Seattle Butoh Festival

Seattle Butoh Festival 2016: July 9 – 17, 2016

Cultivating Olympia Connections
Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW, Seattle 98106 – Workshop and Performances
Kubota Garden, 9817 55th Ave S, Seattle 98178

  • Delving deep into butoh aesthetics through guided explorations of the body and mind
  • Sheri Brown Dance offers “Inner Landscapes/Lanscapes: a new ritual for 4 and 1” featuring dance & choreography by Sheri Brown with dancers Alan Sutherland, Diana Garcia-Snyder, Jeremy Chan, & Gerard St-Pierre De Pirate. With live music by Vox Vespertine, video art by Lane McCabe, and costume by Mary Welch & Deborah Skorstad.
  • Kaoru Okumura’s collaboration with AI-generated projection by Artists and Machine Intelligence program at Google Research
  • Helen Thorsen’s dance exploring and celebrating the delicacy and fierceness of the feminine spirit with images of witches, goddesses, sirens and whores
  • Shoko Zama & Katrina Wolfe’s collaboration with Joan Laage inspired by Polish artist Beksiński’s paintings with live music by Robert Jędrzejewski and local cellist Lori Goldston
  • Pondering what one can discover when embodying one’s own history through a work revealing ancient narratives by Olympians Ivan Espinosa, Christopher Arnett, Katie Zundel, Gabrielle Gribbin, Emily Bassett, Evan Rabinowitz, Ashley Wilton
  • A new work by the Olympia WA based Butoh dance ensemble of Stephen Passero, Bruce Fogg, Julia Gentlestrength, and Felix Figaro
  • Strolling through Kubota Garden and enjoy encountering dancers and musicians
    A Seattle collaboration with Warsaw – beautiful costuming and staging with awesome video imagery and music setting the stage for a powerful duet with two western butoh pioneer


  • July 9 & 10 Embodying The Spirit Workshop with Joan Laage Sat 11-3 pm/Sun 12-6 pm  ($150/$125 early bird) Facebook Event Link
  • July 15 & 16 8 pm Performances of DAIPAN members & Olympia guests $15/$18, Facebook Link
    • 15th: Mary Cutrera, Ivan Espinosa & Co, Helen Thorsen, Katrina Wolfe & Shoko Zama
    • 16th: Sheri Brown Dance , Mary Cutrera, Kaoru Okumura, Stephen Passero & Co
  • July 17 12-3 pm Wandering & Wondering Performance @ Kubota Garden, 9817 55th Ave S, Seattle 98178 FREE
  • July 17 7 pm Beksiński_Butoh. Untitled 2 (SPECIAL FESTIVAL EVENT) FREE
    • Beksiński_Butoh. Untitled 2 is produced by LimenButoh Theatre Warsaw/Poland in collaboration with DAIPAN’s Joan Laage and co-financed by the City of Warsaw. It is inspired by renowned Polish painter, photographer, and fantasy artist Zdzislaw Beksiński (1929-2005), whose art, in the field of dystopian surrealism, is hauntingly evocative.

SBF2016 Photo by Bruce Clayton Tom

Seattle Butoh Festival 2015

Featuring Mexican Ritual Butoh Artist Diego Piñon and DAIPANbutoh Collective

DAIPANbutoh Collective is germinating exciting adventures for our 6th Seattle Butoh Festival with the strong Latino presence of Diego Piñón, an esteemed teacher and guest artist for the 2015 Seattle Butoh Festival. The theme of this year’s Seattle Butoh Festival is “Investigating the Global Body.”


The 2015 Seattle Butoh Festival will provide inspiring performances, workshops and educational experiences from our gifted guest artist Diego Piñon. Like Mr. Piñon, DAIPAN envisions a world free of oppression based on poverty, racism, sexism, sexual orientation, and discrimination of any kind, and to live a healthy and a productive life in peace, love and harmony. We promote this through dance, performance and teaching the principles and practices of butoh.

Workshop Schedule:

Butoh Ritual Mexicano (BRM) challenges us to awaken and explore all the human qualities ranging from the subtle to the outrageous. BRM seeks the emergence of the deeper self. Through this process of transforming our daily life through the rebirth of our dance, we can offer more inspired energy to our community. BRM training involves high-impact aerobic movement, active meditation, and guided improvisation, all embraced within a space of communal ritual. The collective physical training consists of shaking, low-level ground work, partnering, impulse exchange, and transpersonal communication in order to expand our currents of energetic exchange. Guided improvisations then give participants the opportunity to integrate this new-found sensory awareness within their physical body, external environments, and the collective presence to reach new realms of creative potential.

Performances Schedule:

DAIPAN members have been collectively supported each other’s projects, but now, we will unify our efforts and talents to create our first full-length ensemble piece researching movement as a potential of the human body to be the deepest and most effective global communicator. Join us July 17 & 18 at the Broadway Performance Hall when DAIPANbutoh members in their highest new phase of growth together with Mr. Piñon in his unique mastery will present two transformative stage performances. Then join us outdoors Sunday July 19th for a liberating free outdoor performance at Kubota Garden organized by Joan Laage and choreographed by Diego Piñon.

Other Events:

  • July 14th 7:30pm @ Tashiro Kaplan Artist Lofts:  “Let’s Talk Butoh” Potluck
  • July 15th 5:30pm @ Cal Anderson Park:  Art-in-the-Park performance


Seattle Butoh Festival 2014 Spring: Solo Fest

May 30 and 31, 2014
7pm door open; 7:30 pm show starts
$15/$12(seniors, students)/$25 (both nights)
Venue: Taoist Studies Institute, 225 N 70th St, Seattle WA 98103

THANK YOU for making the Seattle Butoh Festival 2014 Spring Solo Fest such a tremendous success! It has been said that there are as many styles of butoh as there are butoh dancers, and our festival most certainly celebrated this with vibrant depth and detail.  The 8 unique dance voices  of Sheri Brown, Diana Garcia-Snyder, Kaorum Okumura, Alexander Riding, Helen Thorsen, Katrina Wolfe* and Shoko Zama*  (*choreographed by Joan Laage) were  captured and amplified by the sub/consciousnesses of the diverse and abundantly rich audience members who packed the houses both nights. And what a “house” it was!  Most profound thanks to the Taoist Studies Institute, with its inimitable emptiness, fullness, and grace- truly a magnificent place.

Alexander RidingShoko ZamaDiana Garcia-SnyderHelen Thorsen

 (Photo by Kaoru Okumura)

Alan SutherlandKaoru OkumuraKatrina Wolfe Sheri Brown

(photo by Yuko Ishii)

Seattle Summer Butoh Festival 2013 (August)

August 1 – 31, 2013
See Seattle Summer Butoh Festival 2013 page

Seattle Butoh Festival 2012

October 22 – 28, 2012

Seattle Butoh Festival 2011

June 2 – 18, 2011

Northwest Buttoh Wave – AGOGO Performance

November 5 – 6, 2010

Seattle Butoh Festival is supported by Shunpike, 4Culture and City of Seattle Office Of Arts & Cultural Affairs