Vangeline Theater / New York Butoh Institute in collaboration with The Brick presents QUEER BUTOH 2022

Vangeline Theater/New York Butoh Institute is collaborating with The Brick to present the Sixth Annual Queer Butoh 2022, available online June 1-30, 2022 and in person June 28-30, 2022 at 8 p.m. at The Brick, 579 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn . The online performances will be available to stream on demand beginning June 1 at 8 p.m. ET at

Programming includes Born to Transform with Fer Zam (Mexico); the short film Wrestling Blues by Yarli & Yin (Hong Kong/UK) with butoh dancer Mavi Haro; and Shadowbloom with Xue and Merwin Wong (Singapore). Live performances will take place June 28-30, 2022 at 8:00 p.m. at The Brick.

Tickets are $20 and are available for purchase at Performances will feature XUE and Merwin Wong (Singapore) in shadowbloom, Hélène Barrier (France) in METAGENDER, and Dustin Maxell (New York) with Kayva Yang and Mei Maeda in In a Partially Illuminated Dark Forest. The duration is approximately two hours with intermission.

A Butoh/King workshop led by Hélène Barrier will be offered as part of the festival on June 25, 2022 at the Vangeline Theater/New York Butoh Institute studio in Brooklyn. This Drag King workshop uses queer feminist collective practices to explore performative masculinity and its various privileges, revealing the inner potential of political action through playful deconstruction. More info/reservations on

in a partially illuminated dark forest is a new performance created by dustin maxwell. It is a mixture of dance ritual and visual art, where the body is both object and subject detecting the unknown; both sculpture and radio transmitter-receiver picking up messages from the void. It is an invitation to participate in the pain and pleasure of the exhibition, plunging into the shadows and emerging elated.

shadowbloom by Xue and Mervin Wong is a gentle spiral towards the strange. The work unearths silent emotions and subterranean memories.

META GENDER is the theatrical result of a collective research centered on gender, body, music and the deconstruction of performance. It was born from a commission from LUFF, the Lausanne Underground Festival in Switzerland. “The Contra-Sexual Manifesto”, reference text of the performance accompanies the butoh dance, which imposes on the spectator, from the start, the incarnation/transgression of his costume of “suitcase of flesh”. It offers the dancer a prosthetic body, which leaves everyone free to project their own bodily fantasy. Made up of stockings and pantyhose (polymorphic material malleable depending on the textures with which it is filled: cotton, foam, flour, beads, polystyrene beads), it reveals here and there another body, swollen, overloaded, hiding unexpected and unfinished movements . The costume becomes new skin, cellulite, testicle, breast, penis and dildo.

Xue is a Singaporean performance artist and butoh practitioner. As a butoh dancer, Xue has exhibited butoh works for the Online New York Butoh Institute Festival (2020) and was one of the featured artists of the Online Queer Butoh Festival (2021) presented by Vangeline Theatre/New York Butoh Institute. In 2021, Xue also presented her work ‘SLEEPWALKERS’ at Dance Nucleus’s Scope #11. For XUE, butoh is the most authentic expression of the spirit.

Mervin Wong is a performer. Raised in string chambers, it took him a while to recognize the viola as his truest member. The tectonic shift towards this deeper and enduring register has shaped his foray into electronic music. Lugubrious but without sorrow, Mervin Wong’s long sensibilities awaken our watery flesh. Years of forging his intention allow his process to be brilliant with speed. In the service of resonance, each grain is burnished to the bone. A canoe made of ice. His sounds become matter again. Where footsteps span light years. The waves are churning and where the cosmos can slip through an albatross. Mervin Wong is an electronic performer, violist, composer and producer. He is an artist deeply dedicated to the shared experience of sound.

Dustin Maxwell is a movement-based visual artist currently living in New York City. He was born queer to a Mormon family of eight in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he took his first ballet class at the age of three. As a teenager, he studied modern dance and the somatic approach of Barbara Clark with her teacher Joanne Emmons. In 2005 he moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota where he spent a decade studying dance and performing locally and internationally. He began studying Butoh with Gadu Doushin in early 2012. His work stems from ritualistic and sensitizing practices and aims to preserve these elements in “finished” works. Otherness, sexuality, spirituality, death and the magic of being are central themes of his art and his life. His dances and performance installations have been presented in theaters, galleries, basements, back alleys and countryside in Minnesota, New York, Sweden and Germany. He holds a bachelor’s degree in dance from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. He is a 2019 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow and was nominated for a 2015 Sage Award for Outstanding Performer.

Kayva Yang is a movement-based performance artist, photographer, researcher and freelance presenter. Her work on stage or in nature biomes explores the interconnections between the body and the intimacy of nature, regeneration and state management technologies. In her current projects, Lost 40 and Elastic Elm, Yang studies extraction, interiority and indigenity within a boreal forest and an urban boulevard. She is a 2020 Create Change Fellow of the Laundromat Project and a recipient of a fellowship from the Jerome Foundation and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Her completed project, Body in Flora (2016) has been exhibited at New York University’s Kimmel Center and performed at Intermedia Arts and the Southern Theater in Minneapolis. Kayva dances for Jill Sigman/ Thinkdance and Dustin Maxwell and formerly for Pramila Vasudevan/ Aniccha Arts and Dr. Ananya Chatterjea/ Ananya Dance Theatre. She holds a master’s degree in arts and public policy from New York University.

Mei Maeda is a New York-based dance artist and training consultant. Originally from Hudson, New Hampshire, she began her dance training at the Northern Ballet Theater Dance Center. She earned a bachelor’s degree in dance and psychology from Smith College and has performed in works by Ohad Naharin, Robert Battle, Idan Cohen and Angie Hauser. Since arriving in New York, Mei has had the pleasure of working on projects with companies and artists such as Monica Bill Barnes & Co, Mei Yamanaka Works, Tsuneko Taniuchi, Troy Ogilvie, Emily Climer and Dustin Maxwell. Mei is currently pursuing a Masters in Mental Health Counseling at City College, CUNY.

Hélène Barrier is a French textile designer, performer and self-taught artist who bases her work on a slow practice with a meditative feel, revealing the polymorphic echoes of her environment. Fascinated by social insects and their complex shelters, her work has taken many forms: textile installations, drawings and sculpture. She is also a Butoh dancer. Dance is a place of perpetual metamorphosis, where we constantly seek new paths to take. It allows him to slip into all materials, all skin types, and depending on the location, to adapt his dance to the environment or to resonate with other works, as during his solo with La Colonne sans fin by Brancusi at the Center Pompidou. For several years, she has been developing Butoh and drag king workshops, real moments of sharing and empowerment, with the complicity of the Jerk off festival and Point Ephémère in Paris. His works intersect gender and animality, ecology and difference, respect for others and the territory. She defines herself today as a citizen artist, claiming since her beginnings an eco-feminist approach, anchored in transmission.

VANGELINE THEATER/ NEW YORK BUTOH INSTITUTE aims to preserve the heritage and integrity of Japanese Butoh while carrying this art form into the future. The unique art of Butoh was born in post-World War II Japan as a reaction to the loss of identity caused by the westernization of Japanese culture, as well as the realization that the ancient traditions of Japanese interpretation no longer spoke to contemporary audiences. The Vangeline Theater is home to the New York Butoh Institute, dedicated to advancing Butoh in the 21st century.

The Brick enters its third decade with a bold new vision and an unwavering belief in the power of art. With a renewed emphasis on multi-week theatrical tours and a dynamic range of singular one-off events, The Brick is Williamsburg’s leading incubator of innovative theater and performing arts.

This program was 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 of the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M Cuomo and New York State. Legislature.

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