Top photo Suzanna Finley

The Vangeline Theater has been a leader in the development of contemporary Butoh dance since its founding in 2002. Informed by the expansive vision of pioneering choreographer Vangeline, the Vangeline Theater brings to life a timeless and uniquely American style of Butoh that continues to captivate audiences.

Azumi Oe- photography by Maria Hubeaut

Azumi Oe- photography by Maria Hubeaut





Vangeline Theater-Photo by Michael Blase

Vangeline Theater-Photo by Michael Blase

Our Mission

The Vangeline Theater's mission is to educate the public about Butoh, promoting an understanding of Butoh dance history and its social and cultural significance; to connect Butoh to other art forms and disciplines and to build community through Butoh. The Vangeline Theater is home to the New York Butoh Institute, providing superior Butoh training to our community. The New York Butoh Institute is dedicated to the advancement of Butoh in the 21st century, with a special emphasis on scientific research as it relates to Butoh.

The New York Butoh Institute reaches out to the New York community by offering public Butoh classes, workshops and performances through collaborations with international and national Butoh artists, as well as to members of the incarcerated population, via teaching Butoh at correctional facilities in New York ("The Dream a Dream Project" since 2007). This award-winning project continues to contribute to the rehabilitation of New York's incarcerated population.

Since its inception in 2002, Vangeline Theater has fused the post-apocalyptic vision of Butoh (the Japanese dance form that developed after Hiroshima) with the near-cinematic aesthetic of 21st Century science-fiction noir. The company has been heralded in several national publications (New York Times, Los Angeles Times) and won an honorable mention from Time Out Chicago for one of the best dance visits of 2011.

Watch Vangeline Theater on Vanity Fair Italia

Vangeline Theater has been featured on:

CNN's Great Big Story, Vanity Fair Italia, feature film "the Letter" with James Franco and Winona Ryder,   Phantogram's, Leverage Model's & Jamie Lidell's music videos, David J.'s (Bauhaus) "the Chanteuse and Devils Muse", and we have performed for Grammy award-winning artist Skrillex.

Vangeline stars in Feature Film "The Letter" with James Franco and Winona Ryder

Vangeline stars in Feature Film "The Letter" with James Franco and Winona Ryder

I often think about this theme: “International Butoh”. I hope soon it will be established in the world. In Judo World, after a time when Antonius Geesink, a Dutch Judo Player, received a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympic Game on 1964 in Japan, the world of Judo underwent a complete change. Because “Japanese Mythology” in its world collapsed, and many foreign young Judo players started to come to Geesink to study a Judo, not come to Kodokan, a Mecca of Judo, in Tokyo. Only then, “International Judo” could happen.
It seems to me that Vangeline keeps same kind of possibility as Geesink did. Vangeline is a French Butoh Choreographer, she lives in New York. Her approach to master Butoh is like a seeker of truth, so many people love her daily way. Now several Japanese dancers come to her to study Butoh. So, I believe, Vangeline will be one of to establish “International Butoh”.
— Tetsuro Fukuhara- Butoh Master- Director- Tokyo Space Dance

Watch Vangeline Theater on CNN's GREAT BIG STORY

We are grateful for past and present funding from:

  • The New York Department of Cultural Affairs
  • The Japan Foundation
  • Asian American Arts Alliance
  • Robert Friedman Foundation
  • New York State Council on the Arts
  • New York Foundation for the Arts
  • Puffin Foundation
  • Gibney Dance
  • Brooklyn Arts Council