LEIMAY, Cave, and the New York Butoh Festival

Authored by: Ximena Garnica

The Routledge Companion to Butoh Performance

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138691094
eBook ISBN: 9781315536132
Adobe ISBN:


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I first met Shige Moriya, my partner, in the early summer of 2001 when we both attended a butoh workshop in upstate New York led by Atsushi Takenouchi. I was at the workshop with my friend Juan Merchàn, whom I met the year before when I mistakenly registered for my first butoh workshop, believing that it was a buyō (classical Japanese dance) class. At that time, Shige was already working, producing, and programing visual art and performance in a converted garage space, CAVE, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Also during this workshop I met Zachary Model, someone integral to the inception of the New York Butoh Festival. During that ten day workshop in the Adirondacks we danced in nature, prepared meals, and partied together. All this serenity was then disturbed by the shock of a car accident. Shige’s head hit the windshield, which cracked like a spider’s web, opening a gash above his left eyelid. Juan sustained a back injury that haunted him for years. Immediately after the accident, I kept Shige conscious by having him count in Spanish for over an hour until the ambulance arrived. The memories of that workshop continue to have an otherworldly quality for the four of us. It set in motion a chain of events that led to the creation of the New York Butoh Festival.

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