P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2001
July 25, 2001
Hiroshima Native Explores Adolescence, Games and Aggression through Dance at MASS MoCA
Danceinsider also reviewed Travel Theory saying, "as political dances go -- and, in my view, most of them go away from being actual art -- Yokoshi, in Travel Theory, has crafted an interesting, well-structured real dance on a socio-political theme, a rare success for attempted dances of that ilk." Robert Ackerman of Philadelphia City Paper reviewed a recent Yokoshi performance saying, "Yasuko Yokoshi showed an elegance of movement that none of the others on the program could begin to match. It was a pleasure to watch her do the smallest or simplest step. Her every motion redefined the space around her."
With three Japanese schoolgirls as the main characters, Travel Theory twists memory and psychology, using games to examine deeper cultural issues and the individual as a part of a society. Yokoshi was struck by the commitment many Japanese showed getting to work under the worst conditions - even some of the wounded - after the sarin gas attack in 1995 and chose to examine that group mentality through dance, video, and explorations of child psychology and games. The piece includes an innovative video montage by co-director Dean Moss and set design by sculptor and installation artist Mayumi Hayashi.
Travel Theory has been performed at Performance Space 122, Theater X in Tokyo, Theater Zero in Seoul, Taipei Theater, The Kitchen, Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church, the Sushi Performing Arts Center in San Diego and the Off Center at the University of Massachusetts.
Yasuko Yokoshi arrived in the United States from Japan with an extensive background in the martial art kendo and classical ballet. Yokoshi's book Once in A Life Time received an Ogai Mori Literary Award. Her documentary video Last Sokoshi received the Grand Prize at the Luminous Video and Photography Competition. Yokoshi's works, reflective of her interest in a variety of mediums, are presented in her interdisciplinary performances. Her first evening-length solo Tendencies and Strategies has been presented at festivals and theaters internationally including the Festival A/D Werf in Utrecht, Holland; Korea-Japan Dance Festival in Seoul and Tokyo; Theater Zero in Korea; Theater X in Japan; Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia; Performance Space 122; Dance Theater Workshop; and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. As a performer Yokoshi has danced with Vicky Shick, Yoshiko Chuma, Wendy Perron, Koosil-ja Hwang, Sarah Skaggs and Gonnie Heggen.
Dancer Mutsuyo Omatsu Isaacs was born and raised in Kobe, Japan. She was trained in classic ballet at Michiko Kozuki Ballet School. She came to New York City in 1991 to expand her dance experience. She started working with Yasuko Yokoshi in 1998 and has performed in works by lgal Perry, Nayo Takasaki and Yumi Terayama.
Dancer Nami Yamamoto was born and raised in Shikoku Island in Japan. She graduated from New York University with an MA in dance education. In 1997 and 1999, she was invited by the UCLA Center for Intercultural Performance to create and discuss an intercultural performance. Currently she is working on a collaborative piece with Joyce S. Lim about Asian issues which will be seen at Danspace Project, Draftwork on May 13th. Yamamoto enjoys returning home annually to Matsuyama-city, Japan, as a senior member of the Moga Dance Company to teach and explore new territories with local artists.
Dancer Kazu Nakamura is originally from Japan where he has appeared in Japanese musicals. He moved to New York in 1991 to study at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. Since then he has worked with H.T. Chen, Nicholas Rodriguez and Dance Compass, Despina Stamos, Christine Sang, Jennifer Chin, Kristin Jackson and Tomoko Imanaka. He has just started working with Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in Washington D.C.
Dean Moss co-directed Travel Theory and created the video montage for the piece. Moss has received a 1998-99 Choreography Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts and a 1999 New York Dance Performance Award (Bessie) in choreography. He has collaborated with Yokoshi as a Director and Videographer in Yokoshi's 1997 multimedia production Tendencies and Strategies. Moss' current project American Deluxe premiered at the Smack Mellon Studio in March. Moss is the curator of dance and performance at The Kitchen, an interdisciplinary laboratory for visionary emerging and established artists in New York.
As a sculptor and installation artist, Mayumi Hayashi designed the special properties and set construction for the piece. She holds a BFA from the School of Visual Arts. She has collaborated with Yokoshi before in I Hear Crows Crying and Tendencies and Strategies. Hayashi's works have been presented at Westside Gallery in New York City and Nissan Gallery, Yui Gallery, and Dentsu Gallery in Tokyo. She is a curator at Visual Space Goliath in Brooklyn, New York.
Travel Theory contains adult subject matter, overt sexual references, and is not appropriate for children.
Tickets for Travel Theory are $14. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams from 10 A.M. until 6 P.M. daily. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or purchased on line at www.massmoca.org.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
For Immediate Release