Yasuko Yokoshi

Yokoshi was born and raised in Hiroshima, Japan. She currently lives and works in both New York City and Kyoto.  Yokoshi’s works have been presented by the Theatre de la Ville in Paris, the Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, The Kitchen, Danspace Project, Dance Theater Workshop, the Japan Society, Performance Space 122, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Dublin Dance Festival, and others. In July 2011, Yokoshi was appointed as the inaugural Resident Commissioned Artist of New York Live Arts. Recent awards include a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (2009), a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award (2008), and a BAXTen Award (2007). She is also the recipient of a Creative Capital grant, a New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Fellowship, and two New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Awards for her choreography of Shuffle (2003) and what we when we (2006). She has given numerous lectures and workshops at schools and universities across the United States and Japan. She served as a mentor with Sarah Michelson in the danceWEB education program at the 2010 ImPulsTanz Festival in Vienna, Austria. Yokoshi holds a B.A. degree from Hampshire College.

ZERO ONE | Sept 2-19, 2015

ZERO ONE

In Yasuko Yokoshi’s newest project she is both choreographer and filmmaker. ZERO ONE investigates layers of duality and synchronicity, presenting the ephemerality of “performance” as metaphor for the transient nature of existence. Taken as a whole, ZERO ONE is a choreographic transposition of idioms that reflect upon dance as a kind of social and philosophical practice in body and in mind.

Merging two worlds - one live, the other on screen - ZERO ONE features Yokoshi‘s blend of Western contemporary and traditional Japanese choreography performed by identical twin sisters: Manami and Sawami Fukuoka.  The twins embody “self” and “other,” a classic manifestation of duality.  Manami has lived a life rooted in Japan and its traditional dance culture, while Sawami has lived her life mostly abroad in Europe studying contemporary Western dance forms. Projected behind them appear two iconoclastic Japanese artists: Hangman Takuzo, a performance artist who each day enacts a ritual of hanging himself, and Namiko Kawamura, executing the clear simplicity of meditative walking. Additionally Mika Kurosawa, the celebrated artist widely known as “the godmother of contemporary dance” in Japan, is featured, her presence binding together the disparate dualities of ZERO ONE.

During the MANCC residency, Yokoshi refined the essential structure of the work, merging various elements of both film and dance to balance technical and compositional clarity. To support this effort, she worked with Dean Moss, who served as a dramaturge, helping to translate and shape the story for American audiences. She collaborated with Ichiro Awazu to shape the music and video environment for the work and costume designer, Akiko Iwasaki. Dancers Manami and Sawami Fukuoka continued to develop their highly delicate and nuanced performances, including improvisational elements. Yokoshi offered a pre-showing of ZERO ONE to two School of Dance graduate classes, before holding a work-in-progress showing for the public near the end of the residency. Communications professor Dr. Malia Bruker and School of Dance faculty Gwen Welliver facilitated the post-showing discussion, allowing audience members to discuss their impressions of the work. Yokoshi also screened her film “Hangman Takuzo,” in front of a public audience at Tallahassee’s All Saints Cinema, followed by a post-film discussion.

ZERO ONE premiered Sept 24 - 26, 2015 at Danspace Project

  • Manami and Sawami Fukuoka
  • Yasuko Yokoshi directs Manami and Sawami Fukuoka
  • Manami and Sawami Fukuoka
  • Manami and Sawami Fukuoka
  • Manami and Sawami Fukuoka
  • Manami and Sawami Fukuoka
  • Yasuko Yokoshi and Ichiro Awazu
  • Dean Moss and Yasuko Yokoshi
  • Manami and Sawami Fukuoka
  • Manami and Sawami Fukuoka
  • Yasuko Yokoshi discusses <i>Hangman Takuzo</i> film with Tallahassee audience
  • Yasuko Yokoshi discusses <i>Hangman Takuzo</i> film with Tallahassee audience
  • Work-in-progress Showing: Manami and Sawami Fukuoka
  • Work-in-progress Showing: Manami and Sawami Fukuoka
  • Work-in-progress Showing: Manami and Sawami Fukuoka
  • Work-in-progress Showing: Manami and Sawami Fukuoka
  • Work-in-progress Showing: Manami and Sawami Fukuoka
  • Work-in-progress Showing: Manami and Sawami Fukuoka
  • Work-in-progress Showing: Manami and Sawami Fukuoka
  • Work-in-progress Showing: Manami and Sawami Fukuoka
  • FSU faculty Malia Bruker and Gwen Welliver discuss work-in-progress showing with Carla Peterson

Collaborators in Residence: Manami and Sawami Fukuoka [Performers], Akiko Iwasaki [Costume Designer], Ichiro Awazu [Video Artist] and Dean Moss [Dramatuge].

DTW Partnership | October 4-19, 2009

Tyler Tyler

Tyler Tyler continues Yokoshi's unique collaboration with her revered master teacher of Kabuki Su-odori dance, Masumi Sayama.  At MANCC, Yokoshi furthered her investigations of the work by bringing together the American and Japanese cast members for the first time. With the American cast, Yokoshi applied a postmodern vocabulary to the scale and structure of the Kabuki-style choreography. With the traditional Japanese performers, who all trained for many years with Seyama, she explored the effect of contemporary choreographic techniques on classical Japanese dance forms. 

Tyler Tyler premiered at Dance Theater Workshop March 17 - 20, 2010. 

This 2009 DTW partnership project was supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Collaborators in Residence: Julie Alexander, Kayvon Pourazar [American dancers], Kayo Seyama [Japanese dancer], Kuniya Sawamura [Japanese actor/dancer], Naoki Asaji [Japanese actor] and Steven Reker [musician/composer]

Choreographic Fellow | December 2 - 20, 2005

what we when we

Through an artistic collaboration with Masumi Seyama, revered master teacher of Kabuki Su-odori dance in Japan, Yokoshi sought to translate and transform the stark writings of Raymond Carver's "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" to traditional Japanese dance. While in residence, Yokoshi conceptually questioned authenticity and ownership of culture, investigated power dynamics in gender and explored the multiple perspectives that shape the contemporary trans-cultural experience. 

what we when we premiered at Dancespace Project March 23-26, 2006 and received a 2006 BESSIE Award.

Collaborators in Residence: Ryutaro Ishikane, Eikazu Nakamura, Matsuhide Nakashima, Hiromi Naruse [performers] and Kuniya Sawamura [coach]

Featured Artist

Okwui Okpokwasili

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April 19 - 29
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