What happens when the sacred meets the sensual...
When ceremony meets performance...
Where the land meets the sea...

the 4th annual


WHEN: April 5 & 6, 8pm // April 7, 4pm

WHERE: Coney Island USA, 1208 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn

TICKETS: One night: $15 // Two nights: $25 // Festival Pass (all three nights): $35

Festival Pass includes entrance to VIP closing ceremony/party with festival performers.


** Appropriate for 18+ **

THE AUDIENCE TOO is encouraged to come be a part of the performance! Wear your most expressive/outrageous costume/look, and help celebrate the festival's theme of TRANSFORMATION. An on-site makeover room will stand ready to accessorize willing participants, and photographer Kristopher Johnson will have a photo booth set-up during part of the festival. Expect a pageant & prizes!

The Coney Island Ritual Cabaret Festival marks International Culture Lab's (ICL) 4th consecutive year probing the fantastical partnership of ritual and entertainment on Coney Island USA's (CIUSA) Sideshows by the Seashore stage. This year again ICL has assembled an array of performance artists, musicians, magicians, puppeteers, sideshow performers and dancers, all of whom have been tasked with presenting original works that define "ritual cabaret" through 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 political 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Inspired by this historical reference, in its call for proposals, ICL challenged artists to deconstruct and reinvent their particular art form, whatever it might be.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 politics -- what will it take to bring this about? Is it possible to invent a new genre? What is Ritual Cabaret to you?

Cabaret, burlesque, vaudeville, and circus sideshow have a long & storied history in Coney Island, and Coney's rich legacy of amusement, community, and innovation make CIUSA the perfect venue to explore the boundaries of ritual & entertainment.

With Ritual Cabaret, ICL and CIUSA have undertaken to merge their respective focal points in a powerful new way.


(click here for individual bios)


Sunset opening ceremony on the beach -- 7:15pm, Boardwalk & W. 12th St.
featuring Funkrust Brass Band

The Etiology of XOS :: by [/enormousface]
Romperselo/la/l@lx :: by Wit Lopez
bananas :: by bananas
Special Head (Part 1 & 2) :: Special Head

Toque de queda :: by Fantasmal
Heaven and Hell :: by Aida Miro & Amanda Orlov
Durational performance by Jennie Portney, LaReine The Thrill


Bing Bong: A Strange Ritual for You and Your Loved Ones :: by Everything is Fine
Osmosis :: by Tanya Solomon
Witch Hunt (Ritual Cannabalisimo) :: by PNK VLVT WTCH Ensemble

The Goddesses Project -exploration- :: by Ren Gyo Soh
Eating Air :: by Rebecca Sylvia Posner
Photophillia RPG :: by Nunu Canal
Durational performance by Jennie Portney, LaReine The Thrill


Bouncing Betties :: by florkhis
Pillow Talk :: by Dimitri

Opium :: by The Butoh Rockettes
Face Your Face (Part 1 & 2) :: by Si GolraineAnjoli Chadha, Erica Chadha

Oedipus Muhfukuh :: by Sick Nick, the Bellevue Boy

She Poked a Bear :: by Wharton Tract
Polar Bear King :: by Amos Wengler
Durational performance by Sick Nick, the Bellevue Boy