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Japanese Butoh and Mexican Day of the Dead

  • Regent's University Inner Circle London, NW1 4NS United Kingdom (map)

Marie-Gabrielle Rotie (Goldsmiths, University of London): Live talk (with webcast), followed by Japanse Butoh dance theatre debut of a curated response to "MITLA Place of the Dead".

The performance created specifically in response to Fernanda Cortes' New Collection 17/18 of ceramics, "MITLA Place of the Dead".

Cortes' work is a modern reimagining of a 3,000 year old observance, Día de Muertos, the Mexican Day of the Dead.

The evening wraps up with artists in conversation with Bruce Baird (UMassAmherst).

Brief Bio's:

  • Bruce Baird is Graduate Program Director of Japanese at UMassAmherst. His book Hijikata Tatsumi and Butoh: Dancing in a Pool of Gray Grits (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) is a lively examination of the formation of the dance form butoh—one of the most important dance forms of the 20th century. In it, Baird argues that butoh (also known as butô) should be seen as a bodily response to the conflicts in Japan in the 1960-1980s, and as an embodiment of the information age. This book was nominated for the 2012-2013 biannual International Convention of Asian Scholars Book Prize. He is currently working on a broader history of butoh, which will examine how the art changed and evolved as it spread beyond Tokyo to the world. He is the recipient of two Fulbright Fellowships.


  • Fernanda Cortes is Medesthai's first young STEAM Ambassador. She is a ceramist and product designer, with a MA in Ceramics & Glass from the Royal College of Art, and BA in Product Design from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She approached ceramics from various angles ranging from industrial design, where mass production and hard structures come into play, to art, where she has the freedom to explore ideas and emotions.


  • Marie-Gabrielle Rotie is a lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London. She is an internationally recognised Butoh Master. Her creations are interdisciplinary works, embracing the mediums of choreography, live-art performance, film, photography, installation and the site-specific. Rotie's creations mainly focus on the body in relation to identity, desire and death. Each work is conceptually driven and originates from research encompassing mythology, psychology, contemporary art, ontology and metaphysics. Her work is informed by her training as a Fine Art painter, and is distinguished by a strong sense of staging and design, integrating lighting, costume and sonic-scapes to create immersive worlds which hover between dream and poetry. Rotie is based in London and teaches, tours and lectures nationally and internationally.


  • Nick Parkin is an award-winning Composer, Musician, Artist, Director and Movement Practitioner. He is a specialist in environmental and site based sound and performance. Since 2001 he has taught Environmental and Site Specific Performance and Butoh to BA1 & MA students. Nick trained in Fine Arts and Community Arts at Bradford Art College 1980 – 83 specializing in procession, masked performance and fire sculpture. He then later gained an MA in Electro-acoustic music composition at University of East Anglia 1998-1999. His live performances reflected his specialist training in dance, theatre and martial arts.
Earlier Event: 30 October
MITLA Place of the dead
Later Event: 2 November
ArtBeat: Art and Anatomy