Brooklyn, NY: Opening the 2012/13 season at Irondale is the magnificent, intense and intelligent Butoh Electra created and performed by the highly acclaimed ensemble, The Ume Group. A “beautiful and disturbing” piece (NYTheatre.com), Butoh Electra presents Sophocles' Greek revenge tragedy as the story of a woman whose vibrant inner life is corrupted by the world of walking dead in which she lives.
The Ume Group's fresh take on this much loved classic combines glimpses of Electra's "dance of utter darkness” with impressive fight choreography and martial arts. Manifested onstage by a collection of gifted performers, this flagship physical theater piece from The Ume Group places the ensemble at the forefront of the emerging arts scene. Led by physical theatre practitioner and producing artistic director Jordan Rosin, The Ume Group is dedicated to sharing traditions and developing new work, a mission clearly been achieved by this groundbreaking production which has been called a "successful synthesis of classical Greek and Japanese traditions" which "enriches the myth at the piece's core” - The Village Voice.
Butoh Electra was originally developed in 2010 as part of the Lab Theatre Series at Syracuse University. It was given its first professional presentation at the New York International Fringe Festival in 2011. Since Butoh Electra in 2011, The Ume Group has contributed developmental support to several projects, including "The Glimmer" (Roy Arias Spring Theater Festival 2012), “Kriep” and "Baldy" (FringeNYC 2012).
Jordan Rosin (Creator / Producer) is a physical theatre artist, teacher, and ensemble theatre enthusiast. He is co-founder and Producing Artistic Director of The Ume Group, a physical theatre ensemble dedicated to sharing traditions and developing new work. He received his B.F.A. in Drama from Syracuse University and has also trained at the Tepper Center for Careers in Theatre, as well as with numerous independent teachers of butoh. Directing credits include Butoh Electra (Syracuse University & FringeNYC); Mud by Maria Irene Fornés (Syracuse University); outcry: students celebrating art (Auburn Ave Theatre). He is a 2008-2009 Crown Scholar and recipient of the Josephine Abady Award for Excellence in Directing. He first conceived Butoh Electra as the culmination of an undergraduate thesis project on ensemble theatre techniques, the theories behind which have continued to shape the culture and creative process of the Ume Group's fledgling ensemble. He regularly speaks on the relationship between butoh, gymnastics, and ensemble theatre on his video blog, A Sense of Ensemble.
The Irondale Center, the first performing arts space to open in the Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District is uniquely and entirely run and maintained by the Irondale Ensemble. A beautiful and historic space, the Center is an old Sunday school building attached to the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church. The church boasts an incredible history in its own right being a shelter proving through history a commitment to positive social activism.
Through the power of the ensemble process, Irondale creates and presents theater, performance and education programs that challenge traditional assumptions about art, and help us to better interpret contemporary culture. The Irondale Center, our theater, laboratory and classroom, is a home for ensemble artists of all disciplines and cultures, and a resource for our community.