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 (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. Vangeline's work has been heralded in publications such as the New York Times (“captivating”), Los Angeles Times, (“moves with the clockwork deliberation of a practiced Japanese Butoh artist”)  and LA Weekly to name a few. Time OUT Chicago named Vangeline's, "one of the best Dance Visits of 2011."  More recently her BUTOH BEEETHOVEN: Eclipse received critical acclaim in New York and was dubbed: ‘incredibly moving and powerful. It is clear that Vangeline is an artist who knows the darkness of Butoh well, and has the incredible skill to make that darkness dance...Vangeline has the control and poise of a true master of Butoh."

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.

Vangeline- Photo Yi Chun Wu

Vangeline- Photo Yi Chun Wu

Vangeline is the founder of the New York Butoh Institute. 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. 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 Puffin Foundation, Japan Foundation, New York Department of Cultural Affairs, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York Council on the Arts, Asian American Arts Alliance, Brooklyn Arts Council, and the Robert Friedman Foundation. She is the founder of the 10-year running, award-winning program “Dream a Dream Project", which brings Butoh dance to incarcerated men and women at correctional facilities across New York City. Widely regarded as an expert in her field, Vangeline is a regular guest Butoh teacher at universities such as Cornell University, New York University, and Brooklyn College. Recent invitations include teaching Spring semester at CUNY and a residency at Princeton University (Princeton Atelier).

Vangeline is the winner of the 2015 Gibney Dance's Beth Silverman-Yam Social Action Award. 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). She is currently in collaboration with Neuroscientist Suzanne Dikker, exploring the intersection of Butoh and Neuroscience. She has recently been invited by Atlantic Records to perform for the Grammy Award Winning artist SKRILLEX in Los Angeles, and her work is the subject of CNN’s “Great Big Story” "Learning to Dance with your Demons" and "Dance of Darkness".

She is currently in collaboration with Grammy Award winner Esperanza Spalding and Japanese musician Yuka C. Honda.


“Vangeline is captivating in her devotion to simple movements.”
— - Claudia La Rocco, New York Times, 5/27/2008

Short Film SPECTRAL with Vangeline by Geoff Shelton- excerpt


Watch Vangeline on CNN's Great Big Story

Vangeline at Bowie Ball 2014- NYC- photo Maro Hagopian for the Village Voice

 Watch Vangeline on CNN

                              Vangeline Artist Statement

Whether we explore the Self through words, images, music or movement, we symbolically offer to others a vision and a statement about that which we are. We help define and shape collective ideals by undertaking this journey into ourselves.

This undertaking requires rigorous honesty, and a desire to explore without relying on the opinion of others.

Butoh can lead us back to our rebellions, our private wars, our wounded selves, and through the 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 more capable of intimacy. We can be fully creative.

To quote Psychologist Bruno Bettelheim. ”the more mechanized and fragmented the world around us, the more we must develop the humanity of human relations. The more we live in a mass society, the better we must know how to have intimate relations.”

Butoh can take us on a path to embracing ourselves fully, transforming our Shadow, finding beauty and strength from the depth of our fragility.

It can be an instrument of personal and collective transformation in the 21st century.
This transformation comes from holding a mirror to each other and integrating our many facets- the beautiful and the ugly; and from reintegrating the forgotten of our society into our midst.

The Dance:
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 Answer:

the wind blew across the water.
The world woke up.

Contact Vangeline:

Vangeline-Picture of the Day-Edinburgh Festival 2015