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Oxford Humanities Cultural Programme presents the U.K. Premiere of Eternity 123

March 11, 2023

Vangeline Theater/ New York Butoh Institute presents the U.K. premiere of Eternity 123 as part of the Oxford Humanities Cultural Programme, curated by Alice Baldock, on Saturday, March 11, 2023 at 6pm at The Old Fire Station, 40 George Street, Oxford, U.K. The event is free, but registration is required. For more information and to RSVP, visit https://torch.web.ox.ac.uk/event/eternity123.

Eternity 123 is the third installment of a feminist dance triptych choreographed and performed by Vangeline; the previous two installments are Elsewhere (2018) and Erasure (2019). The piece traces the symbolic journey of women’s liberation across time. With Eternity 123, Vangeline also celebrates the impact of women on the art form butoh, exploring the link between women, butoh, and “cabaret.”

“In the 70s and 80s, women butoh dancers danced in ‘cabarets’ to make a living in Tokyo,” said Vangeline. “This history has led to unique methods and contributions by women in our field–contributions that have typically been overlooked. In the 1990s, I also made a living in New York as a go go/burlesque/vaudeville dancer. In this piece, I celebrate women trailblazers while playfully exploring these layers of history.”

Behind all significant cultural movements and changes in history, the lives of countless women can be found, as well as countless voices that have been silenced. As we challenge our collective memory by telling their stories, we redefine the importance of women’s participation in society.

The Humanities Cultural Programme aims to share research with, and learn from, as wide an audience as possible. It will use the facilities in the Schwarzman Centre to put on exhibitions, theatrical performances, film screenings, and musical performances. Launched ahead of the opening of the building, the Cultural Programme is already connecting humanities research to new audiences. State-of-the-art performance spaces will engage the Oxford community and the public at large, including visitors to Oxford from around the world. Modern amenities and digital capabilities will finally allow for the full breadth of Oxford’s unparalleled collections and research in the Humanities to be shared more widely.

Alice Baldock is a DPhil Researcher in History at the University of Oxford, studying the lives and ideas of women dancers in post-war Japan. The focus of her doctoral thesis is intellectual views of these dancers on the concept of body and movement, and how these views allowed dancers to reframe post-war Japanese society in a way that allowed them to live more authentically in a world that was becoming increasingly codified and consumerist. Her recent publications include ‘Body (of) Knowledge: Women, the Body, and Dance in Twentieth Century Japan’ (Journal of Asian Studies, January 2022), and the forward to Vangeline’s first book, Cradling Empty Space (2020). Alice also has a creative practice, with recent work including a solo piece in butoh company Mutekisha’s ‘The Body without the Border’ (July 2022). She is also interested in integrating performing arts and humanities into a useful dialogue, and has previously collaborated with the Humanities Cultural Programme and butoh company Café Reason on the project ‘Breaking Free: A Symposium on the Dancing Body’, which combined creative practice, discussion, and writing to interrogate various ideas that form our lived experiences of our bodies.

Vangeline is a teacher, dancer, and choreographer specializing in Japanese Butoh. She is the artistic director of the Vangeline Theater/New York Butoh Institute (New York), a dance company firmly rooted in the tradition of Japanese Butoh while carrying it into the twenty-first century.

With her all-female dance company, Vangeline’s socially conscious performances tie together Butoh and activism. Vangeline is the founder of the New York Butoh Institute Festival, which elevates the visibility of women in Butoh, and the Queer Butoh festival. She pioneered the award-winning, 15-year running program The Dream a Dream Project, which brings Butoh dance to incarcerated men and women at correctional facilities across New York State. Her choreographed work has been performed in Chile, Hong Kong, Germany, Denmark, France, the UK, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

She is the recipient of the 2022/23 Gibney Dance in Process Artist Residency; the winner of a 2022 National Endowment for the Arts Dance Award; the 2015 Gibney Dance Social Action Award, as well as the 2019 Janet Arnold Award from the Society of Antiquaries of London. She is also is a 2018 NYFA/NYSCA Artist Fellow in Choreography for Elsewhere.

Vangeline has taught at Cornell University, New York University, Brooklyn College, CUNY, Sarah Lawrence, and Princeton University (Princeton Atelier). Film projects include a starring role alongside actors James Franco and Winona Ryder in the feature film by director Jay Anania, ‘The Letter” (2012-Lionsgate). In recent years, she has been commissioned by triple Grammy Award-winning artists Esperanza Spalding, Skrillex, and David J. (Bauhaus). She is the author of the critically-acclaimed book: Butoh: Cradling Empty Space. Her work is the subject of CNN’s “Great Big Story” “Learning to Dance with your Demons.” She is also featured on BBC’s podcast Deeply Human with host Dessa (episode 2 of 12 : Why We Dance) and is a member of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science. www.vangeline.com


March 11, 2023


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