DiverseWorks presents Takahiro Yamamoto's Direct Path to Detour

DiverseWorks is pleased to present the regional premiere of Portland, Oregon-based choreographer Takahiro Yamamoto's new performance work, Direct Path to Detour, in the Matchbox 2 - Wortham Foundation Theater at the Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston (MATCH).

Co-commissioned by DiverseWorks, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, and the National Performance Network, Direct Path to Detour began as a personal exploration of the physical and emotional effects of Yamamoto's lived experience as a queer, Japanese immigrant in the United States. Grounded in the idea that a sense of who we are is rooted in our embodied experiences, this contemporary dance presents the personal experiences of Yamamoto and his five collaborators-Julian Barnett, Crystal Jiko Sasaki, sidony o'neal, Jesse Mejía, and Lu Yim-in various physical and mental states as they explore their relationships with various value systems, spiritual beliefs, and social pressures while pushing beyond the limited categories of identity. The performance is structured as a combination of solo moments, several duets, trios of abstracted gestural movement, and a physically rigorous group score. Through light, sound, and movement, Direct Path to Detour envelops the performers in a poetic, visceral experience of resistance, surrender, sincerity, and fiction.

Concurrent to the development of Direct Path to Detour, Yamamoto created an artists' book of the same name that documents the collaborative research behind the project. Participating artists, colleagues, and curators involved in commissioning the work contributed either a visual artwork or a short piece of writing. By compiling images of multiple artworks, short writings, transcriptions of conversations, and written exchanges, this book intends to engage with the reader intimately, soliciting contemplation and stimulation one page at a time. Direct Path to Detour will be available to purchase at each performance.

This class focuses on a practice that has been developed throughout Julian's choreographic body of work, which has many iterations, but can be distilled into the term of 'echoing'. Working individually, with partners, and as a collective as the main fulcrum of the class, different frames are introduced that shift focus to variant possibilities of movement, timing, intention, connection, and sensation. The class prioritizes the subjective body as an active and changeable compositional form and aims to challenge the mover to push beyond conventional realms of what dance is and emphasize the process of how, as a way to better understand the what.

Julian Barnett creates performances that explore the socio-political possibilities for transformation and empathy, through the lenses of choreography, philosophy, science, musicology, and the supernatural. His works have been invited throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, China, Japan, and since 2012, actively throughout Europe.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28, 3:30 - 5 PM
MOVEMENT WORKSHOP WITH TAKAHIRO YAMAMOTO & JESSE MEJÍA
CO-PRESENTED WITH OPEN DANCE SOURCE AT HUNTER DANCE CENTER

747 N. SHEPHERD, SUITE 100, HOUSTON, TX 77007
FREE; ADVANCE REGISTRATION RECOMMENDED AT HTTP://WWW.HUNTERDANCECENTER.COM/CLASSES/

Facilitated by Yamamoto and composer Jesse Mejía, participants in this workshop will explore various ways to cultivate a relationship between live music and movement. What does it mean to have a conversation without words? Does the music have to be a mere soundtrack? What are the alternatives? Scoring? Chance? Themed improvisation? Through guided exercises and compositional practice, participants will work with sound and movement artists to experiment in this boundless field.

Free, All levels; beginners and non-dancers are welcome.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28, 6 - 10 PM
PATHWAY GUIDE W/ JESSICA RAY HERZOGENRATH, PHD
TICKETS: $35 (INCLUDES PERFORMANCE)
Pathway Guide is a casual and intimate pre- and post-show conversation in conjunction with Takahiro Yamamoto's Direct Path to Detour, facilitated by Jessica Ray Herzogenrath, PhD. Attendees will enjoy the performance and engage with fellow audience members, while finding their own pathways into contemporary dance. Herzogenrath researches and writes about American history, culture, performance, and dance and currently teaches at Sam Houston State University. More info and tickets...

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29, 3 - 7 PM
DIRECT PATH TO DETOUR DINNER & FUNDRAISER
TICKETS: $300 / $250 DW MEMBERS
Join DiverseWorks and choreographer Takahiro Yamamoto with his collaborators on Sunday, October 29th for an evening of food, art and performance centered on the subject of the detour and other influences of Japanese history and culture. This exclusive event includes tickets to the Sunday performance Direct Path to Detour, and a cocktail reception and hot pot dinner with the artist and performers, prepared by Chef Jean Philippe Gaston at Izakaya restaurant in Midtown Houston.

Originally from Shizuoka Japan, Yamamoto works in performance, sculpture, and photography. He has presented works nationally and internationally, and has performed for artists and choreographers such as Morgan Thorson, Xavier Le Roy, Mårten Spångberg, Keith Hennessy, and Jmy James, among others. Yamamoto's artistic practice takes inspiration from observing social interactions and ingrained cultural tendencies. Influenced by postmodern dance Yamamoto's observational choreographic practice highlights the idiosyncratic qualities of each performer. Typically, he begins his creative process by asking the question, what does it mean for performers to perform in front of an audience? He is interested in what changes physically and mentally in the performers bodies when a number of audience members focus on the individual's movements or actions. Yamamoto's artistic and creative process retraces his biographical steps in a way that allows him the time and space to unpack his own influences-aesthetically, ethically, and ideologically.

Direct Path to Detour is supported by the Japan Foundation through the Performing Arts JAPAN program. Direct Path to Detour is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) in partnership with DiverseWorks, Contemporary Arts Center Cincinnati, and NPN. The Creation Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). More information at www.npnweb.org.

Direct Path to Detour's presentation at DiverseWorks is supported by the National Performance Network/Visual Arts Network Performance Residency, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts, and the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance.

DiverseWorks Season Sponsors: The Brown Foundation, Inc., The Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts, Houston Endowment, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

Additional In-Kind Support: American Business Supplies, Consequence of Innovation, Saint Arnold Brewing Company, and Topo Chico USA.

ABOUT DIVERSEWORKS
DiverseWorks commissions, produces, and presents new and daring art in all its forms through innovative collaborations that honor each artist's vision without constraint.

DiverseWorks is committed to equitable compensation for artists and is W.A.G.E. (Working Artists in the Greater Economy) Certified. More information at http://www.wageforwork.com/.


PERFORMANCE TIMES
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27 - 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28 - 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29 - 3 PM

PAY WHAT YOU WISH TICKETS
Suggested Price: $20 / $15 DiverseWorks Members
Purchase Tickets Online
MATCH Box Office: (713) 521-4533

SPECIAL EVENTS, PROGRAMS & WORKSHOPS

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28, 10:30 AM - NOON
WORKSHOP CLASS WITH Julian Barnett

AT METDANCE, 2808 CAROLINE, HOUSTON, TX 77004
$35 OR 2 HOURS ON A METDANCE CLASS CARD
REGISTER AT WWW.METDANCE.ORG



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