Ari Rudenko is an interdisciplinary artist from the Pacific Northwest, who works primarily as an artistic director and performer with a background in Japanese butoh theater, while also maintaining visual art and music composition practices, in addition to interfacing with Indonesian dance, cultural, and language studies, and evolutionary biology / paleontology through his craft.
Ari first began training in butoh theater in 2009, in Oxford, UK, while completing his bachelors degree in Philosophy and Humanities from Shimer College and the Shimer in Oxford University program. Ari has since studied butoh intensively, training in Japan, the UK, Australia, the US, and in Indonesia, with Japanese companies and individuals including Dairakudakan, Sankai Juku, Waguri, Ko Murobushi, Katsura Kan, Mana Hashimoto, Yumi Umiumare, and with foreign butoh companies Blushing Poppy Productions, Daipan Butoh, Diego Pinon, Ruta de la Memoria, Macarena Ortuzar, Cafe Reason, and more.
In 2012, Ari Rudenko received a Darmasiswa post-graduate scholarship to attend the Art Institute of Indonesia in Bali for Dance Studies. While in residence in Bali, Ari developed the feature butoh+Indonesian dance fusion ensemble stage production HOLY GARDEN (touching the fruit of the void), which continued to develop and tour from 2012-2015 in Indonesia, and premiered at NOHspace Theater in San Francisco in 2016 with a mixed Indonesian and American cast (more about HOLY GARDEN at www.arirudenko.com/holygarden). Ari also completed an apprenticeship with Javanese cross-gender dance master Didik Nini Thowok during this time.
In 2014 Ari Rudenko entered the Goddard College low-residency Masters of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts (MFA-IA) program, which allowed him to continue to conduct interdisciplinary field research and performance studies in Indonesia. Under mentorship with leading interdisciplinary artists Michael Sakamoto, Laiwan Chung, Sharon Siskin, and Petra Kuppers, Ari refined his approach to artistic research and performance creation with attention to critical discourse and praxis. Ari gives priority to learning and communicating in Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia), and respecting the traditions of Indonesia while also fostering creative dialogs on contemprary, transcultural practices in art making.
Since the initial conception of Prehistoric Body Theater in late 2015, Ari Rudenko has been staging Prehistoric Body Theater based solo and ensemble prototype performances, teaching intensive workshops, developing concept art photoshoots, and academic writings including his MFA Interdisciplinary Arts thesis “Trembling Heat: Towards a Prehistoric Body Theater.”