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Queer Butoh 2018

Queer Butoh 2018

December 8, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Featuring Hector Canonge, Tina Zoccoli Mayers, and Will Atkins

Howl! Happening is pleased to present Queer Butoh 2018, curated by Mee Ae Caughey, Davey Mitchell, and Vangeline for the New York Butoh Institute/Vangeline Theater.

“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 Colors and dealt with homosexuality—a profoundly taboo subject at the time.


Performances include:


La Sangre is a piece illuminating the ideas of violence and phobia in 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, along with the performer’s body. The live imagery of blood and butoh together recalls violent history towards the queer community while honoring what connects us as humans. This work also incorporates elements of drag; the performer embraces blurring gender roles in the freedom butoh offers.


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.

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, Naomi Klein, Saul Williams, and Tina’s own 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 through the Nazi Holocaust, McCarthyism, witch hunts, and other forms of dehumanization. Tina explores the resensitization of the trans-feminine body through neural, masculine chemistries and devotions. Gender-troubling and nonconforming, the artist spiritualizes metamorphosis in the context of the Hebrew black goddess Shekinah—also known as the Arabic Sakinah—warrior and priest bearing God’s peace of mind and pure consciousness.


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 theater group brings to life a timeless and uniquely American style of butoh that continually captivates audiences. The Vangeline Theater is home to the New York Butoh Institute, dedicated to providing superior butoh training to our community. The institute focuses on the advancement of butoh in the 21st century, with special emphasis on scientific research as it relates to butoh dance. www.vangeline.com

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