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In partnership with the New York Butoh Institute

“With thanks to Arts Council England – Artists International Development Fund, I can accept an invitation from the New York Butoh Institute, to perform and participate in the Institute’s annual festival of conferences, live-performances and presentations, taking place in Manhattan over a period of 21 days, throughout October 2018. I look forward to celebrating the art-form, in the company of the international Butoh community”. (Company Director Nicole Vivien Watson)

Action Learning

“Very pleased to mention that I am now a member of Action Learning. Facilitated by Independent Dance and Dancers’ Career Development, with support from the Bonnie Bird Choreography Fund. Look forward to meet my fellow set members, at the Siobhan Davies Studios later in the month”. Nicole Vivien Watson

Hands of Goze at the Daiwa Foundation

This evening’s talk at the Daiwa Foundation was truly inspiring. I’m thankful to have heard Professor Kojiro Hirose’s touching account of meeting Haru Kobayashi (1900-2005), who was known as the “last Goze”.

Goze is a term referring to visually-impaired female musicians who travelled Japan playing shamisen. After World War II, with the expansion of the welfare service for disabled people and the enhancement of education for visually impaired people, Goze came to be recognised as relics of the pre-modern times.
Hands of Goze: the Tactile Culture of Visually Impaired People in Modern Japan. Professor Kojiro Hirose discussed “the hands of Goze” and approached the relevance and the possibility of Goze culture from three different angles: “touching the sound”, “touching the colour”, and “touching the heart”. Referencing Goze folk songs, which Goze created and spread as their own oral traditions. –

Kojiro Hirose is an associate professor at the School of Cultural and Social Studies at the Graduate University for Advanced Studies, having received a Ph.D in Japanese Religious History from Kyoto University in 2000. He was also appointed associate professor at the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka, Japan. Since then he has worked on practical study and the prevalence of “tactile exhibits”, aiming at not only a barrier-free museum for disabled people, but a “universal museum,” which everyone can enjoy.

Published by Nicole Vivien Watson

THE MUD FORMED A FINGER, POINTED & RAFT

THE MUD FORMED A FINGER, POINTED & RAFT

 

8th of December 17, at CCA: GLASGOW

https://www.cca-glasgow.com/programme/surface-area-dance-theatre-the-mud-formed-a-finger-pointed-raft

 

20th of December 17, at  WORKPLACE GATESHEAD

http://www.workplacegallery.co.uk/events/65/ 

 

Two live 20-30 minute performances with a 30 minute intermission.

The Mud Formed A Finger, Pointed explores creation myth and Messy Play, while Raft is a navigation of self via astrology. Made in collaboration between Matthew De Kersaint Graudeau, Ben Jeans Houghton and Nicole Vivien Watson.

The Mud Formed A Finger, Pointed offers a study of the human body as an uncanny object that oscillates between figuration and abstraction, body and material, depicting an object becoming human, a human becoming an object and the protean states between.

Nicole Vivien Watson emerges from an industrial bucket, her body covered in dripping, viscous liquid. The work embodies a contemporary creation myth that melds object and subject, abject and sacred, non-human and human. By invoking the narrative imagery of creation myths where humans are formed from the earth, within the aesthetic of the fetish Messy Play and through the language of Butoh, the performance links our understandings of the contemporary body and our imaginings of a primordial past.

Raft explores inner and outer landscapes, through Nicole’s choreographed mapping and navigation of the solar system and the self performed on a sculptural Zodiac stage. Presenting a dialogue between the microcosm and the macrocosm, mapping the relationships between distant stars, the present individual and the planets, in an exploration and interogation of the esoteric and exoteric aspects of self.

Raft draws inspiration from: ‘The Archaic Revival’ – the invigoration of principles and practices whose efficacy was mislaid during the divorce of science and spirituality. ‘Alchemical Practice’ – the ritual arrangement of persons and symbols in the physical world to create a narrative dialogue that changes the conceptual and emotional world within us. ‘Self exploration’ – the quest to know oneself via a navigation of our emotional and historical experience of being.

 

The Mud Formed A Finger, Pointed & Raft is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England

 

International Collaboration with the NY Butoh Institute

Surface Area Dance Theatre’s 10th Anniversary Celebration is fast approaching and as part of the evening, Vangeline founder of the New York Butoh Institute will perform the reimagining of Project Godie – Firstly performed at All Saint’s Church, Newcastle upon Tyne, on the 12 and 13 of August 2016.

“I am thrilled and honored to have the tremendous opportunity to collaborate with Surface Area Dance Theatre and return to Newcastle upon Tyne this year, in the spirit of cultural exchange and friendship between people. I am also grateful for this new opportunity to share the art form butoh with the community and support the creation of new works.” Vangeline.

Photo credit: Lincoln Centre for the Performing Arts, NYC (January 2016) by Darial Sneed.

 

Project Godie reviewed by the Wire

“It’s more about movement than dance; and those movements have only been arrived at through long, drawn out exercises in stripping away layer upon layer of socially conditioned thought and action to eventually reveal the twitching, pulsing sentient being suffocating underneath”.

Review of Project Godie Live Events: Kopf, Biba. The Wire. (2016, November). On Site. Exhibitions, installations,etc. p.83

Project Godie Live Events (12th and 13th of August 2016, All Saint’s Church, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK) Co – Produced by Surface Area Dance Theatre and Adam Denton. Choreography and Direction by Vangeline. Featured dance artist, Molly Procter, Vangeline and Nicole Vivien Watson, with sonics by Trans/Human. Costume design and creation by Katerina Dipla, lighting design by Louise Gregory. Documented by Aaron Guy.

 

Project Godie

Project Godie ‘Dance of Darkness’ sheds light on Anglo-Japanese heritage

Project Godie is a multi platform heritage programme that will take audiences on a journey through Anglo-Japanese history, celebrating the north east of England’s strong links with Japan through dance, music, film and literature.

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The programme will launch with a performance that places Butoh at its heart – which is why producers Nicole Vivien Watson and Adam Denton went straight to the heart of Butoh to inform their work. Commissioning critically-acclaimed, New York Butoh artist, Vangeline (“Captivating” New York Times), Los Angeles Times, (“moves with the clockwork deliberation of a practiced Japanese Butoh artist”) and having had the opportunity to spend time with late Butoh co-founder, Kazuo Ohno, Nicole Vivien Watson, Creative Director of Newcastle-based Surface Area Dance Theatre has prepared a solid training ground for her company’s first Butoh performance. Alongside co-producer and cultural researcher Adam Denton (who will also be providing the audio backdrop through sonic performance duo Trans/Human)

Funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Project Godie will take a multi-disciplinary approach, opening with a Butoh performance, that will lead to archive exhibits, commissioned essays, film and an interactive website to encourage community engagement. Additionally, community groups Search and St James Culture and Heritage Centre in the Elswick area of Newcastle will also take part in a range of events including writing and movement workshop.

Nicole Vivien Watson: “It is widely acknowledged that the region has experienced cultural and commercial exchanges with Japan, the beginnings of which can be found geographically on the banks of the River Tyne in Elswick through its shipbuilding heritage. The legacy we see today is the region’s strong business relations with Japan”.

Adam Denton: “We feel there is so much more to discover and our research activities will continue beyond the project’s launch and into the Autumn, culminating with a presence within The Discovery Museum’s permanent exhibition space in Newcastle.”