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  • PRESS RELEASE: Eseohe Arhebamen a.k.a. Edoheart develops Butoh-vocal Theatre

    August 31st, 2009EdoheartPerformance, Statements


    In August, Eseohe Arhebamen led a Butoh dance workshop at The Living Theatre, a performance space located in downtown Manhattan.  Known as the “Dance of Darkness,” Butoh is a contemporary avant-garde dance form which was originally performed in Japan in 1959. Butoh combines dance, theater, improvisation and influences from the Japanese artist tradition and performance art.

    Born in West Africa, Nigeria, Eseohe is an international multi-media performer residing in Brooklyn, NY. She is also known on stage and in performance, as Edoheart. Eseohe has taught different art forms to adults and children for many years in Detroit and New York; as Edoheart, she intimately incorporates language into her Butoh dance workshops.

    An award winning poet, writer, and student of both Butoh and African theater, it is Eseohe’s “passion for language” (her own Nigeria boasts 512 of them) that has led her to explore “the semiotic nature of audio/visual communication” and “the channeling of language through movement.” Typically known for its extreme imagery and white-body makeup, the addition of vocalizations to the art form is quite an innovation coming from the Nigerian artist.

    The four-hour workshop consisted of three parts: Basic Butoh, Sight, and Poetry/Language. In the first section, Basic Butoh, exercises dealt with tempo, continuity, and possession. In Sight, exercises attempted to create alternate environments through meditation in movement. The final section, Poetry, existed in two parts: (1) the first entailed using the body to create personal language for public interaction, and (2) the second, deconstructed emotion by exploring the source of vocal expressions while in movement.

    The class has received rave reviews:  “A spiritual and focused workshop taught by a very capable and wise instructor” complimented an attendee.  And another:  “Eseohe brought light to the demanding depths of Butoh using unexpected but effective methods. Much appreciation for this cathartic and challenging workshop!”

    Eseohe is currently organizing a second workshop from which participants will be selected to perform in a production of a new multimedia performance work in a genre that Eseohe has termed her “Butoh-vocal theatre.”  Eseohe’s “Butoh-vocal theatre” incorporates what she has termed “butoh-talking” and “butoh-singing.” Explorations of and expansions upon these two terms will occur in the workshop.

    Eseohe holds a Bachelors of Arts in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Michigan and has intensively studied with the Butoh dance masters Yukio Waguri and Katsura Kan.

    The multilingual nature of Eseohe’s upbringing led to an early devotion to language. Eseohe was reading Shakespeare’s plays and writing poetry at 8 years old. Upon immigrating to the United States, an immersion into African-American culture and hip-hop in Detroit gave Eseohe the opportunity to participate in poetry slams and to develop into an award winning poet and writer. Some of her awards include, the Arthur Miller Award for Fiction and an InsideOut Literary/Arts Project Writing Residency funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

    Eseohe has further grown as an artist to work in various platforms as a performance artist, where she incorporates her creations in dance, music, and the visual arts.  Her work and performances have been enjoyed by audiences worldwide, including Africa, Asia, North America, and Europe. Her performances often feature sound-mosaics and visual projections that act as parts of speech in liaison with her movement works. Eseohe frequently incorporates Nigerian Pidgin English and Edo language in her works. She fondly remembers opening for The Wailers as a member of the Afro-beat band, NOMO, and collaborating with diverse musicians, such as Elliott Bergman, Joyce Adewumi, Im Malys, Eric Shieh, Sato Yukie and her own Nigerian-based dance and drum troupe, IGODOMIGODO. As a student of fine arts from Hunter College’s Studio Arts program, Eseohe’s art works have appeared internationally from Soho, New York to Seoul, Korea. Eseohe’s documentary, “The N Word” was recently featured at Columbia University.

    You may contact Eseohe at:
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