Humboldt Butoh Festival 2018

Jordan Rosin, Leslie Castellano, & Anastazia Louise, photos by Jorge Luna, Chani Bockwinkel, & Scott London

Humboldt Butoh Festival 2018

(Advance, online ticket sales end 12 hours before each show/workshop. Tickets will also be available at the door.)

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Jordan Rosin, Leslie Castellano, and Synapsis Nova are honored to present the inaugural Humboldt Butoh Festival, January 19 – 21, 2018. The 2018 festival features performances & workshops with both local butoh artists and visiting guests as well as a film screening of works by Tatsumi Hijikata (1928 – 1986), the founder of Butoh.

For this year’s festival we are pleased to welcome visiting guest artist, Anastazia Louise of Bad Unkle Sista (San Francisco, CA) who has been studying and creating butoh-based work since 2002. Local Humboldt County-based artists Leslie Castellano and Jordan Rosin, seasoned dancers and butoh artists in their own right will also present new works as part of the festival. Each of these dancers have performed world-wide and had the honor of training with some of the best known Butoh masters alive today. Their teaching & performance is a unique synthesis of their training and personal research.

The 2018 Humboldt Butoh Festival includes a FREE evening of film featuring Butoh-founder Tatsumi Hijikata’s “Summer Storm” (1973) on Friday, January 19 at 8:00 PM with a panel discussion following, as well as an evening of live performance on Sunday, January 21 at 7:00 PM

Workshops will take place Saturday and Sunday, January 20 & 21 from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM.

All events take place at the Synapsis Nova, 212 G Street, Suite 102 in old town Eureka, CA.


Anastazia Louise Aranaga (Special Guest Artist), founder and artistic director of Bad Unkl Sista, offers a personally developed style that combines a lifetime of performance experience distilled from a vast array of teachers and collaborators. She was introduced to Butoh through Diego Piñón (Butoh Ritual Mexicano) in 2002, and his teachings remain an ongoing influence and inspiration for her performance work. Other primary influences include Hiroko and Koichi Tamano, Sankai Juku, Katsura Kan and Vangeline.

Anastazia founded Bad Unkl Sista in 2002, and has since produced hundreds of performances for local, regional and international promoters and festivals. Her Butoh-based physical theater approach emphasizes creative and proactive human development within our present-day social context.

Anastazia continues to evolve her characteristically unique fusion of performance and costuming, foregrounding the pathways of transcribing and uniting outer and inner landscapes into a physical expression to reach witnesses on a personal level.

Leslie Castellano is a multidisciplinary artist with focus in dance and performance, living in Northern California. Her performance and community work consists of experiments in navigating meaning, beauty, and critique in the haphazard landscapes of contemporary society. Through her work, she investigates the body in response to environment, invoking wonder, horror, and absurdity in the unkempt divide between nature and culture. Leslie regularly makes new performance work that investigates that incorporates elements of butoh, circus arts, physical theater, postmodern dance, and postdramatic theater, working with shifting states and images that touch on magic and wilderness.

Leslie has studied Butoh dance since 2002, working with Diego Pinon, Shinichi Iova-Koga, Mari Osanai, among others. She performed with Diego Pinon’s North American Butoh Ensemble and has traveled the world with Carpetbag Brigade. At home, Leslie is the founder and artistic director of Synapsis, a performance collective that seeks to develop new performance work and create spaces for the expression of diverse voices. She is cofounder of dance company feralferal with Kevin Dockery.

​Jordan Rosin is a physical theatre artist, butoh dancer, teacher, and movement coach. His main butoh teachers are Joan Laage, Vangeline, & Tetsuro Fukuhara, though he has trained with numerous others including Yoshito Ohno, Ko Murobushi, Katsura Kan, Diego Pinon, and Daiichiro Yuyama. Jordan was a co-founder & Producing Artistic Director of the NYC-based physical theatre ensemble, The Ume Group from 2011-2016; has been a frequent collaborator with the butoh company Ren Gyo Soh; and is creator of DREAM DANCES™. For Ren Gyo Soh, performance credits include “SHINKA-evolution-“, “Yuragi”, and “Hoichi, the earless.” He is co-choreographer of the internationally acclaimed BUTOH MEDEA (Winner: Best Physical Theatre, United Solo Festival 2015; Best Choreography, United Solo Festival 2015), which has been presented in Poland, Italy, Turkey, as well as the USA. Other butoh performance credits include Tetsuro Fukuhara’s Tokyo Space Dance Project in New York City (2013). Additional projects include The Ume Group’s Butoh Electra; Facet (Hollywood Fringe Festival); Isis Variations (FringeNYC 2014, CoolNY 2014 Dance Festival); Dream Dances; and Lysistrata Project. He is currently pursuing an MFA in Ensemble-Based Physical Theatre and Dell’Arte International in Blue Lake, CA.


For the inaugural Humboldt Butoh Festival, Leslie Castellano will premiere Yippee Ki Yay/All We Ever Wanted, an original dance exploring larger than life alter-realities of cartoons in a desert of lost allegiances. We wander in post-colonial failures and too-bright colors while patriotic thunderings echo, comical and monstrous. 

Jordan Rosin will offer the world-premiere of Icarus One, a largely improvised solo ritual unraveling the nature of ambition, fear, obsession, and aloneness.

Anastazia Louise of Bad Unkle Sista will be presenting original works to be announced.



Film Screening & Panel Discussion: Tatsumi Hijikata’s “Summer Storm” (1973) & Discussion with Anastazia Louise, Leslie Castellano, Jordan Rosin, moderated by Laura Muñoz 

Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 8pm
FREE (donations gladly accepted to support Synapsis)


Saturday, January 20, 1:00-4:00 pm
Workshop led by Anastazia Louise of Bad Unkle Sista

Sunday, January 21, 1:00-4:00 pm
Workshop led by Leslie Castellano & Jordan Rosin

Cost: $30 each or $50 for both (as part of $60 FULL FESTIVAL PASS) or $20 each and $40 for both (as part of $50 FULL FESTIVAL PASS) if you register early, by December 15.

Performances: “Yippee Ki Yay/All We Ever Wanted”, “Icarus One”, and work by special guest Anastazia Louise to be announced.

Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 7pm
Cost: In advance, online only $15; cash only at-the-door $20
No One Turned Away for Lack of Funds (NOTAFLOF), but Space is Limited so Advance Reservation is Highly Recommended

Some work-trade available. Contact Leslie at for more info.


Anastazia Louise –
Jordan Rosin –
Leslie Castellano –


This is the inaugural edition of the Humboldt Butoh Festival, which is aimed at sharing the beauty and power of the incredible art form and creative philosophy of Butoh with all. The festival is modeled after other highly successful butoh festivals across the US in cities such as Seattle, Chicago, and Asheville. While emphasizing the work of local and regional artists for its inaugural year, Humboldt Butoh Festival hopes to one-day participate in the growing exchange of international guest artists and teachers which has allowed a new generation of Butoh practitioners in the US to flourish.


Butoh is a style of dance and philosophy of creating total theatre originating from Japan in the mid twentieth century. While sometimes marked by grotesque imagery and taboo themes, the main aim of the work as a performer is to reveal tacit knowledge hidden in the body, and to promote self-realization through discovery of your most authentic movement. Butoh training promotes physical endurance and expressiveness, spiritual consciousness, and creativity for performers and non-performers alike.
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