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Queer Butoh 18 - Featuring works by Hector Canonge, Will Atkins and Tina Z. Mayers

HOWl! Happening in association with The New York Butoh Institute and Vangeline Theater presents:


Will Atkins-photo-by-Lynn Nakamura.jpg

Featuring the works of Hector Canonge, Tina Zoccoli Mayers, and Will Atkins.

Curated by Mee Ae Caughey, Davey Mitchell and Vangeline for The New York Butoh Institute/ Vangeline Theater

At Howl! Happening

6 E 1st St

New York, NY

(917) 475-1294

Free Admission

Saturday December 8, 2018 – 7pm to 8:30pm

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.

 “Butoh is essentially the dance of the marginalized, and the LGBTQ population is still largely marginalized in the world,” says Vangeline France, co-curator of this series.

At its origin, the introduction of Butoh in Japan was widely controversial. The first Butoh performance, Kinjiki (Forbidden Colors) created by Tatsumi Hijikata in 1958, shocked Japanese audiences. Inspired by the work of  French author Jean Genet, Kinjiki took its name and inspiration from Yukio Mishima's book Forbidden Color and dealt with homosexuality, a profoundly taboo subject at the time.

Artists presented:

Photo by Lynn Nakamura -  WILL ATKINS

Photo by Lynn Nakamura - WILL ATKINS


La Sangre is a piece illuminating the ideas of violence and phobia of the queer community, utilizing body piercing and Butoh to challenge the stigma of HIV. Gauged piercing needles will be used to add another textural dimension with the performers body; the live imagery of blood and Butoh together recall the violent history towards the queer community, while honoring what connects as humans. This work also incorporates elements of drag as the performer embraces blurring gender roles in the freedom Butoh offers.

Photo by A. Kors -  HECTOR CANONGE

Photo by A. Kors - HECTOR CANONGE


Camarada, a new solo performance by Hector Canonge, evokes the complex
bonds that men create with one another, and the various codes they generate to express their longings and desires. The performance also explores notions of maleness, and ideas about being or becoming a “real man.” Through actions intertwined with Butoh Dance, Canonge continues his exploration of corporal expression and somatic experimentation.

Photo by Eric Bandiero -  TINA ZOCCOLI MAYERS

Photo by Eric Bandiero - TINA ZOCCOLI MAYERS

TINA ZOCCOLI MAYERS -  S/he or S/hekinah

Tina’s solo is an amalgamation of sound, text, and theater performance. Weaving together excerpts from Sylvia Plath, Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, the Brooklyn-based Black poet, Saul Williams, and Tina's original poetry and prose, the audio soundscape traces the emergence of the Queer Artist through the passageways of historical censorship and erasure, into rebirth as Trans-male, female and androgyne. This Butoh piece grieves and memorializes the censored histories of Queer persons, including the persecution and execution of gays and communists in the Nazi Holocaust, McCarthyism, witch-hunts and other forms of dehumanization. Tina explores the re-sensitization of the Trans-feminine body through neural, masculine chemistries and devotions. Gender troubling and nonconforming, the artist spiritualizes their metamorphosis in the context of the Hebrew Black goddess "Shekinah," also known as the Arabic "Sakinah"--the warrior and priest bearing God's peace of mind and pure consciousness.

About the Artists

Hector Canonge is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, and cultural producer based in New York City. His work incorporates various forms of artistic expression: Performance Art, Experimental and Butoh Dance, Multimedia Installation, and Social Practice to explore and treat issues related to constructions of identity, gender roles, and migration politics. Challenging the white box settings of a gallery or a museum, or intervening directly in public spaces, his performances mediate movement, endurance, and ritualistic processes. As cultural producer, Canonge is the founder and artistic director of the annual Performance Art Festival of NYC, ITINERANT. He started the initiatives: ARTerial Performance Lab (APLAB), a transcontinental initiative to foster collaboration among performance artists from the Americas, PERFORMEANDO, a program that focuses on featuring Hispanic performance artists living in the USA and Europe, NEXUS a performance platform for Miami Art Week, and PERFORMAXIS, an international residency program in collaboration with galleries and art spaces in Latin America.

Tina Zoccoli Mayers studied classical dance as a child and adolescent before performing with The Washington Ballet Studio Company in 2004-2005. Later as an undergraduate at Stanford University '10, they began transitioning into modern dance through release-technique with Hope Mohr, and then performed intergenerational, environmental site-specific scores with Anna Halprin. Though sidelined from dance by mental illness and addictions relapses, Tina graduated studying Modern Thought and Literature and wrote their honors thesis on Postcolonial Marxist theory, French existentialism and West African Sufist literature. They later certified as a Vinyasa instructor through Yoga to the People in San Francisco/Berkeley in 2012. Since returning to live with their family in NJ, they have been blessed to find renewed health and recovery through therapeutic communities, and love exploring postmodern, Afro-Caribbean, and environmental dancing. Tina is also deeply grateful to study Japanese Butoh theater with Vangeline nearby in NYC, who they first encountered in a San Francisco workshop the year they left the Bay Area. Tina currently teaches yoga in local recovery communities and rehabs and studies modern dance with Lynn Needle and other local dance makers.

Will Atkins (Queer Butoh artist–in-residence) is a NYC based actor & performer, heavily inspired by his movement practice. He studies regularly with the New York Butoh Institute, and has worked with Vangeline Theater as a production manager and assistant on select projects, including Vangeline's Eclipse/Butoh Beethoven in Santiago, Chile at the 3rd International Butoh Festival, as well as the New York Butoh Institute Festival 18. Will has trained in Butoh with Vangeline, Katsura Kan, Yumiko Yoshioka, Tetsuro Fukuhara, and Mari Osanai. This year marks his third participation in the Queer Butoh festival, and other performances include creating solo pieces Onryu, American Witch, and Mutant for WalkUpArts events, Sophie Amieva's 2018 Medusa.  In 2017 he appeared in Esperanza Spalding's Virgin Writes at Pioneer Works. He is currently working on a performance project combining Butoh and body suspension.

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. 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.

Howl! Happening

Gallery | Performance Space | Archive

Like the neighborhood in which it was born and the Howl! Festival that began it all, Howl! Happening is a space of untamed creativity. Howl! Happening curates exhibitions and stages live events that showcase the historical legacy and contemporary culture of the East Village and Lower East Side. It  is  also dedicated to preserving the archives of artists who spent their creative lives working in this vibrant community and houses the Estates of artist Arturo Vega and  the  beloved  performance  artist,  Tom Murrin aka “The Alien Comic.” The history of the East Village is still being written. The mix of rock and roll, social justice, art and performance, community activism, gay rights and culture,  immigrants, fashion, and nightlife are even more relevant now and Howl! Happening aims to shine a light on artists from the past in the place where their art came alive and where they played and worked.  Howl! Happening is an Arturo Vega Project. Visit