Shakespeare Meets Butoh in ‘Hide Your Fires’

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Yokko, the Japanese butoh and theatre artist, returns to Hollywood Fringe Festival this year with her new show, “Hide Your Fires: Butoh Lady Macbeth.”

Yokko in “Butoh Lady Macbeth.”

Yokko has been appearing in the Hollywood Fringe since 2013, and this is her third season participating at this festival. “Hide Your Fires: Butoh Lady Macbeth” opens with a preview on Friday, June 7, at 10 p.m. at The Lounge Theatre (Lounge 1), 6201 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles.

“Hide Your Fires” brings the audience alongside the accursed spirit of Lady Macbeth to experience her nightmare of stifled ambition, unfulfilled desire, and ultimate loss. Telling the story solely through her perspective, this production fuses Japanese butoh dance, movement, and various texts to take you inside the mind and body of one of Shakespeare’s most famous villains.

Performed, choreographed, and conceived by Yokko. Directed by Brian Rhinehart. Text by Sean Michael Welch. Costume design by Deepsikha Chatterjee. Sound design by Jorge Olivo with RGS. Lighting design consultant: Derek Van Heel. Movement consultant: Jordan Rosin.

Upcoming performances: Saturday, June 15, at 6 p.m.; Wednesday, June 19, at 8 p.m.; Sunday, June 23, at 2 p.m. Running time: 60 minutes. For ages 16 and above. Tickets: $12-$15. Go to hff19.org/4972

Yokko and her team have received eight awards for their last work, “Butoh Medea”: Best One-Woman Show, Best Choreography, Best lighting Design, Best Costume Design at United Solo 2014, Best Physical Theatre at United Solo 2015, Best Actress, Platinum Award at The TVolution 2018 Hollywood Fringe Awards, Special Award at Thespis Festival, Kiel-Germany.

“Butoh Medea” has been touring nationally and internationally since 2015. Meanwhile, the team has been developing the new show based on a story of Lady Macbeth, and presented an excerpt from “Hide Your Fires” at Nu Works Festival with Pan Asian Rep last April. It premiered at United Solo 2017, and the team received four awards (Best Physical Theatre, Best Costume Design, Best Lighting Design, Best Sound Design).

Yokko is an actor and a butoh and theatre artist from Japan. She has acted in, devised and choreographed a variety of local and international shows, having won several awards, including Best One-Woman Show for “Butoh Medea” (United Solo 2014 at Theatre Row).

“Butoh Medea” was selected to be performed in Warsaw, Poland (United Solo Europe 2015, Teatre Syrena), toured Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015, and was nominated for the Asian Arts Award.

Yokko has been touring “Butoh Medea” nationally and internationally at Atelier Teatro Fisico (Turin, Italy), Monofest ’17 (Izmir, Turkey), Thespis Festival 2018 (Kiel, Germany), and Cheb Monodrama Festival 2019 (Prague, Czech Republic).

Other solo shows: “Baldy” (United Solo 2013, HFF2013, FringeNYC 2012). Her choreographed work, “Shinka,” has been toured and received awards (Capital Fringe 2017, Planet Connections 2018).

Yokko acted in several local and international films, one of which is the Student Academy winner “Cloud-Kumo” (2016). Recently she has appeared in several music videos, including “Ready to Let Go” (2019), “Cage the Elephant, AUSENCIAS” (2019), NOIA, and “Dream Decay” (2019), POW!

She is the artistic director of Ren Gyo Soh, a butoh and physical theatre company in New York City, winner of Best Physical Theatre, Best Choreography (Butoh Medea, United Solo 2015, 2014), Outstanding Production and Outstanding Choreography (Shinka, Planet Connections Festival 2018). She is a recipient of the 2019 Brooklyn Arts Fund for her new project, “EN.”

She has a B.A. in theatre (UAlbany) and MFA in acting (The Actors Studio). For more information, visit www.yokko-online.com. She is also on Instagram (@yokko428), Facebook (@yokkoperformingartist) and Twitter (@yokko428).

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