DAIPAN Members

Sheri Brown

Artistic/Programs Director

DAIPANmember_SheriSheri Brown has served as Artistic/Programs Director of DAIPANbutoh Collective since its inception in 2009. Her dance practice arises from a cross-pollination of deep spiritual exploration, her experience as a mathematics teacher, and her study with butoh masters Diego Pinon, Katsura Kan, and Joan Laage. Sheri has performed internationally in Korea, Japan, Thailand, Sweden, Greece, Mexico, and Argentina. Her choreographic work, such as Divided by Zero has been performed at the Seattle International dance festival, Clackamus College, Velocity Dance Center, and Seattle Center. Sheri considers her work as a butoh teaching artist inseparable from her work as an unfolding human being. www.sheribrown.com.

Helen Thorsen

Managing Director/Treasurer

DAIPANmember_HelenHelen is native of Chicago, graduated Columbia College with an emphasis in Dance Therapy and choreography. She was a founding member of The Yuni Hoffman Dance Theatre in Chicago, a Graham based modern dance company. She discovered Butoh dance in 1980 through the dances and workshops of Eiko and Koma. Thorsen was a founding member of Joan Laage’s Dappin Butoh, and her choreography has been seen in various venues through out Seattle. www.helenthorsendances.com

Joan Laage

Production Manager/Marketing Coordinator
Member Portrait

Joan is known as a NW butoh pioneer. After studying with masters Kazuo Ohno and Yoko Ashikawa in Tokyo in the late 80s and performing with Ashikawa’s group Gnome, she settled in Seattle and founded Dappin’ Butoh in 1990. While living in Poland she took the performance name of Kogut (rooster). In May 2011, she was featured at the butoh symposium at UCLA. Joan performed at the New York, Chicago, Portland, Boulder, Seattle and Paris butoh festivals. With a Ph.D. in Dance & Related Arts (Texas Woman’s University, 1993), her dissertation focuses on the body in butoh. Joan is featured in Sondra Fraleigh’s books – Dancing into Darkness: Butoh, Zen, and Japan and Butoh: Metamorphic Dance and Global Alchemy. She frequently creates site-specific work for the Seattle Japanese Garden where she is a docent. The year of 2013 includes a 4Culture Historical Site-Specific event, The Engendering Project supported in part by the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, and teaching a butoh course at Cornish College. www.seattlebutoh-laage.com

photo by Kaoru Okumura

Diana Garcia-Snyder, MFA

Graphic Designer/Fundraising Coordinator

DianaDiana is currently dance lecturer at the University of Washington in Bothell. She encountered butoh through Maureen Fleming’s performance in 2003 after more than two decades of international professional ballet and modern dance professional career. This same year she began her training with master teacher Diego Piñon who became her mentor and good friend. Diana is originally from Mexico and holds a Masters in Dance Pedagogy, research and choreography from the University of Washington in Seattle. She currently performs and teaches a hybrid butoh inspired movement strongly influenced by Butoh Ritual Mexicano and since 2007 she has been deeply interested in multimedia-butoh-inspired interactive installations collaborating with international Korean media Artist  Eunsu Kang. She is also a yoga teacher and certified Pilates instructor. http://www.motion33.com/

Kaoru Okumura

Technical/Cultural Communications Coordinator

20151015TSI - SQ120Kaoru Okumura is a Japanese Butoh performer based in Seattle, US. A fan of Butoh since 1970s, Kaoru studied Butoh in 1993 at Asbestos-Kan in Tokyo with Akiko Motofuji, Hijikata’s wife, and also had her first performance there. She started Butoh activities in Seattle from 2008. Since then, she has enjoyed performing with Danse Perdue, KOGUT Butoh, etc., where she experiences how a body bridges the soul and the world. Recently she is focusing solo butoh, periodically premiering new pieces at various venues. Kaoru had more than 20 performances in 2016, including Seattle International Dance Festival, Nine Evening 2 Seattle as collaboration with Google Deep Dream, also supported by Google AMI (Artists & Machine Intelligence) in 2016. www.kaoruokumura.com



  • Mary Cutrera
  • Neal Fadlan
  • Gerard Erikson
  • Tom Belic

Special thanks to our amazing photographers:
Briana Jones and Kaoru Okumura