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Vangeline Theater/New York Butoh Institute in collaboration with ELF present Butoh Invasion

January 19 @ 10:00 PM - January 20 @ 4:00 AM

Free – $40

Vangeline Theater/New York Butoh Institute has partnered with ELF for Butoh Invasion, bringing the art of Butoh to the Brooklyn nightlife scene. With performances from Butoh dancers Akihito Ichihara (Sankai Juku, ELF) and Vangeline, Butoh Invasion will take place on Friday, January 19, 2024 from 10pm – 4am at House of Yes, 2 Wyckoff Ave, Brooklyn. For more info and ticketing, click here.

A ritual for our perfect future. We have art and we have each other. We give you a night of impeccable music paired with cerebral performance art. The future is perfect if our eyes stay bright.

A very special durational performance feast: Legendary Japanese Butoh dancer Akihito Ichihara and avant-garde NYC dance visionary Vangeline make our dancefloor their canvas. Ankoku Butoh, or Dance of Darkness, originated in the protective shadow of the 1950s and 1960s avant-garde Japan amidst the chaotic beginnings of a new world. We dance together to celebrate all that we’ve survived and together move somewhere brighter.

About the Artists

Akihito Ichihara is a Japanese Butoh dancer (ELF, Sankai Juku). Ichihara started acting in his teenage years. In the 1980s, he was greatly influenced by watching the renowned Butoh troupe Sankai Juku on TV, which inspired him to explore a greater range of physical expression on stage. In 1993, he majored in theater at Nihon University College of Art. He was moved to pursue a Butoh career in 1994; in 1996, he studied with Semimaru, a founding member of Sankai Juku. In 1997, he appeared as a dancer in an opera directed by Ushio Amagatsu, the artistic director and choreographer of Sankai Juku, and later joined Sankai Juku. Since then, he has been featured in Sankai Juku’s entire repertoire and most of Sankai Juku’s world tours.

Ichihara is very active in theater, dance, and Butoh. In addition to his solo projects, he has worked with the most significant dancers and troupes in the history of contemporary Butoh. Since the 2005 recreation of “Kinkan Shonen” (which premiered in 1978), he has danced solos in many of Sankai Juku’s performances and has led the group dances as one of the principal dancers. He is also in charge of the design and production of the accessories dancers wear on stage.

Parallel to his work with Sankai Juku, he collaborates with various choreographers, directors, and dance groups worldwide. He is also a guest faculty at Okayama University Graduate School and a guest speaker at international forums.

In 2022, he founded the dance company “ELF” with dancers Kei Kamioka, Rino Fujimoto, and Miu Shibata. Since then, ELF has held workshops and presented works at renowned institutions and universities worldwide. In the spring of 2023, ELF went on tour in Latin America in Bogota, Colombia, and various locations in Mexico, Taiwan, and San Francisco. These activities received critical acclaim and repeat invitations. The company plans a world tour in 2024.

While many underground and grotesque expressions exist in Butoh, Ichihara, and ELF’s Butoh dance has deeply resonated with people worldwide. This dance is based on the “Sankai Juku Method,” a method accessible to everyone. By developing this method, Ichihara aims to go beyond Butoh by developing a dance technique that can bring a higher level of excellence to professional dancers in ballet, modern, and contemporary dance.

Ichihara hopes to continue learning, collaborating, progressing, and contributing to the development of dance worldwide. He is interested in creating and directing various dance projects that transcend borders, cultural differences, and styles of expression.

He aims to develop a form of dance that promotes empathy and mutual respect. His goal is to do this worldwide, even between countries and cities that still bear the scars of war. He would like to contribute by acting as a bridge and connecting people across the borders despite their differences.

By sharing physical expressions, dancing, and empathizing with each other, the hope is to transcend borders and contribute to peace efforts worldwide. Based on this idea, ELF advocates a ”Dance Project without Borders.”

Recent work by Akihito Ichihara

Vangeline is a teacher, dancer, and choreographer specializing in Japanese Butoh. She is the artistic director of the VangelineTheater/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.

The Vangeline Theater/New York Butoh Institute is dedicated to advancing Butoh in the 21st century, with a particular emphasis on education, social justice, research, and archiving.

The Vangeline Theater/New York Butoh Institute reaches out to the New York and international community by offering public Butoh classes, workshops, and performances through collaborations with international and national Butoh artists. Our socially conscious performances tie together butoh and activism; our work addresses issues of gender inequality and social justice. Our yearly New York Butoh Institute Festival elevates the visibility of women in butoh, and our festival Queer Butoh gives a voice to LGBTQIA+ butoh artists.

Our award-winning, 18-year running program, The Dream a Dream Project, brings Butoh dance to incarcerated men and women at correctional facilities across New York State. “The Dream a Dream Project” contributes to the rehabilitation of New York’s incarcerated population. Our programs promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in the field of Butoh.

Vangeline firmly believes that Butoh can be an instrument of personal and collective transformation in the 21st century.

Vangeline’s choreographed works have been performed in Chile, Hong Kong, Germany, Denmark, France, the UK, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. She is a 2022/2023 Gibney Dance Dance in Process residency and the winner of a 2022 National Endowment for the Arts Dance Award. She is also a 2018 NYFA/NYSCA Artist Fellow in Choreography for Elsewhere, the winner of the 2015 Gibney Dance Social Action Award and the 2019 Janet Arnold Award from the Society of Antiquaries of London.

Her work has been heralded in publications such as the New York Times (“captivating”) and Los Angeles Times(“moves with the clockwork deliberation of a practiced Japanese Butoh artist”) to name a few. 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, which explores the intersection of Butoh and neuroscience.

She pioneered the first neuroscientific study of Butoh (“The Slowest Wave”). She is also featured on BBC’s podcast Deeply Human with host Dessa (episode 2 of 12: Why We Dance).


Recent work by Vangeline

About Vangeline Theater/New York Butoh Institute

Vangeline Theater/New York Butoh Institute aims to preserve the legacy and integrity of Japanese Butoh while carrying the art form into the future, with a special emphasis on education, social justice, research, and archiving. For more info, visit: www.vangeline.com

Vangeline Theater programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.


January 19 @ 10:00 PM
January 20 @ 4:00 AM
Free – $40


House of Yes
2 Wyckoff Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11237 United States
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