– The Mad River Union
Jordan Rosin is a physical theatre artist, director and teacher, specializing in Butoh Dance, the post-war avant-garde movement form from Japan. He also draws on yoga, acrobatics, and contact improv along with popular theatre forms like Commedia Dell’Arte, Clown, and Melodrama to create theatre and dance events with popular and poetic resonance. He received his BFA in Drama from Syracuse University and has trained with numerous teachers of butoh including Yoshito Ohno, Joan Laage, Vangeline, Diego Pinon, Tetsuro Fukuhara, and more. Jordan was a Co-Founder & Producing Artistic Director of the NYC-based physical theatre ensemble, The Ume Group from 2011-2016 and is a frequent collaborator with the butoh company Ren Gyo Soh. Choreography credits include the internationally acclaimed Butoh Medea, which won Best Physical Theatre & Best Choreography at the 2015 United Solo Festival and has been performed in Turkey, Italy, Scotland, and Poland; plus The Ume Group’s Butoh Electra; Facet; Isis Variations; Dream Dances; and Lysistrata Project. Jordan lives in Blue Lake, CA with his wife, Kaitlyn where he is pursuing an MFA in Ensemble Based Physical Theatre from Dell’Arte International and performing regularly with the Dell’Arte Players. Summer 2018, Jordan embarks upon his first multi-city workshop tour of the USA, teaching in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Richmond, Portland, and Seattle.
My name is Jordan Rosin. My life purpose is to create physical theatre that stirs people’s souls (minds, bodies, and spirits) so that they can access the true psycho-physical-spiritual freedom which is their evolutionary birthright. This freedom is essential to facilitating the mindful transformation of our simultaneously growing and broken world.
The particular “stirring” which my emerging brand of physical theatre incites can be subtle like the physiological catharsis of seeing butoh or as extreme as an audience-participatory dance party. This stirring, like the unexpected breath which facilitates the “widening, lengthening, and releasing” so ubiquitous in the Alexander Technique, plays a constant role in helping us to observe, inhibit, and redirect those habits which inadaptibly fix our bodies and minds in place and make us susceptible to separation from our spirits. The experiences of freedom which result from this stirring, whether internal or external, expand the expressive and empathic capacity of both audiences and artists alike.
I believe that the physical theatre and performative work which inspires freedom is characterized by “wow” moments, appropriately framed with consideration to The Viewpoints of Time and Space as articulated by Anne Bogart, and also “Real Moves,” defined by Elizabeth Streb as movements with momentum and consequence, the interruption of which might be catastrophic. Real risk of this kind can be extraordinarily exhilarating, inspiring, and cathartic for audiences. Related to both the former is an exploration of what Streb calls the “Unhabituated Space” both in the literal sense of how the dynamic space of the stage is partnered with and exploited to its fullest extent (eg. flying through the air; descending from the ceiling; walking on walls), but also in the metaphoric sense of going into the unknown with regards theme, intention, or genre. Equally essential is the notion of “story” as defined by an introduction, hinge, and resolution (however micro or macroscopic) and the rootedness of performative work in “real life”, however therefrom made fantastical or stylized. Collective ownership and co-creative processes are also key in producing, not just more widely resonant work, but work which in its making sets an example of cooperation from which we can all learn. Above all, this work of the physical theatre must be undertaken with a sincerity such that our intention as artists has the resonant vitality to be believed and deeply felt.
– Jordan Rosin
JORDAN ROSIN is an award-winning physical theatre artist, teacher, director and performer belonging to the third generation of the avant-garde movement form Butoh. 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. He also draws on yoga, clowning, and acrobatics to create choreography & movements with popular and poetic resonance. 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™. He received his BFA in Drama from Syracuse University and is currently pursuing an MFA in Ensemble-Based Physical Theatre at Dell’Arte International in Blue Lake, CA.
In 2011, after moving to New York City, he and friends from Syracuse founded the physical theatre ensemble, The Ume Group as a vehicle to produce their flagship martial arts / butoh dance epic Butoh Electra at the New York International Fringe Festival. Since then, and through various iterations, The Ume Group has grown to become a diverse ensemble of artists dedicated to the cornerstones of learning, teaching, creating, & performing, offering regular workshops and classes at Grace & St. Paul’s Church on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Under Jordan’s tenure as Producing Artistic Director, the Core Ensemble of teaching artists grew to an impressively dedicated 8 members, representing over 4 different nationalities and a diverse background of acting, dancing and physical theatre experiences. The company is still active today under the direction of Keelie Sheridan, who took over artistic leadership in 2016. (For more info, visit: www.theumegroup.org)
For The Ume Group, Jordan’s credits include writer/producer of Butoh Electra (The Irondale Center, FringeNYC, Syracuse University), performer/co-creator of Facet (Hollywood Fringe Festival, Wave Rising Series), performer/co-creator of Isis Variations (FringeNYC, Cool NY Dance Festival) and director/choreographer of Dream Dances and of The Lysistrata Project. He also produced over two dozen workshops, readings, festivals, short films, dance performances, and special events over the course of his 5 years as Producing Artistic Director.
Jordan has been a frequent collaborator with the butoh dance collective Ren Gyo Soh, for whom performance credits include leading dance roles in Shinka-evolution and Hoichi-the earless as well as choreography for Butoh Medea (Winner: Best One-Woman Show, Best Choreography at United Solo 2014 & Best Physical Theatre, United Solo 2015) and movement consultation for Hide Your Fires (United Solo Fest, 2017).
In 2016, after 10 years of yoga practice in various styles, Jordan received his 200 hr vinyasa yoga teacher certification from Loom Yoga Center (RYS) in Brooklyn, NY. He is now available for group & private lessons by appointment. To read more about his yoga teaching, click here.
Jordan was born (and began his butoh studies) in rainy Seattle, WA and now lives with his beautiful wife, Kaitlyn in Blue Lake, CA where he is studying to receive his MFA in Ensemble-Based Physical Theatre at Dell’Arte International
In the Press
Interviews / Quotes
- Interview with Jordan by Nicole Harris on conversingwithchoreographers.blogspot.com
- Jordan quoted in “Butoh: A Dance of Death + Darkness” by Rebecca Sanchez on Ozy.com
- “Jordan Rosin is incandescent as Phileas Fogg… He’s witty and suave by turns, unflappable in difficulties, the quintessential English man.” – Janine Volkmar, The Mad River Union
- “delightfully Poirot-esque” – Pat Bitton, Northcoast Journal
Reviews for BUTOH MEDEA
- “…visceral choreography captures Medea’s grief-fuelled fury at Jason’s betrayal of her like a blast of heat from a furnace. As she contorts herself in maddened grief, she’s mesmeric.” – fest, Edinburgh, Scotland
- “From the simple flick of a wrist to the wild thrashing of her head, each movement is carefully choreographed and delivered with primal emotion. The result is almost frightening at times.” – A Differing View, Edinburgh, Scotland
- “Yokko’s transformation into Medea is breath-taking: profound, tormented, physical, truly esoteric and poetic. The show is not for the faint-hearted!”
– Female Arts, Edinburgh, Scotland
Reviews for BUTOH ELECTRA
- “Rosin’s successful synthesis of classical Greek and Japanese traditions enriches the myth at the piece’s core, as do commanding, physically impressive performances from the Ume Group.” – The Village Voice, New York City
- “This visceral incarnation of Electra is not for purists or the faint-hearted. But adventurous theatergoers who like their Greek drama with a twist may enjoy Rosin’s new take on the old revenge tale. ” – CurtainUp, New York City
- “What The Ume Group along with creator/director Jordan Rosin have produced is something very beautiful and disturbing.” – nytheatre.com, New York City
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