Eseohe Arhebamen or Eseohe Arhebamen-Yamasaki, also known as Edoheart (born Obehioye Eseohe Ikhianose Oghomwenyenmwen Cleopatra Anne Arhebamen), is a poet, dancer, singer, musician, performance artist and visual artist. Eseohe was born in Zaria, Nigeria on 9 April 1981 and is descended from a royal family of the Benin Empire. Eseohe Arhebamen’s maternal grandmother is Princess Theresa Maria Nodumwenben Osazuwa, a princess of the Edo people. Eseohe Arhebamen's great-grandfather Osazuwa Eredia, the father of Princess Theresa Osazuwa, was the Oba N’Ugu and enogie of Umoghumwun, making Eseohe Arhebamen a royal descendant and princess. "The foundation of the kingdom of Ugu, with its capital at Umoghumwun has been traced to Prince Idu, the eldest son of Oba Eweka I."
Eseohe Arhebamen is the oldest of five siblings and frequently played a parental role in their upbringing. At the age of seven Eseohe's family immigrated to the United States and settled in Detroit, Michigan. At age 17 she enrolled in the University of Michigan at the Residential College. Although strongly encouraged to pursue medicine as a career path, Eseohe instead followed her passion for poetry, language and the arts. As an undergraduate student Eseohe focused on literary means and performance as a way to affect social change. While at the University of Michigan, Eseohe won prestigious awards for her writing and is included in a University of Michigan Anthology of Hopwood Award winners.
At 19 years old, Eseohe earned a position as Writer-in-Residence with InsideOut Literary Arts Project in Detroit, Michigan and worked with children in impoverished inner-city schools to expand their literary skills. After moving to New York in 2003, Eseohe founded the company EdoHeart also written as Edoheart which became her performance name. Eseohe Arhebamen is synonymous with Edoheart.
Eseohe received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan in Creative Writing and Literature in August, 2005, and went on to receive another Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art with a minor in English from Hunter College. She further graduated from New York University with a Master's degree in Performance Studies, which is described as drawing from a study of the performing arts, anthropology and sociology, literary theory, and legal studies. Eseohe also intensively studied Butoh dance with Yukio Waguri.
Areas of interest in Eseohe Arhebamen’s experimental work are imaginative creation of alternate environments, and poetry and vocal expressions as a source for movement. She has choreographed and taught or led workshops involving these areas of interest at The Living Theatre and Columbia University’s Teacher’s College. Eseohe Arhebamen has appeared on Korean and American television and news, and in American, Estonian and Latvian newspapers. In 2011, she was chosen by artist Kalup Linzy to appear in a documentary about New York artists.
Butoh vocal theatre
Eseohe Arhebamen is the first indigenous and native-born African butoh performer. In addition, Eseohe Arhebamen is the first performer to combine butoh dance with singing, talking, mudra, sign language, spoken word, and experimental vocalizations after the traditional dance styles of the Edo people of West Africa.
She refers to this dance style as Butoh-Vocal Theatre. Eseohe Arhebamen's Butoh-Vocal Theatre style arises out of her work in poetry, music and the traditional Edo theater in which performers dance and sing simultaneously, and is influenced by her expressed belief in a common lingual history between the Edo people of Nigeria and the Japanese. On 26 September 2010 Eseohe gave a performance at a Yukio Waguri intensive workshop demonstrating her style of Butoh-Vocal Theatre during which she danced butoh while singing Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
Eseohe’s notable performance during the Fifth Diverse Universe tour was described by Kaarel Kressa as embodying natural elegance and femininity; with poetry, dance and song that won the hearts of the audience. Eseohe's performances have also been called "powerful ritual".
In 2006, Eseohe married long time sweetheart Seth Yamasaki, son of Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Taro Yamasaki, and grandson of Minoru Yamasaki, Japanese-American architect best known for designing the World Trade Center. The two live in Brooklyn, New York.
- 2010 Jesus of All Niggers, Poems 1998-2009 (Laughing Mouse Press)
- 2003 Seeding the Clouds (Ornithology Press)
- 2013 Edoheart – Sosomoneycockplease EP (Akwaaba Music)
- 2012 Get As E Be - EP (Edoheart)
- 2010 Shchedryk Avant Remix (Clinical Archives)
- 2010 Monsoon in Ibadan (Clinical Archives)
- 2010 Wa Domo Edo (Edoheart)
- 2009 The Hunger Artist (Eseohe)
Film and video
- "Sugar In A Plum" (2012)
- "Fire Butoh 4!" (2011)
- "Sometimes (Take me away)" (2011)
- "Sosomoneycockplease (Video edit)" (2010)
- "Excerpt of Fire Butoh 3 for the Low Lives Exhibition" (2010)
- "Blue Butterfly Butoh" (2009)
- "The Cement Factory" (2009)
- "#18 / Number 18" (2009)
- "eAir Butoh Sketch" (2009)
- "Fire Butoh 3 Visuals" (2008)
- "Fire Butoh 3" (2008)
- "Fire Butoh 2" (2008)
- "Es Su Casa" (2008)
- "Fire Butoh 1" (2007)
- The N Word (2007)
Anthologies and catalogues
- 2009 Diverse Universe Festival 2005-2009, Academia Gustaviana Selts Mty
- 2009 Low Lives, Jorge Rojas
- 2009 Kunsti Aastaraamat, Parnu Linnavalitsuse kultuuriosakond (Cultural Department of Parnu City Government), Printon Printing House
- 2009 세계 실험예술의 메카, 홍대 앞 - 인터넷서점 인터파크도서
- 2006 The Hopwood Awards: 75 Years of Prized Writing, University of Michigan Press
- 2006 The New Spend Less Revolution, Harriman House
- 2006 Poet of the Day, Poets Against the War
- 2002 Environmental Justice Initiative First Place Award, University of Michigan
- 2002 College Unions Poetry Slam National Champion First Place, Ohio Invitational
- 2000 Writer-in-Residence, InsideOut Literary/Arts Project
- 2000 Arthur Miller Award (Fiction)
- 2000 Jeffrey L. Weisberg Memorial Prize in Poetry
- 2000 Hopwood Minor Poetry Award
- 2000 Hopwood Underclassmen Fiction Award
- 1998 Residential College Fellowship, University of Michigan
- Kressa, Kaarel (24 April 2009). "Viies esituskunsti festival Diverse Universe meenutab maailma mitmekesisust". Eesti Payaleht. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
- Kivila, Marian (28 April 2009). "Pärnu kunstihallis kohtusid nüüdisaegne tants ja macho-metal". Pärnu Postimees. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
- Kivila, Marian (8 May 2009). "Ikka teel". SIRP Eesti Kultuurileht Number 18 (3251). Retrieved 5 April 2010.
- Ilbo (3 September 2008). "국내 최대 실험예술 축제 열린다". 정영주 기자 (pinplus) last=Hankook. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
- Keralis, Spencer (4 April 2011). "Eseohe Arhebamen" "12 Questions". Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- Lebrave, Benjamin (31 August 2010). "Huuuuuuge: Edoheart - Akwaaba Music". Akwaaba Music. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- "What's it like to live in Africa?". Talking Point (BBC News). 4 June 2005. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
- Paldrok, Al (2009). "Eseohe Arhebamen". Diverse Universe Performance Festival. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- Ebegbulem, Simon (3 March 2007). "Nigeria: Help! Wicked People Have Sold Our Farmlands, Now We Have Nothing to Live On". Vanguard. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
- Osadolor Osarhieme, Benson (23 July 2001). "The Military System of Benin Kingdom, c.1440 - 1897 (page 77)". Department of Philosophy and History- University of Hamburg, Germany. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
- Eweka, E. B. (1992). Evolution of Benin Chieftaincy Titles. Benin City: Uniben Press. pp. 124–125.
- Wong, Cyril (November 2005). "Softblow". Retrieved 5 April 2010.
- Brill, Marta (7 April 2000). ""Night" march on Diag goes co-ed". The Michigan Daily. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
- "The Environmental Justice Poetry Slam Ann Arbor, MI". Environmental Justice Initiative. The University of Michigan - School of Natural Resources & Environment. 21 November 2002. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
- Mendler, Janet Nellis (3 May 2000). "Students share more than $120,000 in writing awards". University of Michigan News Service. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
- Delbanco, Nicholas; Beauchamp, Andrea; Barrett, Michael (2006). The Hopwood Awards: 75 Years of Prized Writing. The University of Michigan Press. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
- "Tisch Performance Studies Biography of Eseohe Arhebamen". New York University. 7 August 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
- "Eseohe Arhebamen : Tisch School of the Arts at NYU". New York University. September 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- Namerow, Evan (7 August 2009). "Butoh Workshop at The Living Theatre « Dancing Perfectly Free". Dancing Perfectly Free. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
- Shieh, Eric (24 April 2009). "Teachers College - Columbia University: Calendar". Columbia University. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
- "Daum tv팟 - 실험에술월드엑스포_Eseohe Arhebamen,김석환 홍대앞 퍼포머들 / 실험예술월드엑스포_Eseohe Arhebamen,김석환,더 벨리댄,들소리 4 - 동영상". DAUM TV. 6 September 2008. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
- Arhebamen, Eseohe (1 September 2005). "Letters". Salon. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
- "NYC Media - NYC Life". The City of New York. January 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- "Kalup Linzy: And Then There Were Five....". Huffpost Arts & Culture (The Huffington Post). 8 March 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- "New NYC Art Reality Show Debuts TONIGHT, With Kalup Linzy". In the Air: Art News & Gossip. ARTINFO.com. 9 January 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- Anna (30 April 2011). "Nigeriansk Butoh". Swedish Palms. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- "Siram". SIRP Eesti Kultuurileht Number 18 (3251). 8 May 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2010.