Top Photo by Michael Blase
AZUMI OE was born and raised in Kyoto, Japan. Since arriving in New York, She has been a principal dancer with the Vangeline Theater since 2008. She joined as an assistant choreographer/main dancer for Katsura Kan’s several tours in the US, Central America, China, Russia and Europe. Her solo piece “UtsUtsU” was presented in Boulder Butoh Festival, Solioquios y Dialogos Bailados Festival in Mexico, also performed two solo pieces in “Journey of Spirit” directed by Yukio Waguri. Her newest piece "ObsidianismO" was presented at Eurasia Butoh Festival tour in Beijing, St.Petersburg, and Helsinki. She has worked as a dancer for Katja Loher's Video Sculpture series with choreographer Saori Tsukada. More recently she has been working on a number of projects with performance artist AYAKAMAY. Azumi is constantly at work on wide range of collaborative, solo and experimental dance project with the hope of growing as a multi dimensional creator. www.azumioe.com
MAKI SHINAGAWA started her ballet training in Japan. She studied ballet under Aiko Ohtaki at the Ballet Arts of Carnegie Hall in Tokyo, and has performed in Japan and throughout the United States. Since arriving in NYC in 2004, she has been a member/ assistant of Nina Buisson Contemporary Move, and of H.T. Chen and Dancers. Maki has been a principal dancer and soloist with the Vangeline Theater since 2007 and is excited to be performing with her company. She also teaches contemporary barre and various movement techniques. Maki was featured as a soloist in the short film “Scriptura Vitae” commissioned by the BBC in the UK. She recently performed Vangeline Theater’s “Katsu Katsu Katsu” at the Chicago Cultural Center in April 2015.
MARGHERITA TISATO is a Principal Dancer with Vangeline Theater since 2008. She started studying dance in Italy at the age of 8. She delved into Humprey-Limon and classical techniques paired with a deep work rooted in Maria Fux's dance-therapy studies and the Tibetan theory of the 5 elements/seasons. Margherita taught dance classes to children and adults, including diversely able individuals, psychiatric patients and court involved population from 2001 through 2006. In New York since 2006, she dances with Sokolow Theater Dance Ensemble, Dances for Isadora and independent choreographers while studying Humphrey-Limon and contemporary techniques. She started training with Vangeline of Vangeline Theater in 2008 and through her with other prominent Butoh Masters, such as Katsura Kan, Diego Pinon, the Tamanos, Yumiko Yoshioka, amongst others, making Butoh an integral part of her artistic and spiritual practice. Margherita is a certified Vinyasa and Yin yoga instructor and teacher trainer, and has the privilege to share her work in yoga studios, prisons and schools.
SINDY BUTZ is a native of East Germany. She started her dance education in ballet and folk dance at the age of 6 in the Dance Theater Strausberg under Nora Jarchow-Dürrenfeld/ Palucca School. She has been performing since the age of 9. After receiving her Master's Degree in Visual Art and Art Science/ UdK Berlin, she focused on Performance Art and Butoh Dance. Since 2010 she has been a principal member for Vangeline Theater in New York. She has further trained with Katsura Kan, Motimaru, Diego Pinon, Yumiko Yoshhioka, Eiko and Koma, Mari Osanai and the Tamanos. She has performed and exhibited solo projects nationally and internationally and is also a member of the Performance Group Non Grata. www.sindybutz.com
STACY LYNN SMITH is a dancer whose interests lie in butoh, experimental theater and contemporary dance. She began tap dancing at the age of three and went on to add ballet and jazz to her early studies. She has been a principal dancer with butoh company Vangeline Theater since 2008. She has further trained with Minako Seki, Katsura Kan, Tadashi Endo, Ko Murobushi, Mari Osanai, Diego Pinon, Yumiko Yoshioka, Natsu Nakajima, Tetsuro Fukuhara and the Tamanos. Her theater training includes Meisner, Viewpoints, Balinese mask and the Lucid Body. She enjoys collaborating with a variety of artists on interdisciplinary projects and develops her solo work as well. Favorite performances include: "Oracle and Enigma", directed by Katsura Kan, Centre Tenri, Paris, France; Harbor, film directed by Steven Vega, Robert Wilson's Watermill Center/Art Basel Miami; Vanity Fair Italia feature, Vangeline Theater/Issue 31; "Plans", written/directed by Michael Freeman; "Footsteps on the...", a reperformance of Karen Bernard's 1993 solo work.
MAIKO IKEGAKI was born in Tokyo Japan. She started learning Ballet at age of 3. She moved to NYC to train in Dance especially focusing on Contemporary, Butoh, Yoga, and Tai chi. She is a company member of Vangeline Theater since 2011. She has performed for Kayvon Zand as a back dancer at the Highline Ballroom, Webster hall, Green House since 2010. She graduated from Dallas Baptist University in Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and minor in Biology. She is a student of Sachiyo Ito (traditional Japanese dance).
LEAH MARIE BELTRAN
Born in El Paso TX, Leah began dancing at an early age. It was at the Ballet Center with David Duran that she found her calling. In high school she participated in workshops with Maputo Mensah from Ghana, living in Boulder Colorado. Eventually moving there after graduation to spend the next 7 years dancing with teachers from Guinea, Ghana, and Mali. She also began her yoga practice during this period. Leah was introduced to Butoh as well as Afro Modern Technique through her teacher, Onye Ozuzu, whom she met at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she studied dance. Eventually joining Ozuzu’s company, Skeleton Dance Project. In 2008 Leah moved to New York City to continue her training in the jewelry arts and completed her AAS in Jewelry Design from FIT. In 2011 Leah met her Butoh teacher, Vangeline, whose welcomed many Butoh masters and artists over the years such as: Diego Piñon of Butoh Ritual Mexicano, Katsura Kan, Tadashi Endo, Testuro Fukuhara, and Vanessa Skantze among others, to teach locally. Leah joined VOID Theater Company with Leni Mendez from 2013-2014. And in 2015 she became a member of Vangeline Theater. Today, Leah also produces her own work, collaborates with fellow artists and musicians, and continues her studies and personal practice.
Madelyn Sher is a dancer, choreographer, and performance artist born, raised, and based in New York City. She recently joined the Butoh company Vangeline Theater, and is also a member of the Bronx Arts Ensemble and Zoo City Art Collective. She received a B.A. in dance and philosophy in 2016 from CUNY Lehman College, in the Macaulay Honors program. Madelyn is a graduate of LaGuardia High School (drama major) and a former fellowship student in the Ailey School’s Junior Division. Additional dance training includes the A.I.M. summer intensive, Springboard X workshop, Bates Dance Festival, and Staten Island Ballet. She has performed in works presented by Beverly Lopez, Ni'Ja Whitson, New Worlds Theater Project, the Harbor Lights Theater Company, and Hippocampe Mime Corporel Théâtre.
Trance of becoming.
The fact of the dance verifies the soul's lust for otherness.
As we wander through the visions of our many facets we but demonstrate our thirst for what lies beyond.
the wind blew across the water.
The world woke up.