Vangeline's Story

-- By Tom Phillips 


Butoh began in the ruins of post-war Japan as the "dance of utter darkness."  Today it is performed and taught all over the world, and increasingly influential in other techniques and styles. No one is more responsible for this than Vangeline, founder and director of the New York Butoh Institute, which marks its 20th anniversary in 2023. After many years on the margins of the dance world, this year she is flooded in fellowships – including a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to study the brain waves of Butoh dancers. 

Vangeline was born in 1970 in France, and came to New York in 1992. She told us her life story recently while sitting and stretching on the floor of her dance studio, near the banks of the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn.     

            Vangeline Theatre in "The Slowest Wave"  Photo: Michael Blase                         

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