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Biography of Eseohe Arhebamen

Performance Studies

Eseohe Arhebamen

Eseohe Arhebamen
MA in Performance Studies, New York University


BA Studio Art and English, City University of New York, Hunter College
BA Creative Writing & Literature, University of Michigan, Residential College

Academic Interests

Spiritual possession, possession dance, trance performance, trance dance and performance from Africa into the new world, African history, world history, history of language, iconography, calligraphy, painting and sculpture, intersensoriality, synesthesia, poetry, fiction, storytelling, Butoh, Olokun, music and religion, semiotics, experimental sound, ritual, sign languages, multimedia performance, language and movement, indigenous musics, religion and performance, indigenous performance, trauma and performance, movement theory, dance ethnography, cross-cultural performance studies re-contextualizing performance within the African creative experience, African creative histories.


Eseohe Arhebamen (born Obehioye Eseohe Ikhianose Oghomwenyenmwen Cleopatra Anne Arhebamen) and also known as Edoheart is an award-winning poet, musician, multimedia performance artist and royal descendant of the Benin Empire (Nigeria). Her great-grandfather was the Enogie of Umoghumwun-Nokhua né Oba n’Ugu Osazuwa Iredia. Eseohe is considered a notable butoh artist and is the first performer to integrate Butoh dance with singing, talking and experimental vocalizations. 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, sing and perform percussion simultaneously and is influenced by her expressed belief in a common lingual history between the Edo people of Nigeria and the Japanese. From 2008 - 2010, Eseohe performed in and/or organized over 60 performance events. She has choreographed, performed and taught or facilitated workshops internationally, including at Spelman College, The Living Theatre (New York), The Bilingual Acting Workshop, The Living Theatre Conservatory's Free University and Columbia University’s Teacher’s College. Eseohe Arhebamen has appeared on Korean television and news, Nigerian television and in American, Estonian and Latvian newspapers. Eseohe's performances have been called "powerful ritual" and her music and performance style have been compared to Sun Ra and Fela Kuti. Eseohe Arhebamen has published two collections of poems, Seeding The Clouds (Ornithology Press, 2001) and Jesus Of All Niggers, Poems 1998-2009 (Laughing Mouse Press, 2010). She has published four musical albums / collections, several music singles and released numerous video works to date.