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Embodying the Spirit Workshop
Dappin' Butoh Archives Artist Statement CV

“Joan Laage slowly faded away. In her place came a sad-eyed, open-jawed ghost who seemed to float across the room. Gradually, the ghost gave way as she reappeared.” Jack Lucas, Capitol Hill Times (Seattle)

“…in which she embodied a bird caught in air turbulence, a body rising from the ocean depths to cut through dense seaweed, a feral animal approaching a campsite and a myriad of other natural wonders...Laage was alternately magisterial, creepy, and lyrical—and her power over the audience was undeniable.”
John McFarland, P-form Magazine

“The first movements of the piece, which had Laage slicing designs violently in an oversized stretched canvas, then stepping through, were compelling and beautiful... After the sheets were shed, Laage did what she does best, her exacting butoh movement and the room was totally quiet as she took us with her in this internal journey through various emotions.” Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid, Seattle Gay News

“She appears always, as either very young or very old, foetal or final, and quite stripped of the artifice of acquired personality that happens between those two life poles...The emotions she portrays are exceptionally pure…” Bernadette Rae, Nation Review (Auckland, New Zealand)

“Butoh, for the most part, seems to work best as a solo form; the anarchy that bubbles just below its surface discourages ensemble work. Perhaps, that’s why Dappin’ Butoh’s Black Angels was most effective during Joan Laage’s solo passages, in which tiny twitches and distortions built up a sense of moving from a hollow inside into a vast unfathomable universe.” Rita Felciano, San Francisco Bay Guardian