Yoshiko Chuma: A Page Out of Order

(2009 / 60 minutes / DV / English)

distributor: Michael Blackwood Productions Inc.

Filmed during Yoshiko Chuma’s 2009 staging of Not About Romanian Cinema: POONARC at Danspace in New York, a chapter from her on-going performance work A Page Out of Order which she started in 2001. It was inspired by A Page of Madness, a silent Japanese movie from 1926 by Teinosuke Kinugasa. Chuma sees a connection between the silent cinema and today’s performance art. Movement, beautiful and strange images, sounds and verbal fragments are the trademarks of her performance work.

When Yoshiko Chuma arrived in New York in 1976 from Japan, she was attracted by the postmodern dance innovators in Manhattan ’s downtown. By 1980 she presented her own vision of movement at the Venice biennale, adding visual artists, actors, filmmakers, sound design and musicians to her concepts.

Her company, “School of Hard Knocks”, meaning “learning the hard way” or “continuous experimentation”, is a unique creative force in New York ’s dance scene. Chuma sees herself by now as a citizen of the world, collaborating with artists in many countries in Asia and Europe, integrating aspects of their cultures into her performance work.

This documentation offers insights into the choreographer’s many-sided and far-reaching search for an abstract universal performance language, that will be understood everywhere.