CHRONOLOGY OF WORKS
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on the asterisk (*)
6 Seconds in Ramallah with El Funoun Dance Troupe,
Palestine, Jordan (2011) *
A-C-E One, LentSpace, commission Lower Manhattan Cult. Council,
NYC (2010) *
Gathering Space, Amman, Jordan (2010) *
Hold the Clock, Commission 92nd Y, NYC, Amman Contemporary Dance
Festival, Jordan (2010) *
X2, collaboration with Shirotama Hitsujiya, CRS, NYC
POONARC, Arad, Cluj-Napoca, Odorhei, Buchurest, Danspace Project/
New York City, Tokyo, Kamakura, Japan (2008-09) *
POOM2: A Page Out of OrderM2M, Japan Society NYC (2008) *
A Page Out of Order: M, Dance Theater Workshop, Sibiu Festival Romania
A Page Out of Order: 3 Women (2007) *
Red Carpet 1967 (2007) *
A Page Out of Order: M (2007) *
Sundown (2006) *
A Page Out of Order Overland (2006) *
PI = 3.14 (2002) *
6 Seconds in Ramallah (2011)
with El Funoun Dance Troupe, Palestine, Jordan
Yoshiko Chuma went to Ramallah, Palestine for one month, immersed
in a daily rehearsal process with 30 dancers and choreographers
from the El Funoun Dance Troupe, as part of a three-year project.
In April 2010, at the Amman Contemporary Dance Festival, Yoshiko
Chuma met Noora Baker, a dancer and choreographer from El Funoun.
Their inspirational meeting planted the seed for "6 Seconds
in Ramallah". Chuma and Baker found a strong common ground,
and mutual passion to work together. One year later, after much
planning, their dream blossomed in Ramallah, where artists worked
side by side in the first collaborative project between several
outstanding artists from The School of Hard Knocks (Japan/USA) and
the El Funoun Dance Troupe (Palestine).
A-C-E One (2010)
In this world-premiere commission, renowned choreographer Yoshiko
Chuma fuses live music, dance, shredded paper and a limousine to
create a unique multidisciplinary new work. Score by downtown composer
John King. Chuma and her crew bring together aspects of business
and pleasure with her adventurous sensibility to produce a signature
Gathering Space (2010)
Performers wereinvited to a living room, a theater, or a neighborhood
gathering space, where they shared food with the host and guests
and presented a site-specific dance theater, and music performance.
Arabic hospitality, or diyafa, and the unique architecture
of each setting had a significant impact on the nature of the event.
Features Japanese vocalist Sizzle Ohtaka and performers from El
Funoun Dance Troupe of Palestine; borrows text from Geichiro Takahashi’s
"Sayonara Gangsters," one of the most important works
of post-war Japanese literature.
Hold the Clock (2010)
Commission 92nd Y, NYC, Amman Contemporary Dance Festival, Jordan
Inspired by the 1982 novel “Sayonara Gangsters” by
Genichiro Takahashi, this is a not-so-final event in the ongoing
dance/installation series, "A Page Out of Order" (2006-2010),
which had journeyed from Tokyo, Bucharest, Arad, Skopje, Tirana,
Kamakura, Yokohama, Amman and Imphal to NYC and the 75th Anniversary
Season at 92nd Street Y. The development experience in each of these
cities wasintegral to the creation of this new work.
Center for Remembering and Sharing
An enchanting evening of dance-theater by Yoshiko Chuma and Shirotama
Hitsujiya, in which the world is a block of ice where human beings
have been frozen in time. With moveable lights, white sheets of
plastic, an American flag and two blocks of ice containing a book
and a mysterious orange object, the performers emerge while images
of the jungle and the universe are projected on two sides of a tiny
Times review by Gia Kourlas
Arad, Cluj-Napoca, Odorhei, Buchurest, Danspace Project/ New York
City, Tokyo, Kamakura, Japan
As a dialogue between artists from three countries -- Japan, the
United States, and Romania -- this ongoing dance/installation project
creates platforms for in-depth cultural exchange between artists.
Inspired by films from the "golden age of Romanian cinema"
viewed by Chuma at a New York festival and her company’s subsequent
visits to Romania to better understand the context for contemporary
Romanian film and art making.
POOM2: A Page Out of OrderM2M (2008)
Dance, live music, video projections and commentary collide in
10 scenes on a red-saturated stage in the middle of a driving rainstorm.
Inspired by Teinosuke Kinugasa's 1927 silent film, "A Page
of Madness," this episode investigates the relatively unknown
country of Manipur in northeast India, the site of Japan's final
battle of World War II. Throughout the performance, an international
cast of real and electronic performers appear live, on film and
via live call-ins. Guest performers include vocal artist Sizzle
Ohtaka and the cutting-edge shakuhachi trio Hannya Teikoku from
Wave Rising Series, Brooklyn
A variation of "A Page Out of Order," performed by Ursula Eagly,
Yoshiko Chuma, and Jean Butler; Sound design by Jacob Burckhardt;
lighting design and production management by by Rie Ono.
Carpet 1967," part of “60s Snapshots” at Lincoln
Center Out of Doors, August 23, 2007, in which choreographers
evoked the open-air theatricality of that era. Dancers (L-R):
Christopher Williams, Yoshiko Chuma, Ursula Eagly. Photo by
Lincoln Center Out of Doors
A piece in which four dancers walked, vamped and flailed up and
down a strip of red that ran along a walkway between the Damrosch
Park Bandshell and the little park to its east.
Times Review by Jennifer Dunning
Dance Theater Workshop
Ritualistically intense, "A Page Our of Order: M" drew on the shared
histories and unfamiliar stories of artists living in Japan, Macedonian
and the US. Fifteen musicians and dancers share the stage in an
installation environment that acts as a metaphor for psychic space.
Projected films, including a distillation of Milcho Manchevski’s
1994 Academy-Award nominated film Before the Rain, were layered
over the performers’ choreographed chaos. Japanese voice-over sensation
Sizzle Ohtaka narrated this non-linear diary in the ‘benshi’ style,
evoking 1920s Japanese silent cinema.
at Issue Project Room, 400 Carroll Street, Brooklyn, July 29,
2006. Dancers of The School of Hard Knocks, trumpeters of the
7x7 Trombone Band.
Photo by Jonathan Slaff.
Issue Project, Brooklyn
The afternoon vista at Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal, long a favorite
of sunset painters and photographers, was the setting for "Sundown,"
which built on performance works that Chuma and company had been
developing over the last few years, using 7-foot boxes framing a
variety of locations around the world. By far, "Sundown" was Chuma's
most elaborate piece of this kind. It took place in the indoor performance
area, as well as outdoor sites around Issue Project, set off by
the sun, the sky and the Gowanus Canal
The piece was performed to music commissioned by School of Hard
Knocks and composed by Christopher McIntyre in collaboration with
the 7x7 Trombone Band, which included Joe Fiedler, Jacob Garchik,
Curtis Hasselbring, Richard Marriott, Christopher McIntyre, Steve
Swell, and Peter Zummo. An additional soundscape was created by
Chuma and sound designer Jacob Burckhardt, in collaboration with
Stephan Moore, for an innovative multi-speaker 16 channel installation
Voice Review | NY
Times article | Press
Albania, Macedonia, Japan
"A Page Out of Order Overland" was based on the history of several
lands and landscapes, from the Balkan region to Asia, where war
has torn apart families and divided lives. The work emerged from
a variety of shared and unfamiliar stories and artist-to-artist
dialogues among dancers, musicians, stage designers and producers
from the USA, Macedonia, Albania and Japan. The style of the performance
was conceived in the form of a 1920 silent film and features a variety
of new and archival films created and edited for the production.
The 7-foot cubes were metaphors for enclosed spaces and frame urban
and rural landscapes.
photo for "PI=3.14" -- (L-R) Maggie McBrien, Jim DiBiasio,
Ivan Talijancic, Yoshiko Chuma, Tea Alagic,Wazhmah Osman. Photo
by Jonathan Slaff.
La MaMa E.T.C.
"War is like having a sick child," said Yoshiko Chuma, adding,
"you either keep doing your job or not." She did her job when she
and The School of Hard Knocks traveled to Sarajevo in 1999 to perform
at the MESS Sarajevo International Theatre Festival in Bosnia with
a piece called "Footprints of War." The show went on, but getting
the set back from Sarajevo, in time for an engagement at the Joyce,
was a drama in itself: a 2½ month administrator's nightmare of mis-communications,
frayed emotions, botched promises, excuses and cultural challenges.
The mountains of emails and correspondence relating to this set
became the starting point of the script for "PI = 3.14: Hiroshima-New
York-Belgrade-New York-Sarajevo-New York-Kabul." The math part of
the title stood for "endless, continuous circles of life and war,"
according to Chuma. The resulting production turned into a spoken
and choreographed work that dealt with large issues of war, displacement,
and the parallels between Chuma's youth in postwar Japan and the
lives of the performers, who have all had wartime experiences of
their own. They included Tea Alagic, an expatriate artist from the
city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ivan Talijancic, a Croatian-born
actor, Jim DiBiasio, an American actor who has lived through three
wars, and Wazma Osman, a 27 year-old Afghan woman who walked over
the Pakistani border to freedom in 1980, yet returned in 1999 and
met Taliban repression face-to-face. Chuma attempted to bring out
the parallels between hers and each person's story--between 1945
Japan, 1995 Sarajevo and 2002 Kabul.