Vangeline Theater and the New York Butoh Institute present ɪˈreɪʒə (Erasure), running May 16-19, 2019 at Theater for the New City's Johnson Theater, with performances Thursday-Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 3pm.
ɪˈreɪʒə (Erasure) is the second installment of a performance triptych by butoh artist Vangeline. The 60-minute solo explores butoh techniques of erasure, as well as the phenomenon of female erasure taking place in our society. Vangeline, who both created and performs the piece, states, "Women are the forgotten of history. We have been silenced, erased from memory; even our names have been erased, while famous men were laid in the Pantheon for posterity. How many women writers, artists, scientists are there, whose names we will never know or remember? Through the magic of Butoh, I will "erase" myself, and give space for women to come back and dance through me."
Butoh has often explored techniques of self-erasement, and butoh dancers aim at reaching a form of "emptiness". For the first time in butoh's history, this phenomenon will be put to the test: the rehearsal process will be scientifically recorded with the help of MUSE 2, a device capable of recording brain wave activity.
With ɪˈreɪʒə (Erasure), Butoh meets feminism and neuroscience and continues to take a place of relevance in the 21st century.
VANGELINE THEATER/ NEW YORK BUTOH INSTITUTE aims to preserve the legacy and integrity of Japanese Butoh while carrying the art form well into the future. The unique art of Butoh originated in post-World War II Japan as a reaction to the loss of identity caused by the westernization of Japanese culture, as well as a realization that ancient Japanese performing traditions no longer spoke to a contemporary audience. One of the major developments in contemporary dance in the latter half of the 20th century, Butoh combines dance, theater, improvisation and influences of Japanese traditional performing arts to create a unique performing art form that is both controversial and universal in its expression. The Vangeline Theater is home to the New York Butoh Institute, dedicated to the advancement of Butoh in the 21st century.
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. Her 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. More recently her solo "Butoh Beethoven: Eclipse" received critical acclaim from the Ballet Review.
With her all-female dance company, Vangeline's socially conscious performances tie together butoh and activism. 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 2012 feature film The Letter, written and directed by Jay Anania, She has performed with/for Grammy Award-winning artists SKRILLEX and Esperanza Spalding. She is the author of a forthcoming book about butoh.
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY (TNC) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning community cultural center that is known for its high artistic standards and widespread community service. One of New York's most prolific theatrical organizations, TNC produces 30-40 premieres of new American plays per year, at least 10 of which are by emerging and young playwrights. Many influential theater artists of the last quarter century have found TNC's Resident Theater Program instrumental to their careers, among them Sam Shepard, Moises Kaufman, Richard Foreman, Charles Busch, Maria Irene Fornes, Miguel Piñero, Jean-Claude van Itallie, Vin Diesel, Oscar Nuñez, Laurence Holder, Romulus Linney and Academy Award winners Tim Robbins and Adrien Brody. TNC also presents plays by multi-ethnic/multi-disciplinary theater companies who have no permanent home. Among the well-known companies that have been presented by TNC are Mabou Mines, the Living Theater, Bread and Puppet Theater, the San Francisco Mime Troupe, and COBU, the Japanese women's drumming, and dance group. TNC also produced the Yangtze Repertory Company's 1997 production of Between Life and Death, which was the only play ever produced in America by Gao Xingjian before he won the 2000 Nobel Prize for Literature. TNC seeks to develop theater audiences and inspire future theater artists from the often-overlooked low-income minority communities of New York City by producing minority writers from around the world and by bringing the community into theater and theater into the community through its many free festivals. TNC productions have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and over 42 OBIE Awards for excellence in every theatrical discipline. TNC is also the only Theatrical Organization to have won the Mayor's Stop The Violence award.