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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 (2008-09) *
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 (2007)
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 spectacle.

Gathering Space (2010)

Amman, Jordan

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.


X2 (2008-09)

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 stage.

NY Times review by Gia Kourlas


POONARC (2008-9)

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)

Japan Society

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 Japan.

A Page Out of Order: 3 Women (2007)

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.


"Red Carpet 1967" (2007)

“Red 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 Jonathan Slaff.

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.

NY Times Review by Jennifer Dunning



A Page Out of Order: M (2007)

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.


Sundown (2006)

"Sundown" 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 by Moore.

Village Voice Review | NY Times article | Press Release


A Page Out of Order Overland (2006)

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.

more info


PI = 3.14 (2002)

Pre-production 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.

Press Release