Alabama Dance Exchange

The New Orleans Fringe Festival

Event Details

The New Orleans Fringe Festival

Time: November 17, 2010 at 8pm to November 20, 2010 at 8pm
Location: St Ferdinand Church
City/Town: New Orleans, Louisiana
Website or Map:
Phone: 205-965-9189
Event Type: performance
Organized By: The New Orleans Fringe Festival
Latest Activity: Oct 15, 2010

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Event Description

Butoh Performance in the New Orleans Fringe Festival

Media Contact: Deborah Mauldin
205-965-9189 or

October 6, 2010 NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA –The Fringe Festival, known for exciting and fresh theatre experiences, will include performances by the Southeast’s premier Butoh Company November 17, 19 and 20, 2010 at St. Ferdinand Church. Master Butoh artist Deborah Mauldin (who is also Past President of the American Dance Guild in NYC), and Company Co-founder Ashley Muth, present “THE TRAIL OF TEARS”. “Trail” channels the death and rebirth of a Native American, experiencing firsthand the rampant environmental degradation and man’s inhumanity to man and fellow creatures that afflicts the world today.

This is a rare opportunity for the public to see and learn about a compelling and innovative modern Japanese art form, and the event should be of special appeal to students of art, theater, music and history. Butoh has been called shocking, provocative, spiritual, erotic, grotesque, violent, cosmic, nihilistic and cathartic. Born of the 1950s avant-garde movements, Butoh was a resistance to the general establishment and to a rigid social system. Not everyone considers it a dance form, for many people it is a strange kind of theater.

The best thing is to describe it as a mixture of elements of traditional Japanese theatre, Ausdrucktanz, modern dance and mime. It breaks with the established dance rules and leaves much room for improvisation. Characteristics one often sees are the white painted bodies, the slow movements, the bald heads and contorted postures. The dance evokes images of decay, of fear and desperation, eroticism, ecstasy and stillness.

The birth of this extraordinary genre of dance lies in post-war Japan with the performance of ‘Kinjiki’ in 1959. “Kinjiki,” or “Forbidden Colors,” was the title of a performance by Tatsumi Hijikata, which provoked a major scandal at the 1959 Tokyo Dance Festival and launched Ankoku Butoh, or dance of darkness, a radical answer to western concepts of dance, a Japanese “rebellion of the body.” Hijikata introduced the word Ankoku Butoh, later abbreviated to Butoh.

You may remember Madame Deborah’s HOUSE OF BUTOH and Bearinglight Butoh dance Theatre from last year’s Fringe Festival. The company performs regionally and in New York City where they enjoyed critical acclaim in their very first performance for the American Dance Guild Performance Festival at the Hudson Guild Theatre. Professionals involved with this company include dancer Celeste LaBorde, Internationally renowned musician LaDonna Smith, multi - faceted artist SI Reasoning, photographer and musician Alice Faye Love, Composers Brandon Robinson, William Price, vocalist Diane McNaron. Last year, Deborah and company presented a repertoire of Butoh. Among the repertoire from last year’s performance was an excerpt of “The Trail of Tears”. This year at the Fringe Festival the dance will be performed in its entirety.

Saint Ferdinand Church, 725 St. Ferdinand, New Orleans, LA 70117, (Marigny neighborhood)
Wednesday November 17, 9 pm
Friday November 19, 7 pm
Saturday November 20, 5 pm
$15 online or at the door

The Fringe is a 501(c) 3 non-profit that was founded by local arts organizers to nurture fearless theatre in New Orleans and to benefit artists, audiences, neighborhoods and local businesses. For more information, visit

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