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New York Butoh Festival 2018

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Nicole Watson

Nicole Watson

The New York Butoh Institute is proud to present the New York Butoh Festival 2018, with international Butoh artists Natsu Nakajima (Japan), Nicole Watson (U.K); Natalie Cuellar (Chile) and a wonderful array of US and New York Butoh artists.

Over the past 60 years, Butoh has become a universal and international movement language. Developed in postWorld War II Japan, the minimalist avantgarde dance form has grown, evolved, and travelled worldwide.

With the New York Butoh Festival 2018, hosted by the New York Butoh Institute, we seek to to reveal the way the art form has grown and shifted, and how individuals are encouraged to adapt Butoh in the 21st Century, ensuring the style is reflective and responsive.



The 2018 New York Festival will feature dance artist Nicole Watson (U. K) performing The Mud Formed a Finger, Pointed.
The Mud Formed A Finger, Pointed explores creation myth and Messy Play, made in collaboration between Matthew De Kersaint Graudeau (Sound) and Ben Jeans Houghton (Sculpture). The Mud Formed A Finger, Pointed offers a study of the human body as an uncanny object that oscillates between figuration and abstraction, body and material, depicting an object becoming human, a human becoming an object and the protean states between.
Nicole Vivien Watson emerges from an industrial bucket, her body covered in dripping, viscous liquid. The work embodies a contemporary creation myth that melds object and subject, abject and sacred, non-human and human. By invoking the narrative imagery of creation myths where humans are formed from the earth, within the aesthetic of the fetish Messy Play and through the language of Butoh, the performance links our understandings of the contemporary body and our imaginings of a primordial past.

Nicole Vivien Watson Director and founder of Surface Area Dance Theatre CIC, Est. 2007, as a passionate learner, she places investigation at the centre - point of practice, within which are interdisciplinary processes. When asked to describe her interests, she consistently refers to an understanding and informed perception of Butoh, which can be described as a contrastive spectrum of philosophy, performance and socially concerned activities. Equal to her knowledge of Butoh, is a persistent consideration of non - verbal communication. Nicole began studying British Sign Language (BSL) six years ago and with a scholarship from the Royal Ballet Benevolent fund, she is in the final stages of her BSL education. Butoh and BSL occupy a generative importance within her practice, that Nicole describes as “Luminous pillars that support continued personal and professional development”.

Residencies and research periods include; Action Learning (2018). Facilitated by Independent Dance and Dancers’ Career Development, with support from the Bonnie Bird Choreography Fund and Siobhan Davies Studios. The Ohno Studio Japan, Yokohama 2007, 2009, 2016 and 2017, Supported by UK Trade and Investment and the British Council, São Paulo Brazil (2010) Movement Research, NYC (2011).

Nicole is a 2015 recipient of a Royal Ballet Benevolent Award, a Daiwa Anglo- Japanese bursary holder 2015 - 16, a 2016 - 17 Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation supported artist and a Artists International Development Fund - Arts Council England and British Council, 2016 Awardee. With support from: Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund, Japan Local Government Centre, Beton7 Gallery Athens, Dance City, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, The British Council in Athens, the Embassy of Norway and the Norwegian Institute of Athens.