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Butoh Dance Theatre Workshop and Performance with Vangeline France!

sat11feb(feb 11)3:00 pmsun12(feb 12)3:00 pmButoh Dance Theatre Workshop and Performance with Vangeline France!

Event Details

This two day workshop (Note: Event is in two locations) performance event is a rare opportunity to work with Master Butoh Artist Vangeline France from NYC and delve deeply into the creative movement artform called butoh. The workshop is open to adults with all levels of dance experience.

Este dos día taller de bilar y presentación es un oportunidad especial para trabajar con la artista Vangeline France de Nueva York. En el taller, los participantes pueden expresar y expandir sus creatividad en la forma de bailar, Butoh. Butoh es un tipo de bailar que producen un estado de meditación profundo y el taller está abierta a los aldultos de todos niveles de bailar y experiencia. 

Butoh is a dance developed by Tatsumi Hijakata and Kazuo Ohno starting in 1960s Japan. Out of a desire for an original dance form, and in reaction to the devastation of WWII, and Western cultural influence, Hijakata’s Butoh employed elements including imagination, transformation, everyday life, street life, truth, eroticism, connection to the body’s inner world, Japanese body, and nature. Kazuo Ohno worked closely with Hijakata. His practice also involved nature, love, and beauty. Butoh dance has been passed down and transformed through students of Hijakata and Ohno. It is specific and interpretable, universal and personal. It is now practiced internationally though still esoteric, avant-garde, and stemming from its roots in Japan.

As a practice, Butoh is a dance that develops deep awareness and creative activation within oneself in connection to others and the environment. It is not a dance based on memorized steps but rather a slow transformative process wading into the depths of consciousness and subtle movement.

This event is artist produced and hosted by LelaBesomButohDanceTheatre at Mt. Sequoyah Center in Fayetteville, AR and CACHE Studios in Bentonville, AR. On February 11th, Vangeline will teach during the day from 3-6pm and perform at 8pm an excerpt from her new piece “The Slowest Wave” which recently premiered at Triskelion Arts in NYC. Local artists Lela Besom, Abby Howard, Lauren Leonard, Erika Almenara, and Emma Seubold, and Sophie Stout will perform an opening piece.


Day 1: 

February 11th

Location: Mt. Sequoyah Center, in Sequoyah Hall, Fayetteville, AR

3-6pm: Workshop

8pm: Performance +after show dance party

*You can attend both the workshop and performance OR performance only

DAY 2:

February 12th

Location: CACHE Studios, Bentonville

Workshop: 11am-3pm


2 Day Workshop and Performance $110

Performance Only $20

Butoh is a deeply healing practice that taps into our life force and creativity. It is inclusive, boundary breaking, revelatory, and empowering. This workshop will be a high quality introduction to butoh and provide extended time to go deeply into the practice. It is also an opportunity to engage with art spaces in NWA, see Vangeline perform, and support local artists! In addition to your personal experience, your presence will enrich all of our experience and help to develop the dance community in NWA!

About Vangeline and Butoh:

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 festival Queer Butoh. 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.

Vangeline is a 2022/2023 Gibney Dance Dance in Process residency and the winner of a 2022 National Endowment for the Arts Dance Award. She is also a 2018 NYFA/NYSCA Artist Fellow in Choreography for Elsewhere (a work that began as an artistic commission from Surface Area Dance Theatre with support from the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and the Heritage Lottery Fund UK); the winner of the 2015 Gibney Dance Social Action Award as well as the 2019 Janet Arnold Award from the Society of Antiquaries of London. Her work as an educator, choreographer, and curator has been supported by The National Endowment for the Arts, Japan Foundation, New York Department of Cultural Affairs, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York Council on the Arts, Robert Friedman Foundation, and Asian American Arts Alliance.

Widely regarded as an expert in her field, 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, which explores the intersection of butoh and neuroscience. 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).

About LelaBesomButohDanceTheatre:

Lela Besom is a socially engaged interdisciplinary artist and educator currently focused on supporting adults in developing agency through dance and infusing dance into the lifestyle culture of NWA. In addition to choreographing, directing, performing, and producing events, Besom offers ongoing opportunities for adults to practice self-directed dance exploration through a weekly guided dance jam at CACHE Studios in Bentonville and dance theatre training at Fayetteville Dance Center.

Besom’s primary dance modality is Butoh. She began practicing and performing in 2013 in Seattle with DAIPANbutohCollective. Besom’s teachers include Vangeline France, Sheri Brown, Helen Thorsen, Natsu Nakajima, Diego Piñon, Taketeru Kudo, and Ari Rudenko. In 2020 she relocated to NWA where she is actively working to develop an arts organization centered on butoh.

Instagram: @Lelabesombutohdancetheatre


11 (Saturday) 3:00 pm - 12 (Sunday) 3:00 pm


Mount Sequoyah

150 N Skyline Drive, Fayetteville, AR 72701