Coney Island Ritual Cabaret Festival

After 2020 was cancelled due to COVID, this finally marks ICL's 5th year of probing the fantastical blending of ritual and entertainment on Coney Island USA's stage. ICL has again assembled an array of performance artists, musicians, puppeteers, sideshow performers, poets, dancers... tasked with presenting original works that define "ritual cabaret" though the lens of their own particular aesthetic, discipline and lineage.

The history of the Coney Island Ritual Cabaret Festival is informed by dancer/choreographer Tatsumi Hijikata who in the 1950's originated butoh with his ensemble of burlesque dancers in an effort to defy and subvert authority, including conventional notions of dance, thereby seeking transformation -- on the personal, societal and human level.

Inspired by this historical reference, in its call for proposals, ICL challenged artists to deconstruct and reinvent their particular art form, whatever it might be. We asked: If the goal is TRANSFORMATION -- of the self, of society, of humanity -- what will it take to bring this about? Is it possible to invent a new genre? What is Ritual Cabaret to you?

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