New York Live Arts to Present Yasuko Yokoshi's BELL, 3/16
New York Live Arts will present the world premiere of Yasuko Yokoshi's BELL on March 16, 2013 at 7:30pmin its Bessie Schönberg Theater. Hailed by Time Out New York as having "a brave, postmodern intellect," Yokoshi was appointed as the inaugural Resident Commissioned Artist (RCA) of New York Live Arts in July 2011. The RCA program identifies and supports outstanding mid-career artists and is one of the most generous and supportive awards offered to a choreographer in the United States, providing two years of residency time and a commission of a new work, as well as salary and benefits.
As part of her residency over the past 18 months, Yokoshi has assembled a multidisciplinary cast from Japan and the U.S. to perform inBELL, a contemporary reimagining of the classical Japanese dance Kyoganoko Musume-Dojyoji (A Woman and a Bell at the Dojoji Temple), reputed to be the most important and difficult work in the Kabuki dance repertoire. With BELL, Yokoshi also draws from the classical ballet canon, aligningDojyoji with the widely popular ballet Giselle. Finding the iconographic plot on romance and tragedy that is a central theme in both of these works, she radically juxtaposes the two in an attempt to re-contextualize our experience through the resultant collision and harmony.
BELL continues Yokoshi's collaboration with Masumi Seyama, 82-year old master teacher of Kabuki Su-odori style dance and successor of renowned choreographer Kanjyuro Fujima VI. Through this collaboration, Yokoshi investigates the parallel aesthetics of traditional dance and contemporary forms and the transgression of cultural boundaries.
Yokoshi's bold cultural investigations of Kabuki movement were presented in the Bessie Schönberg Theater by Dance Theater Workshop in March 2010 when she premiered Tyler Tyler. In an interview about the work with the New York Times, Yokoshi explained that by fusing modern dance and traditional Japanese dance, "...I'm placing two high-quality things with different value systems side by side. One doesn't take over the other...This is conceptual on a large scale...It's very simple in a very orthodox way. What I'm really looking for is beauty."