Vangeline
Vangeline. Photo^byMichael Blase

Vangeline Theater/ New York Butoh Institute Announces Fundraising Gala at Temple NYC

December 11, 2022

Kelsey Strauch
Kelsey Strauch. Photo by Andrew Foster

Vangeline Theater announces a Fundraising Gala on Sunday, December 11, 2022 at 8pm at Temple NYC, Brooklyn. Proceeds from the gala will support sending dancers to Houston, Texas, from February 6-10, 2023 to make history conducting a pilot study for The Slowest Wave – the first neuroscientific study of Butoh. The evening will feature performances by Kelsey StrauchMargherita TisatoVangeline and other surprise guests. Tickets are $35. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit vangeline.com/calendar-of-upcoming-events/2022/12/11/vangeline-theater-fundraiser-december-11.

As part of a Gibney Dance DiP residency, Butoh artist Vangeline will spend January 2023 developing The Slowest Wave, a pioneering project combining Butoh and neuroscience. In collaboration with neuroscientists Sadye Paez, Constantina Theofanopoulou and Jose ‘Pepe’ Contreras-Vidal, and composer Ray Sweeten, Vangeline is choreographing a 60-minute ensemble Butoh piece, which is uniquely informed by the protocol being established for a scientific pilot study researching the impact of Butoh on brain activity. Vangeline and Sweeten are building on a 20-year history of creative collaboration with a soundscape that is informed by techniques of brainwave entrainment (techniques that affect consciousness through sound). The Slowest Wave investigates the relationship between human consciousness and dance through the use of scalp electroencephalography (EEG); and will foster connections and understanding between dancers, artists, scientists, engineers, and audiences from around the world.

Following the DiP residency, the dancers’ brain activity will be recorded for the pilot study at the University of Houston, Texas, in February 2023, culminating in a live performance with real-time visualization of the dancers’ neural synchrony and slow brain wave activity. Results will then be disseminated in scientific journals. More info about The Slowest Wave pilot study is available here.

Donations to support this study are also being accepted at gofundme.com/f/the-slowest-waveneuroscience-pilot-study.

For more information about Vangeline and her work, visit vangeline.com.

Margherita Tisato
Margherita Tisato. Photo by Jarid Blue

ABOUT VANGELINE

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.

Kelsey Strauch
Kelsey Strauch. Photo by Chris Comfort

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

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. The Vangeline Theater is home to the New York Butoh Institute, dedicated to the advancement of Butoh in the 21st century.

Kelsey Strauch
keslsey-photo-by-Jonathan-Shugarman

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Kelsey Strauch is a visual and movement artist based in Brooklyn. With a BFA in painting from University of Oregon and completion of the Professional Track program at New England Center for Circus Arts in Brattleboro, VT she has toured extensively as a professional circus artist specializing in object manipulation. Growing up in Montana she developed a deep relationship with the natural world that she carries into her visual and movement art. Most recently seen at the Metropolitan Opera in Philip Glass’s ‘Akhnaten’ as a member of the juggling ensemble. Kelsey is honored to be collaborating with Vangeline. Her first Butoh performance was with Tetsuro Fukuhara’s ‘Tokyo Space Dance’ as a part of Future Fest in 2013. Kelsey has worked in Film, Television, Editorial and Commercial work throughout her 10 years in NYC. More notably she has worked with Rick Owens, Cirque du Soleil, Orange is the New Black, CBS Sunday Morning, Real Simple Magazine, Rodney Smith, Snarkitecture, LA Opera and The Metropolitan Opera to name a few. She is currently signed with State MGMT. 

Margherita Tisato is a dancer, teacher to teachers, movement enthusiast, and a passionate changemaker. She has been dancing and teaching since she was 17 and leading yoga and meditation classes, workshops and teacher trainings for over a decade. In New York since 2006, she is a principal dancer with Sokolow Theater/Dance Ensemble, Dances We Dance, and works with Dances by Isadora et al. Margherita started studying Butoh with Vangeline in 2007, becoming a principal dancer with the Vangeline Theater in 2008 until 2017, and has been training regularly with other prominent Butoh Masters, making Butoh an integral part of her artistic and spiritual practice. She teaches Butoh workshops internationally. Margherita is known for creating Trauma-informed spaces for transformation. She facilitates a range of experiences spanning from meditation, yoga and somatic movement to dance, Butoh, and body suspension. Other educational offerings include experiential workshops in anatomy, pain science, embodiment, and trauma theory. Notably she has been a guest speaker at the University of Nebraska, and the Transart Institute Creative Research PhD program with the Liverpool John Moores University. She co-taught Sokolow repertory and technique classes at Loyola University in Chicago, Williams College in Massachusetts and Ailey-Fordham in New York. She has taught in prisons and addiction recovery programs in NYC since 2015, and she’s currently working on a research grant on Embodiment and Addiction through the University of Nebraska Rural Drug Addiction Research Center.

The Slowest Wave is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and 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 the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

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