News: Vangeline Theater / New York Butoh Institute & Howl Arts Present "Queer Butoh 2020" Online

Davey Mitchell. Photo by Michael Blase.
In celebration of Pride 2020, Vangeline Theater/ New York Butoh Institute will present Queer Butoh 2020 (DIGITAL) in collaboration with Howl Arts. Queer Butoh 2020 will virtually present the works of Mee Ae, in Swoon; Dustin Maxwell in In a Dark Forest Partly Illuminated: Portal; Davey Mitchell in Diary of a Mad Swan; and Scoop Slone in Fragments.

At its origin, the introduction of Butoh in Japan was widely controversial. The first homoerotic butoh performance, Kinjiki (Forbidden Colors) created by Tatsumi Hijikata in 1958, caused controversy amongst its spectators. Butoh is essentially the dance of the marginalized, and the LGBTQ population is still largely marginalized in the world," says Vangeline, curator of this series. "This year, despite obvious challenges, it is particularly important to find ways to celebrate our LGBTQ artists for the 50th-anniversary celebration of Pride."

Queer Butoh 2020 will be available free online here June 22-28, 2020. Audiences are advised that Queer Butoh 2020 contains nudity. 

Mee Ae is a Butoh-inspired Dancer and Choreographer who, in 2004, began her training in Butoh with Vangeline, and her performance career with Vangeline Theater. Mee Ae has been the recipient of several awards from Community Arts Partnership, including the Artist in Community Grant, Strategic Opportunity Stipend, and the Fellowship for Artists. Her work focuses on utilizing dance as an engine to empower and bring visibility to marginalized communities, through events such as The Arts & Mental Health, Queer Butoh, Ivy Q, We Step Into the Light, Dancing for Life, Go Go Go Variety Show, and One Out of Seven.

Dustin Maxwell is a movement-based visual artist currently living in New York City. He was born queer into a Mormon family of eight in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he took his first ballet class at the age of three. He began studying butoh with Gadu Doushin in early 2012. His work is sourced from ritual and sensitizing practices and aims to preserve those elements within "finished" works. Otherness, sexuality, spirituality, death and the magic of being are themes central to his art and life. His dances and performance installations have been presented in theaters, galleries, basements, alleyways and countrysides in Minnesota, New York, and Germany. He is a 2019 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow and was nominated for a 2015 Sage Award for Outstanding Performer.

Davey Mitchell, an expressionist of the arts in New York City for over 30 years, began his dance training at the Alvin Ailey Dance School in the 1980s. Through the span of his dance career with various dance companies, highlights include performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Duke Theater, PS. 122, The Riverside Church, and Adelphi University, to name a few. Now as a solo performer, he continues to showcase his work as a guest artist in collaboration with choreographers and special events. Diary of a Mad Swan was featured as part of Queer Butoh 2016 at Howl Arts.

Scoop Slone's creative practice explores identity, self-awareness, and self-actualization through performance, sculpture, and installation. Employing nonorganic modern materials that reference folk and primal tradition(s), Slone investigates meaning and constancy as experienced through the solitude of alter ego Geometrica 222. Slone began an artistic career singing for Portland Opera and switched personas jumping into the NYC rock opera scene. An introduction to Butoh in 2018, coupled with costume/object fabrication, commenced a new artistic trajectory in Scoop's artistic process and the public personification of Geometrica 222.


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