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New York Butoh Institute presents Butoh: Cradling Empty Space A Nonfiction Book Written by Vangeline, Hardcover Release and Virtual Four-Day Workshop

Apr 15 Through Apr 18 | Thu |

Due to the coronavirus, please call to ensure this event is still happening before you leave home.

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New York Butoh Institute presents Butoh: Cradling Empty Space, a nonfiction book written by Vangeline, now available in hardcover ($45) on, and a virtual four-day butoh workshop led by Vangeline over Zoom from April 15-18, 2021. The workshop fee is $120 for all four days ($30 per individual day) and registration is available at

The virtual four-day butoh workshop series led by Vangeline, based on the critically acclaimed book, will mix theory and practice. Each module will include a brief lecture/demonstration, warm up, and practical exercise leading to creative improvisation for participating students. Vangeline will take questions from students at the end of each session. The classes will be taught over Zoom. Each session is $30 and the entire series is $120. Beginners are welcome. 

Thursday, April 15, 2021, 5pm-8pm ET Friday, April 16, 2021, 5pm-8pm ET Saturday, April 17, 2021, 1pm-4pm ET Sunday, April 18, 2021, 1pm-4pm ET 

Reading the book prior to or during the workshop is recommended, but students who haven't read the book are welcome to participate. All students, beginners included, will learn simple techniques that are easily accessible and deepen their understanding of butoh. Enrolled students will receive an email with more detailed information after they sign up, with recommended reading.

In this workshop, students will explore: techniques of stop-signal and motor imagery reactive vs. voluntary movements in choreographed and improvised butoh vision and visualization coactivation of sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system in butoh

The Vangeline Theater's butoh classes are trauma-informed; however, it is recommended that prior to taking any class, prospective students familiarize themselves with the studio policy, particularly students with a history of PTSD or students with any mental health condition. Please read the studio policy before taking a class. 

Approaching the avant-garde Japanese performance art form of butoh from a cross-cultural, gender studies, and scientific perspective, award-winning artist and teacher Vangeline brings a fresh look at this postmodern dance form. The Paperback retails for $35.99 and the E Book for $25.99. 

"Butoh: Cradling Empty Space is a handbook for the butoh practitioner, the (art) historian, the dance critic, and the curious reader. Encompassing, and reconciling, problems of movement, gender, race, and universality, Cradling Empty Space guides the reader through the many possibilities of butoh."

— Alice Baldock | Faculty of History - University of Oxford

Butoh, a performance art form that grew out of the Japanese avant-garde scene of the 1950s, has traveled from east to west over the last 60 years, growing in popularity as it evolves. With origins in modern dance, French mime, and the surrealist movement, this fascinating postmodern dance genre is often thought of as mysterious and is frequently misunderstood. Through twenty years of research, interviews with some of the world's top practitioners, historical documents, and rare photographs, Vangeline shines a light on this "dance of darkness." 

New revelations include the under-represented role of women in the development of the form, the connection between butoh and neuroscience, and the cross-cultural perspective of international influences on the evolution of the dance. Butoh: Cradling Empty Space will appeal to dance students, teachers, performance art scholars, movers, and anyone interested in choreography, theater, and Japanese history, culture and art. The book includes rare photographs, helpful graphics, a detailed bibliography and footnotes, and resources for additional information.

Praise for Vangeline's choreography and dance work: "Captivating."  —New York Times 

"[She] moves with the clockwork deliberation of a practiced Japanese Butoh artist." —Los Angeles Times

About Vangeline Vangeline is a teacher, dancer, and choreographer specializing in the Japanese art form Butoh. She is the artistic director of the Vangeline Theater (New York), a dance company firmly rooted in the tradition of Japanese butoh while carrying it into the 21st century, and the founder of the New York Butoh Institute. She is a 2018 NYFA/NYSCA Fellow in Choreography. Vangeline has taught and performed in Japan, Finland, Chile, Hong Kong, the U.K, Denmark, Germany, France, the U. S, and Taiwan. She is the winner of the 2015 Gibney Dance's Beth Silverman-Yam Social Action Award and the winner of the 2019 Janet Arnold Award from the Society of Antiquaries of London. She is also the founder of the award-winning Dream a Dream Project, a dance program reaching out to the incarcerated population in New York since 2006. She is a member of the International Association of Dance Medicine & Science, and the author of the nonfiction book Butoh: Cradling Empty Space.

About the 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 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. This program was made possible by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Venue: Online

155 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10003 Map