March , 2019

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Japanese choreographer collaborates with African and American dancers for New Work


CHICAGO, IL — As part of its commitment to intercultural artistic initiatives, The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago presents a collaboration between New York-based Japanese choreographer Kota Yamazaki and dancers from Africa and the U.S. Performances are September 27–29 at The Dance Center, 1306 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.

Kota Yamazaki and his company Fluid hug-hug are collaborating with two dancers from Senegal and Ethiopia and four American and Japanese-American dancers on (glowing), a new work exploring Japanese aesthetics of shadow and darkness. To develop the choreography, Yamazaki finds inspiration in the classic 1933 essay “In Praise of Shadows” by Jun’ichiro Tanizaki, who focused on the cultural dichotomy of East and West. Yamazaki instead finds an affinity between Japanese and African artistry, attempting to bridge the “fire and ice” of the angular, asymmetrical and slow-moving Japanese movement form butoh with the rhythmic, exuberant, joyful and sensuous style of African dance. Collaborators include American architect/poet Robert Kocik and Japanese composer Kohji Setoh.

Yamazaki’s first company, the Tokyo-based rosy co., made its U.S. debut at The Dance Center in 1999; Yamazaki’s most recent Dance Center performance, in 2004, featured his first collaboration with African dancers, Compagnie Jant-Bi of Senegal.

There will be a post-performance conversation with the artists Thursday, September 27 and a pre-performance discussion with Kota Yamazaki Friday, September 28 at 7 p.m., both free to ticket holders.

Kota Yamazaki founded Kota Yamazaki/Fluid hug-hug in New York in 2002 based on the policies “Traveling, Exchanging and Exploring.” Yamazaki believes that a person is fluid and has to keep flowing, like water, so that exchange between people from different backgrounds can become more easy and free. The name Fluid hug-hug came from this idea of fluidity and meeting people from all over the world.

The Dance Center’s presentation of (glowing) is funded, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts and the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and additional funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Special thanks to the Japan Information Center, Consulate General of Japan at Chicago.

The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, named “Chicago’s Best Dance Theatre” by Chicago magazine and “Best Dance Venue” by the Chicago Reader, is the city’s leading presenter of contemporary dance, showcasing artists of regional, national and international significance. Programs of The Dance Center are supported, in part, by the Alphawood Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, The Irving Harris Foundation, and the Arts Midwest Touring Fund. Additional funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council. Special thanks to Athletico, the Official Provider of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy for The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, and the Friends of The Dance Center.

The Dance Center’s 2012–13 season continues with Gallim Dance (Oct. 11–13), The Seldoms (Oct. 25–27), Double Edge Theatre (co-presented with the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department Jan. 18–19), zoe | juniper (Feb. 14–16), Stephen Petronio Company (March 7–9), Chicago Moving Company (March 21–23) and Delfos Danza Contemporanea (Apr. 4–6).

Kota Yamazaki/Fluid hug-hug performs (glowing) Thursday–Saturday, September 27–29, Thursday–Saturday at 8 p.m. at The Dance Center, 1306 S. Michigan Ave. Single tickets are $26–30; subscribers who order tickets to three or more performances from the 2012–13 season save 20%. All programming is subject to change. The theatre is accessible to people with disabilities. For information, call 312-369-8330 or visit colum.edu/dancecenter.

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