winner Esperanza Spalding has, in the past decade of her illustrious career (which also involves having performed at the Oscars, the Grammys, the Nobel Prize ceremony, and several times at the White House), continually and brilliantly married genres, pushed boundaries, and created groundbreaking work. Spalding is, as a composer, lyricist, bassist and vocalist, expansive, iterative, shape-shifting, open, and progressively innovative. A voracious and magnetic performer, she is attentively studious towards what the process of playing live--whether sharing a stage with her own revolving ensembles, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Janelle Monae, Wayne Shorter or Prince--presents to the structure of a song. That channeled energy runs through her recorded catalog of seven collaborative and five solo albums. The most recent, Emily’s D+Evolution is a fresh artistic vision for Spalding--a daring tapestry of music, vibrant imagery, performance art and stage design.
Yuka C. Honda is a Japanese composer/musician and producer residing in New York City. She is best known for the band Cibo Matto, which she co-founded with Miho Hatori in 1994 and in which Honda created a unique one- man band sound by triggering samples 'live'. Honda released three solo albums (on the Tzadik label) and has produced recordings by Sean Lennon, Martha Wainwright, YOKO ONO PLASTIC ONO BAND and Cibo Matto. She has recorded and performed with a wide range of musicians such as Yoko Ono, Bernie Worrell, Marc Ribot, Laurie Anderson, Sean Lennon, Yoshimi (of The Boredoms), Nels Cline, Kimbra, Thomas Bartlett and Trixie Whitley among others
Vangeline is an award-winning 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. With her all-female dance company, Vangeline’s socially conscious performances tie together Butoh and activism. Her performances have dealt with subjects as varied as feminism, climate change, war and perceptions of gender. She often infuses drag elements into butoh pieces honoring artists such as Klaus Nomi, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Butoh’s founder, Tatsumi Hijikata. Her 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.