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January 27 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm| 25 ($30 door)
Pioneer Works is pleased to present “Virgin Writes,” an exclusive evening of lyrical Butoh staging of the ancient Greek mythological story of Iphigenia. “Virgin Writes” is a unique and fearless first-time collaboration between three radical women artists. This powerful artistic convergence of music-theater brings together lyrics written and sung by Grammy Award winner Esperanza Spalding, music composed and performed live by Yuka C. Honda (of Cibo Matto), and staging directed and performed by Butoh dancer/choreographer Vangeline.
In this 21st century adaptation of the ancient tale, a young screenwriter invoked to re-write the fate of Iphigenia, princess of Argost. Condemned to a sacrificial death after a transgression between her father Agamemnon and goddess Artemis, Iphigenia envelops her screenwriter within her tale and compels him to suffer the burden of creation and reclaim impending doom by giving birth to his own inspired story. In the face of death, Iphigneia ushers her resurrection by teaching this young man transform himself by giving birth to a new mind and providing himself and Iphignenia with new worlds. With a set script, the performance will be a fluid improvisation of melody and movement. With harmonic palettes drawn primarily from Honda’ s personal sound aesthetic of kaleidoscopic harmonic scapes, with deep groove, funk, and subtlety in pulse, this dialogue-based-libretto is a new frontier that stretches the boundary of Spaldings’ ‘Jazz,’ and where improvisation is found at the edges of each of the performers’ practice.
Set in the distorted, organic movements of the Japanese postwar, avant-garde movement form of Butoh, ‘ Virgin Writes’ reclaims the expected horrific implications of Apocalypse by disrupting fate with revelation and rewriting destiny through creative intuition. Butoh, often called the “Dance of Darkness” (Ankoku Butoh), was founded by Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno in post war Japan in the 1950’s in the aftermath of Hiroshima. Now a global art form, Butoh works to reveal the dance’s inner life of authenticity, depth and paradox, and seeks to express one’s humanity in all of its irrationality, ugliness, beauty and mirth.