– "A Page Out of Order OVERLAND"
summer of 2006 was a period of evolution for Yoshiko Chuma's masterwork,
"A Page Out of Order." Company members traveled to Albania,
Macedonia and Japan for an intensive summer of collaborations with
dancers, musicians and a creative design team.
Albania June 19, 2006: Dancers, producers and technical staff,
including Yoshiko Chuma in center, and US Embassy cultural staff
Page Out of Order OVERLAND" was created and performed in both
Albania and Macedonia, as an original multi-media performance with
music, dance and film, inspired by the 1927 classic Japanese silent
film "A Page out of Madness." Each project integrated
components from the host country. In Albania, the project used archival
music and included collaborating with local contemporary dancers.
In Macedonia, US artists paired with a five-piece band, Zlust and
a group of dancers, designers and producers.
brought the troupe to Albania for the first time, and also for the
first time to Muslim communities in Macedonia.
Chuma in front of the glorious, historical Balkan Mountains.
A serene scene, but the site of centuries of countless wars
and conflict, near the border of Albania and Macedonia. July
Iskra Sukarova, of Skopje, Macedonia, was one main local catalyst
for the project. Sukarova had worked with Yoshiko Chuma and Bonnie
Stein (Executive Director of The School of Hard Knocks and GOH Productions)
in various projects since 1996. Yoshiko Chuma found herself returning
to post-refugee Macedonia at a time when the arts are thriving and
visited new Muslim communities in the region in both Macedonia and
Albania in a similarly vital period. Albania is witnessing the birth
of many new artistic initiatives as it emerges from Communist-era
isolation and post-communist political and economic instability.
rehearsing in the Chifte Amam, a former Turkish bathhouse, that
is now the museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje, June 2006
team from New York--Yoshiko Chuma, Ursula Eagly, Christopher Williams,
Saori Tsukada, Bonnie Stein (producer)--was joined in the project
by an artistic and production team from Albania: three dancers from
Albanian Dance and Theatre Company (ADTC), choreographer Gjergy
Prevazi; and a lighting designer, sound designer, and stage Manager
from the National Theatre in Tirana. Seven-foot cubes were constructed
by Tani, a local contractor; and the project received extensive
support from the US Embassy and their staff in Albania: Mieczyslaw
P. Boduszynski, (cultural attaché/ Assistant Public Affairs
Officer) and Mirela Cupi (Program Officer) and Edi Jacellari (Office
Manager), and the Honorable Ambassador Marcie Ries.
Christopher Williams with the US Ambassador Marcie Ries and
Mieczyslaw P. Boduszynski in Tirana, Albania after the performance
on June 19,2006
in Albania were attended by Ambassador Marcie Ries, who was delighted
with the events and called for more cultural exchange projects between
US and Albania. Support at the National Theater was possible by
the generosity of the director, Armando. An intensive workshop was
open to other dancers in the community for one morning during this
rehearsal period. Rehearsals ran from 5 to 10 hours daily.
the Albanian project, the company traveled "overland"
from Albania to Macedonia, which is the only possible way to cross
the border. A hired bus took dancers and stage props to Macedonia,
where the company of visiting artists conducted workshops in Muslim
town of Tetovo on June 27, and rehearsed and performed in three
other venues. Students from all the workshops attended rehearsals
and performances by the company in a spirit of exchange, which required
patience and a careful communication process.
Chuma and Macedonian dancer, Iskra Sukarova, in rehearsals at
the Macedonia Opera and Ballet Theater in Skopje, with projections
of "Before the Rain," a film by Milcho Manchevski
which was used in the performance.
Page Out of Order: OVERLAND" was presented in the Skopje Summer
Festival on Friday, July 7, at the Macedonian Opera and Ballet Theatre.
The work later was performed at the House of Culture in Kumanovo
on Tuesday, July 11 and at the Ohrid Summer Festival Outdoors, near
St. Sofija Church in Ohrid, on Saturday, July 15. All the workshops
and performances were supported by grants from the Macedonia US
Embassy, the US Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs and The
Trust for Mutual Understanding, among others.
capable and enthusiastic women headed the Macedonia-based US Embassy's
support team: Jeanne Clark, Assistant Public Affairs Officer, and
Borka Taneska, Cultural Exchange Assistant. Ms. Clark provided a
gentle and steady hand assisting the producers, Biljana Tanurovska
of Lokomotiva (MK) and Bonnie Stein (USA), in budgeting and local
audience in Osaka, Japan at the Black Chamber theater on August
12, 2006, perofrmance of A PAGE OUT OF ORDER.
there were further developments and performances in Osaka, Tokyo
and Niigata, Japan. Yoshiko Chuma worked with musicians and dancers
from the USA, Macedonia, Japan, Cambodia and Manipur (a state in
northeastern India) to workshop another phase of the project, which
incorporates local Japanese histories and additional musical styles.
from the Echigo Tsumari Art Triennial Festival in Japan at the
site of the performance by School of Hard Knocks at Matsudai
village. An architect was commissioned to design and build a
space for the festival and Yoshiko Chuma was commissioned to
adapt her performance to the designed space. The photos depict
rehearsals and the outside of the building.
PAGE OUT OF ORDER/JAPAN" workshops and public event schedule:
Echigo Tsumari Art Triennial,
Matsudai, Niigata Prefecture
Chamber Theater, Opening of Culture Carnival 2006
Art Square, Tokyo
PAGE OUT OF ORDER" COLLABORATORS
team of US, Japanese, Albanian and Macedonian collaborators worked
tirelessly to realize the Summer and Fall 2006 phases of the project,
and to bring artists overseas and overland to work together. Pictures
and words only offer a peek into hundreds of daily stories and experiences
of the over 40 participants. The enormous list of project contributors
is daunting and exciting, as each one represents a team of individuals
who are passionate about "cultural exchange" and who make
the work happen in spite of countless challenges and obstacles.
this list to you as a mirror and a resource, and to honor our collaborators
from the corners of the earth:
Page Out of Order" is a co-production between Yoshiko Chuma
and The School of Hard Knocks (USA), GOH Productions (New York/USA),
Beagle Inc. (Tokyo/Japan), and Lokomotiva-Centre for new Initiatives
in Arts and Culture (Skopje/Macedonia), in partnership and collaboration
with: National Theater of Albania, Skopje Summer Festival, Macedonian
Opera and Ballet, Macedonian National Gallery -Chifte Amam, Site
for Visual Culture, Skopje, Centre for Balkan Cooperation LOJA,
Tetovo, Macedonian Cinémathèque, The City of Kumanovo
Cultural Center, Amrita Arts (Cambodia), and Somi Roy (Manipur/USA).
Additional support is from The Trust for Mutual Understanding (USA),
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department
of State, the USA Embassy/Albania, the USA Embassy/Macedonia, Japan
Foundation's Performing Arts Japan Program, Saison Foundation (Japan),
Japan Commemoration of Expo '70, New York State Council on the Arts,
Altria Group Inc. and The New York State Music Fund, established
by the New York State Attorney General at Rockefeller Philanthropy
Advisors. Plus legions of volunteers from Albania, Macedonia, Japan,
Cambodia and Manipur.
In the USA in 2006, the work continues during residencies at Dance
Theater Workshop, in the Resident Artists Program 2006/07 of Mabou
Mines/Suite and at the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at