Butoh Meets Cabaret And Burlesque At CONEY ISLAND RITUAL CABARET FESTIVALThe Coney Island Ritual Cabaret Festival marks International Culture Lab's (ICL) third consecutive year probing the fantastical dancing partnership of ritual and entertainment on Coney Island USA's (CIUSA) burlesque stage. (March 2017: Coney Island Butoh and Theatre Festival; March 2016: Coney Island Butoh and Beyond Festival.)

This year ICL has assembled an array of performance artists, musicians, and dancers, all of whom have been tasked with presenting original works that define "ritual cabaret" through the lens of their own particular aesthetic, discipline and lineage.

As a point of reference and inspiration, ICL looked to the origins of Butoh. Its founder Tatsumi Hijikata developed this ritualistic dance form hand-in-glove with the cabaret scene in the late sixties. During the day, Hijikata trained his dancers in exercises and techniques that would become Ankoku Butoh. At night they experimented with bringing their exploration into the competitive marketplace of cabaret/burlesque. "His shows got a reputation for being a kind of 'weird, funky cabaret' in which female nudity appeared along with surrealist and Dadaist images." (Rosemary Candelario, Flowers Cracking Concrete: Eiko & Koma's Asian/American Choreographies)

Also appearing - coming from his own historical point of inspiration and with his own distinctive approach to sacred entertainment - is Mexican master teacher Diego Piñón's Body Ritual Movement (BRM). Over the past two years, though his intensives and ensemble performances at CIUSA, Piñón coined the term "ritual cabaret" as the defining aesthetic that resulted from his immersion into the historical and contemporary Coney Island. Following up his work at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center this past summer and an exploratory workshop at CIUSA last October, Piñón now deepens his ensemble's ritual cabaret study with another intensive workshop that will culminate in three unique nightly performances.

WHERE: Coney Island USA, 1208 Surf Ave.
@ W. 12th Street, Coney Island

WHEN: March 23, 24 - 8pm // March 25 - 4pm

Individual tickets: $15;
2 nights: $25
3 nights: $35

Tickets can be purchased online at coneyisland.com, or at the door night of

Diego Pinon Body Ritual Movement Ensemble: Douglas Allen, Margy Brookes, Amy Chan, Nurya Chana, Ivan Daniel Espinosa, Abou Farman, Nick Fracaro, James Frost, Amy Davis Jones, Khokhoi, Bob Lyness, Christopher Mankowski, Eli McNamara, Cedar Murphy, Brandon Perdomo, Jennie Portney, Florence Poulin, Jacquelyn Marie Shannon, Yoshiko (Yokko) Usami,


Friday (8pm):
Bearded Lady of the Bowery -- Lou (Lindsey) Mandolini
To Share -- Maplewood Gardens
On The Irrational Knowledge Of The Object - A Piece Of Pink Velvet: A Surrealist Ritual Cabaret -- Pink Velvet Witch & Satine S'Allumer

Saturday (8pm):
Navel: Obediently Humanizing Under the Influence of Environmental Simulator with Unintended Consequences on Innocent By-standers -- Nu Canal
LUMINUM: An exploration on time, space, the female body and women as sources of light -- Arantxa Araujo
Tatiana's Shadow - a butoh chorus line presents a tragi-comic mini epic rewind of early 1900's cabaret by the sea -- Celeste Hastings and Butoh Rockettes

Sunday (4pm):
Shedding Skin -- Anjoli Chadha
Lovers -- rip darlie
...on the tip of your tongue (an excerpt) -- Christopher Mankowski

Cabaret, burlesque, vaudeville, and circus sideshow have a long and storied history in Coney Island. For over three decades now, ICL has endeavored to support CIUSA in meeting its mission: "Preserving and championing a set of uniquely American visual and performing art forms, we seek to create an inter-national forum for cultural preservation and discourse, and where Coney Island represents these impulses, we strive to make it once again a center for live art and entrepreneurial spirit." With Ritual Cabaret, the two companies have undertaken to merge their respective focal points in a powerful new way.

ICL's exploration of physical theatre began in 2000 with their collaboration with Argentine physical theatre ensembles El Rayo Misterioso and Willaldea where they produced their first Butoh-influenced theatre performance, Ubu Macbeth. In subsequent years, ICL continuing their study of Butoh with masters Diego Piñón, Atsushi Takenouchi, Yukio Waguri, Akira Kasai, Su-en, Yumiko Yoshioka, and others. In 2005 and 2007, they helped produce the CAVE New York Butoh Festivals. And in 2006 they produced FridgeFest in Philadelphia, debuting their Butoh-based production Diva Divan, which was reimagined and restaged in 2014 in workshops and performances with Margo Korableva Performance Theatre in Tbilisi, Georgia.


International Culture Lab - Nick Fracaro and Gabriele Schafer, Co-Artistic Directors; Brandon Perdomo, Festival Co-curator - is a performing arts company dedicated to providing opportunities for artists from across the world to explore contemporary issues through jointly created projects. Renowned for its earlier history as Thieves Theatre (ratconference.com/thieves), ICL interrogated the role of the Other in contemporary society with a series of controversial landmark productions: 1982 - Marat/Sade with On Our Own, a group of former mental patients; 1987 - Fassbinder's "unproducible" Trash, the City, and Death; and 1990-93 - Nomad Monad: The Making of Thieves Theatre's Last Stand for which the company's directors erected a full-sized Lakota tipi replica, handmade from 78 US#3 mailbags, and lived/worked for three years in the then oldest Manhattan shantytown at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge. intlculturelab.org

Coney Island USA exists to defend the honor of American popular culture through innovative exhibitions and performances. Presenting and producing exciting new works, the organization's approach is rooted in mass culture and the traditions of P.T. Barnum, dime museums, burlesque, circus sideshows, vaudeville, and Coney Island itself. Serving both New York City and an international community that includes visitors to Coney Island and enthusiasts of various cultural forms, Coney Island USA's signature activities include the Mermaid Parade, the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, the Coney Island Museum, and new theatrical work. coneyisland.com

Diego Piñón's Body Ritual Movement is the distillation of his extensive research in body-based energy methodologies since 1975. BRM is primarily derived from Piñón's Mexican heritage with traditional energetic practices and Japanese Butoh under the guidance of Kazuo Ohno, Yoshito Ohno, Min Tanaka, Natsu Nakajima, among others. BRM challenges us to awaken and explore all human qualities ranging from the subtle to the outrageous: the beautiful and the ugly, the feminine and the masculine, the spiritual and the mundane. BRM seeks the emergence of the deeper self, to touch if only for a moment, the inexplicable matter of the human soul. BRM


ARANTXA ARAUJO is a Mexican multidisciplinary artist based in NYC, interested in perception of physical, affective and cognitive components of the self, context and behavior. Araujo's work has been shown in ITINERANT, Glasshouse Gallery, Queens Museum, JACK, Panoply, AiOP Festival in NY; Monumento a la Revolución, and Vicio, in Mexico; RAW in Miami; Huret&Spector Gallery in Boston; SPACE Gallery and Bunker Projects in Pittsburgh; Nuit Blanche in Canada, among others. Araujo was part of EMERGENYC 2017 and was awarded a scholarship from CONACYT. She holds an MA in Motor Learning from TC, Columbia University. www.arantxaaraujo.com

ANJOLI CHADHA is a dance/movement therapist and graduate of Pratt institute. In 2008, she began dance performance in New Delhi, India with Emperor Minge, a six-piece psychedelic cabaret band. Her training is in Indian and Afro-Brazilian martial arts. Anjoli is the creator of Sentient Dance NYC- holding dance circles for emotional and group healing work. She performs in all boroughs. sentientdancenyc.com

NU CANAL (NURYA CHANA) studies bio-cellular sensation, ecological non-reasoning, externalized construction, embodied objects and altered states. (EastWest School of Dance certified, Aprovecho PDC, Skidmore College BA, Butoh master training, and current Hunter College MFA). She began performing by starting Representative I, a Butoh inspired troupe, in 2013. In her performances, specified environments trigger the subliminal micro-qualities of the human body's biosensory apparatus producing visible social-scientific information. Previous performances include Basilica Hudson, Time/Space Limited, LabSpace, Tarot Reading Room, Rosekill, The Shirt Factory, Socrates Sculpture Park, The Met Breuer (with Rabid Lords Gang), and Gallery Four. www.nuryachana.com

RIP DARLIE is not art, it is a trash heap coated in a glossy residue that reflects the world surrounding it. Exploiting the dark behaviors our society encourages and accepts as normal, our work will have you chortling while feeling ashamed of yourself. Touching on topics of childhood, parenting, gender, and ego, rip darlie provides an organic, non-GMO, fair trade, gluten free fun time for the whole family! www.jamesmcgannart.com

CELESTE HASTINGS is a NYC based choreographer, performer, improviser, costume, soundscape and video designer, blending dance, theater, butoh, visual art with concepts of universal archetype. Choreographer/director of satirical group 'The Butoh Rockettes'. Presented at Abrons Art Center, PS122, St. Marks, HERE, CAVE, Dixon Place, DNA, NY Butoh, White Wave Festivals, CRS, Galapagos, McCarren Pool, Frying Pan, Lost City, major clubs, in Germany, France, Japan, Venezuela. Lead dancer with Poppo & Gogo Boys, and performed with Akira Kasai (Japan Society "Butoh America"), Yukio Waguri, Tetsuro Fukuhara and Eri Majima in Japan, Richard Move, Noemie Lafrance, Nancy Ferragallo, Mariko Sanjo, Alien Action, Accion Colectiva, Angie Eng (@ Roulette 3/21) etc.

CHRISTINE COLEMAN (performer) has been performing with Celeste Hastings - Butoh Rockettes since 2005. She has also performed with Tanya Calamoneri - Company SoGoNo, Corinna Brown - Dean Street FOO Dance, Anemone Dance Theater, Sean Curran, and Chris Ferris and Dancers;

AYA SHIBAHARA is a dancer, choreographer, performing artist and Film maker born in Japan. Since moving to New York in 2000, worked with many choreographers and artists. She began her own creation work in 2002 and has been showing her own work in both the United States and Japan. Aya is happy to be joining again with Celeste Hastings -Butoh Rockettes;

IRENE SIEGEL is a Brooklyn-based performer, educator, community organizer, and writer. For decades she's performed with many wonderful creators, and made her own solo & collaborative work throughout the US & Europe. Favorite projects include teaching, translating, performing and advocating with refugees, community members and professional dancers in Athens, Palestine/Israel and New York. She also teaches Arabic, Hebrew and Jewish Studies, and holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. She's delighted to once again be part of the Coney Island Butoh Festival, with her fabulous fellow Rockettes!

LOU (LINDSEY) MANDOLINI is a professional dancer, choreographer, and performance artist based in Brooklyn, New York. They began their formal training in Chicago at the Ruth Page Foundation School of Dance and graduated from the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts High School Program. They went on to New York University's Tisch School of the Arts where they graduated with high honors receiving a BFA in Dance and a minor in Art History. Mandolini creates performances which question the gender binary and all things patriarchal. These spectacles are rooted in the human experience and satirize pop culture. lindseymandolini.com

CHRISTOPHER MANKOWSKI is dedicated to art and ritual as a means to psychological, social and spiritual dialogue and transformation. They are currently obsessed with drag as a tool for dialogue around identity and expression; how living song can transmit the essence of who we are beyond form; and how noguchi taiso can weave harmony into our cells. They've begun new research through The Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards, studied butoh extensively in Japan and have been touring/teaching internationally since 2009. Since 2012 they've been the coordinator and disciple of Body-Ritual-Movement facilitator and master teacher, Diego Piñón.

MAPLEWOOD GARDENS is a collaboration between performance artists Evan Troost and Breanne Ward. They believe that communal ritual experience is a vital part of human being and seek to provide it to all separate from any dogma or institution. They served the Chicago community for three years hosting monthly Full Moon cabarets and now travel the country as farmers making nature based work. maplewoodgardens.weebly.com

PINK VELVET WITCH aka Nikos Brisco are a multi-instrumentalist, surrealist, composer, performance artist, actor and writer. They are current "Outside Talker" at Coney Island Sideshows by the Seashore as well as producer of "OUTCAST CABARET" and "MUSIC OF CURIOSITIES" at C.I.U.S.A. They embody both masculine and feminine spirits. They have toured and traveled the globe extensively gathering and sharing in art and peace goals. Ritual Cabaret has been in their performance for over two years, drawing witchcraft and surrealism into performance and original music.

SATINE S'ALLUMER -- Satine is no stranger to centre stage. A New York / Australian transplant, after touring her way around the Australian burlesque scene since 2014, Satine has been shimmy shaking her way across New York and beyond since 2015. Satine has toured and taught workshops in New Orleans (LA), Denver (CO), Boston (MA), Sydney (AUS) and New York, bringing her special flavor of varie-TEASE from Brisbane to Brooklyn.


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