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New York Butoh Institute Festival 18 - Curated by Vangeline

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The New York Butoh Institute is proud to present the New York Butoh Institute Festival 2018, a celebration of diversity in butoh featuring 16 artists from Japan, Brazil, Chile, UK, Israel, Italy, Germany, France, Costa Rica, Spain, and the U.S.

Curated by Butoh artist Vangeline, the Festival will consist of an exciting program of butoh workshops and masterclasses (October 13, 14 and 23) , as well as four nights of groundbreaking performances, all taking place between October 18 and 21, 2018.

We are proud to primarily present the pioneering work of fierce female butoh dancers from all over the world.

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

New York Butoh Institute celebrates the way the art form has grown and shifted in the 21st Century, ensuring the style is reflective and responsive.

Featured Artists:

Nicole Watson (U.K); Natalie Cuellar and Raimundo Estay(Chile); Alana Rosa and Junia Flavia d'Affonseca (Brazil); Melissa Lohman (Italy/U.S.); Margherita Tisato (Italy); Sindy Butz (Germany); Keren Shavit (Israel); Azumi Oe (Japan); Yokko (Japan); Mariko Endo (Japan); Sophie Amieva (Spain/France); Nu Canal (Nurya Chana (U.S.); Will Atkins (U.S.); Raquel Almazan (Costa Rica/ Spain);

Tickets to performances are $15.

Four Nights of Butoh performances at:

Theater for the New City (Johnson Theater)

155 First Avenue

NY NY 10003


  • Thursday, October 18 at 8 pm:

Nu Canal /Nurya Chana (USA), Yokko (Japan), Margherita Tisato (Italy), Sophie Amieva and Will Atkins (France/ USA), Melissa Lohman (Italy/USA) and Raquel Almazan (Spain/ Costa Rica).

1 hour and 50 minutes including an intermission


  • Friday, October 19 at 8 pm:

Nicole Watson (U.K.), Keren Shavit (Israel), Alana Rosa

(Brazil); Azumi Oe (Japan), Sindy Butz (Germany), and Mariko Endo (Japan).

1 hour and 50 minutes including an intermission


  • Saturday, October 20th at 8 pm:

Nicole Watson (U.K.); Natalia Cuellar and Raimundo Estay (Chile).

1 hour and 30 minutes including an intermission.


  • Sunday, October 21st at 3 pm (Matinee):

Nicole Watson (U.K.); Natalia Cuellar and Raimundo Estay (Chile).

1 hour and 30 minutes including an intermission

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This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council as well as the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.


Publicity by Michelle Tabnick

Highlight on critically acclaimed “XIBALBA”, directed by Natalia Cuéllar:

— July 27th, 2012 by Leopoldo Pulgar Ibarra

According to the “Popol Vuh” (religious Mayan book which narrates the origin of mankind) and the Mayas, the essential knowledge can only be obtained in the subterranean dimension of reality, that is, the underworld.

 Xibalbá is the realm of the dead and, at the same time, is an inner dimension that takes the human being to other states of conscience at the moment of his or her decease.

One of the most well-known sacrifices was the virgin maids one, where they were thrown to big subterranean caves to marry with the God of Death.

Natalia Cuéllar, Actress, and dancer studied theater in Chile, then continued her artistic training in Europe, following the lineage of Grotowsky. Later, she moved on to Butoh, studying with different masters such as butoh dancers Makiko Tominaga and Minako Seki. In 2008, she founded the Ruta de la Memoria Company in Santiago, Chile, a company which focuses on the issues of gender, Human Rights, and memory. Cuéllar’s works have been critically acclaimed in Chile and dubbed “amazing” (Fabian Escalona), “impressive” (Marietta Santi ),“intense and shocking” (Pedro Labra Herrera - El Mercurio), and “spine-chilling” (Leopoldo Pulgar Ibarra). Since 2014, she has directed and organized the celebrated International Butoh Festival in Chile (FIBUTOH).


Highlight on The Mud forms a Finger, Pointed (Nicole Watson, U.K.)


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.