Vangeline Theater announces a live stream archival footage of Wake Up and Smell the Coffee, a 60-minute dance piece performed in 2017 at Triskelion Arts. The piece will premiere on Earth Day 2021 and will stream from April 22-24, 2021 at 8pm ET at https://vimeo.com/event/691140. For audiences in other time zones, the video will also be available from April 25-30, 2021 at www.vimeo.com/vangeline.
Wake Up and Smell the Coffee utilizes the intensity of the art form butoh to convey a serious problem: the environmental repercussions of non-recyclable waste. The performers danced through garbage; a set made of 1500 collected unsalvageable coffee cups, illustrating the extensive amount of non-recyclable waste generated by society. Currently, Americans are responsible for a staggering 58% of the paper cup consumption in the world. This issue is directly linked to the threat of global warming.
"We are not quite ready to get back into the theater yet," explained Vangeline. "As a result, I have been looking for archival footage to share with our audiences this Spring. In 2017, I conceived Wake Up and Smell the Coffee as a cautionary tale about global warming; four years and one pandemic later, this piece has never felt more relevant. Wake Up and Smell the Coffee is a good fit for streaming; it is family-friendly and has a fairy tale narrative that is really accessible. It tackles a serious subject, but the piece can be whimsical at times. I drew as much from butoh as I did from European traditions, infusing butoh with satire, pocking fun at the preciousness of Western cultural heritage. These days, we all could use a little humor; hopefully, on Earth Day weekend, the message of this piece-overconsumption, and hubris-will resonate while audiences are entertained."
Conceived, choreographed and directed by Vangeline.
Dancers: Azumi Oe, Leah Marie Beltran, Maki Shinagawa, Margherita Tisato, Maddy Sher, Sindy Butz, Stacy Lynn Smith and Vangeline. Originally performed on April 22, 2017 at Triskelion Arts.
"Brilliantly, Vangeline Theater defied a stereotype of contemporary dance: rather than reaching for abstract meaning, Wake Up and Smell the Coffee clearly presents its audience with an inspiring environmental narrative through movement alone."
- Emily McNeely, The Dance Enthusiast
Vangeline is a teacher, dancer, and choreographer specializing in the Japanese postwar avant-garde movement form butoh. She is the artistic director of the Vangeline Theater (New York), a dance company firmly rooted in the tradition of Japanese butoh and the New York Butoh Institute's founder. She is a 2018 NYFA/NYSCA Artist Fellow in Choreography. Vangeline's work has been heralded in publications such as the New York Times ("captivating"), Los Angeles Times ("moves with the clockwork deliberation of a practiced Japanese Butoh artist"), and LA Weekly, to name a few. More recently, her solo Hijikata Mon Amour received critical acclaim in New York Butoh Institute Festival 2019 ("a triumphant experience for both performer and viewer"-Broadway World).
With her all-female dance company, Vangeline's socially conscious performances tie together butoh and activism. She is the founder of the 15-year running, award-winning program "Dream a Dream Project," which brings butoh dance to incarcerated men and women at correctional facilities across New York State. Vangeline has taught and performed internationally in Japan, Finland, Chile, Hong Kong, the UK, Denmark, Germany, France, the United States, and Taiwan. She is the author of the book of non-fiction Butoh: Cradling Empty Space (2020).www.vangeline.com.
This program was supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.