May 5, 2014

Shakina Nayfack

Shakina Nayfack is a director, choreographer, producer, and performance artist with a passion for developing new work. World premieres: The Poor Players by Dan LeFranc (Actors’ Theater of Santa Cruz), Cosa Rara by Butchlalis de Panochtitlan (Highways Performance Space, Santa Monica). Currently in development: JUNK: A Rock Opera with the Swedish pop band Brainpool, Jahn Sood’s new folk opera The Disappearing Man, and The Craft – the Musical with composer Kevin Michael Jones. Concerts include Pieces of JUNK and Disappearing Man at Joe’s Pub, Freilich and Benson Split the Keys at NYMF, and three years of Songs by Ridiculously Talented Composers and Lyricists you Probably Don’t Know but Should, with 2-time Tony winner William Finn at Barrington Stage Company.  Also at BSC: Bashir Lazhar (American premiere), and choreography for Mormons, Mothers, and Monsters, The Game, and Lord of the Flies. As Associate Producer at Barrington Stage highlights include: Joe Iconis’ The Black Suits, Rajiv Joseph’s The North Pool, Southern Comfort, Becoming Dr. Ruth, and cabarets with Joe Iconis and Family, Tonya Pinkins, Liz and Anne Hampton Callaway, and composers Sam Salmond, Carmel Dean, Nikko Benson, Josh Freilich, Anna Jacobs, and Michael R. Jackson.

Shakina is also a third generation Butoh teacher trained beneath Diego Piñón, founder of Butoh Ritual Mexicano. With an MFA in Experimental Choreography and a PhD in Critical Dance Studies (both from the University of California at Riverside), Shakina’s Butoh for the Actor method has been developed through master classes at the University of California at Santa Cruz, the Chicago Cultural Center, Casa del Teatro in Mexico City, Barrington Stage Company, The Drama League, and various dance and rehearsal studios around New York. Butoh choreography/performances include Ragesties (Edinburgh Festival Fringe), Auto-Refutation/Re-Fusing Self (Performance Studies International), Arena y Sangre (Blood and Sand), a site specific performance protest in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and Suerte: Never Give Up Going To Love at Mossbrae Falls in the Shasta Cascade. You can read more about Shakina’s work with Diego Piñón in her book, Butoh Ritual Mexicano: Alchemy is Dancing or the anthology Dancing Across Borders.  “There is no philosophy of Butoh, but someday, new philosophies may emerge from it.”—Tatsumi Hijikata, Butoh originator (1928-1986).