Theater for the New City
Crystal Field, Executive Director
in association with
New York Butoh Institute
NEW YORK BUTOH INSTITUTE FESTIVAL 19
Thursday, October 24, 2019, 8pm to 9pm
HIJIKATA MON AMOUR
Theater for the New City (Johnsons)
155 1st Avenue
NY NY 10003
(between 9th and 10th Street)
$20 General Admission
$18 Seniors/ Students
Vangeline (France) in Hijikata, Mon Amour
in celebration of Butoh’s 60th anniversary. An homage to founder of butoh Tatsumi Hijikata
1 hour with no intermission.
Vangeline performs in an exact replica of Tatsumi Hijikata’s 1968 costume (Hijikata and the Japanese: Revolt of the Body).
Costume recreated by Todd Thomas.
In 1968 came a turning point in Butoh’s history with a dance solo called Tatsumi Hijikata and The Japanese - Revolt of the Flesh, performed by the founder of Butoh Tatsumi Hijikata in Tokyo. For the legendary performance, Tatsumi Hijikata wore a spectacular red costume, which was presumably made by hand by his wife, Akiko Motofuji. The long, ruffled costume was inspired by flamenco dance. Since 1968, it has captured the imagination of hundreds of Butoh enthusiasts worldwide. Until today, there were only black and white photographs available of this magnificent costume.
In 2019, thanks to the Janet Arnold Award of the Society of Antiquaries of London and a loan from the Tatsumi Hijikata Archives, Vangeline Theater/ New York Butoh Institute researched how the costume was designed by recreating it. The costume was professionally photographed by Matthew Placek, and recreated by costume designer extraordinaire Todd Thomas.
This exact replica of Tatsumi Hijkata’s 1968 costume will be on display at Theater for the New City during the New York Butoh Institute Festival, October 24-27, 2019 (doors open at 7:30pm for viewing of costume and photo op - additional viewing Sunday, October 27, 3-5pm).
By wearing this iconic costume, Vangeline conjures up Butoh’s ghosts. She dives into Butoh as a permeable art form that has reached across geographic and cultural divides. The costume becomes a physical symbol of butoh’s evolution — East to West, man to woman, past to future.
Hijikata’s legendary costume is a totem of sorts; it holds secrets of the avant-garde art form. Much like Butoh itself, it was born at the confluence of East and West. This costume chronicles the evolution of postmodern art in Japan, and as such, deserves to be carefully studied, and thrown into the limelight once again.
Not to be missed: Sunday, October 27 at 3pm, costume expert Todd Thomas, who recreated the iconic 1968 costume, will give a lecture discussing the recreation process, shedding light on how the original costume was designed and constructed.
Costumes are an essential part of the magic of performances. This costume has become part of the legacy of Butoh and is a historical treasure. As such, Vangeline Theater/ New York Butoh Institute gives it its rightful place in history by documenting it for future generations.
We are grateful to The Tatsumi Hijikata Archives, who made a generous loan of this historical costume for the duration of the project. Our findings will be made available through The New York Butoh Institute online archives, as well as the Tatsumi Hijikata’s archives at Keio University in Japan.