Coney Island Ritual Cabaret Festival

Friday, March 23, 2018, 8pm
Saturday, March 24, 2018, 8pm
Sunday, March 25, 2018, 4pm
Combo tickets available here.

The Coney Island Ritual Cabaret Festival marks International Culture Lab’s (ICL) third consecutive year probing the fantastical dancing partnership of ritual and entertainment on Coney Island USA’s burlesque stage. In March 2017, ICL and CIUSA presented the Coney Island Butoh and Theatre Festival and in March 2016, the Coney Island Butoh and Beyond Festival.

This year ICL has assembled an array of local performance artists, musicians, and dancers, all of whom have been tasked with presenting original works that define “ritual cabaret” through the lens of their own particular aesthetic, discipline and lineage.

As a point of reference and inspiration, ICL looked to the origins of Butoh. Its founder Tatsumi Hijikata developed this ritualistic dance form hand-in-glove with the cabaret scene in the late sixties. During the day, Hijikata trained his dancers in exercises and techniques that would become Ankoku Butoh. At night they experimented with bringing their exploration into the competitive marketplace of cabaret/burlesque. “His shows got a reputation for being a kind of 'weird, funky cabaret' in which female nudity appeared along with surrealist and Dadaist images.” (Rosemary Candelario, "Flowers Cracking Concrete: Eiko & Koma’s Asian/American Choreographies")

Also appearing with his own distinctive approach to sacred entertainment is Mexican master teacher Diego Piñón’s Body Ritual Movement (BRM). Over the past two years, though his intensives and ensemble performances at CIUSA, Piñón invented the term “ritual cabaret” as the defining aesthetic that resulted from his immersion into the historical and contemporary Coney Island. Following up his work at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center this past summer and an exploratory workshop at CIUSA last October, Piñón now deepens his ensemble’s ritual cabaret study with another intensive workshop that will culminate in three unique nightly performances.

Performers for Friday, March 23rd
Act I
Diego Pinon Ensemble

Act II
Lou (Lindsey) Mandolini
Maplewood Gardens
Pink Velvet Witch & Satine S'Allumer

Performers for Saturday, March 24th
Act I
Diego Pinon Ensemble

Act II
Nu Canal
Arantxa Araujo
Celeste Hastings and Butoh Rockettes

Performers for Sunday, March 25th
Act I
Diego Pinon Ensemble

Act II
Anjoli Chadha
rip darlie
Christopher Mankowski