Cruelty:

 It happens that when we are watching fireworks, the crackling nocturnal bombardment of shooting stars, sky rockets, and Roman candles may reveal to our eyes in its hallucinatory light certain details of landscape, wrought in relief against the night: trees, towers, mountains, houses, whose lighting and sudden apparition will always remain definitely linked in our minds with the idea of this noisy rending of the darkness.

—Antonin Artaud

 

The following are video excerpts from archival footage of Cabaret of Cruelty, “the post-Artaud, Pseudo-Butoh Performing Duo,” of which I was one half. Cabaret of Cruelty performed in NYC venues as varied as the back room of Crow Bar on Tompkins Square Park and The Kitchen. Some of the performances use puppets. All of them incorporate found texts, live shakuhachi performance and butoh movement, and occasionally, prerecorded sound scores. In all, the “speech” is presented via recordings and lip-synching, as if by puppets. Cabaret of Cruelty are not currently performing.

Freud’s Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious — performed at Papi Luis

The Life of Madame Curie (Part II): She Extracts Radium from Pitchblende — performed at HERE: The Home for Contemporary Theater

Melanie! or, The Theory of Anal Sadism — performed at The Kitchen

Eunuchs of India — based on Zia Jaffrey’s book “The Invisibles,” about the eunuchs of India, performing with special guest Baby Dee