The New York Butoh Festival: -the butoh-kan phase
A Success on All Levels!

The fourth biennial New York Butoh Festival was a huge success for all involved: for the artists, for the audiences, for us as presenters and for the venues we partnered with, and for the individuals that supported it and made it possible.

This year’s New York Butoh Festival was different from our previous first, second and third festivals in 2003, 2005 and 2007. It marked the culmination of the NY Butoh-Kan Training Initiative.  Butoh-Kan was the two-year training program of CAVE and its resident performance company LEIMAY.  It offered rigorous physical training and enriched students with first person contact with international masters. It was an integrative training opportunity for the dancers, actors and interdisciplinary performers, creating a platform for the future development of new work.  Intensive training sessions were conducted at CAVE’s studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for the last two years.

  • We presented the work of 18 emerging artists  based in New York.
  • We presented the work of 4 established artists based in Japan.
  • The festival hosted 10 U.S. Premieres, and three World Premieres by  LEIMAY, Yuko Kaseki and Mario Osanai.
  • We presented a traveling exhibition: “Body as a Medium” with 30 original photographs of past festival’s artists and of the Butoh-Kan performance series.
  • There were events at  3 different venues:  CAVE, Dance New Amsterdam and Dixon Place.
  • 120 students attended the eight Intensive and Introductory Workshops at CAVE
  • 1,170 people attended the fourteen  diverse festival shows and post-perfromance discussions at CAVE, Dance New Amsterdam and Dixon Place.

Festival events had strong attendance. The 8 Intensive and Introductory Workshops – were all completely full with participants. The pos-performance discussions and the performances that we produced – the festival commission at Dixon Place in Manhattan,  the week of performances at Dance New Amsterdam and the week of performance at CAVE – were all incredibly successful.

The festival was covered by major publications such as the New York Times as well as by prestigious local publications like the Brooklyn Rail and popular community dance blogs such as the Dance Enthusiast.

During the period of the NY Butoh festival run, CAVE was featured as a participant of the Star Initiative lead by the respected radio station WNYC.

Wrap Up: “A refreshingly stark contrast into this city’s dance scene “

As the numbers and well-attended events prove, it was an enormously successful festival.  The glowing praise in the press confirmed this success. Butoh is a difficult and complex form. But as Erika Eichelberger in The Brooklyn Rail put it, “In a world where sincerity is often viewed as a weakness, this festival was a welcome reminder of its importance.” Another positive  praise of all came from Roslyn Sulcas at The NY Times who called Murobushi the “real thing” for giving a genuine sight of a butoh artist wok.

We want to thank our partners, funders, audience, volunteers and artists!  It was their support and participation that made it possible.  We look forward to share with you many more performances and art events in the upcoming year! THANK YOU!

“The New York Butoh Festival—the Butoh-Kan Phase, organized by CAVE  in Williamsburg, brought a refreshingly stark contrast into this city’s dance scene for three weeks in October and November…In a world where sincerity is often viewed as a weakness, this festival was a welcome reminder of its importance.” The Brooklyn Rail

“Happily for the Cave New York Butoh Festival, which opened its Butoh-Kan Masters series at Dance New Amsterdam on Thursday night, Ko Murobushi is the real thing… a genuine glimpse of a Butoh artist at work”. The New York Times

““Furnace,” the ensemble piece that opened the festival on Thursday night at Dixon Place… strangely beautiful …  representations of cycles of death and rebirth, devastation and renewal… a metaphor of escape or transformation” The New York Times

“Furnace is fecund with images of magic and reality. Real time and surreal time co-exist. People and spectral creatures co-mingle. Death and birth are interchangeable ideas…Traveling through multiple atmospheres, sensations, impressions and tones is the pleasure of this work. ” – The Dance Enthusiast