Yuriko Kikuchi Receives Commendation from Japanese Government

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The residence of Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki, Consul General of Japan in New York, was filled with dancers on Wednesday, January 30. They gathered to celebrate the life and career of Yuriko Kikuchi, a Japanese American dancer, choreographer, and instructor who was an influential member of the Martha Graham Dance Company for fifty years as well as the first Japanese American star on Broadway.

Known throughout the dance world simply as Yuriko, she is the recipient of the Foreign Minister’s Commendation from the Japanese government, recognized for her outstanding achievements in the field of dance and for her contribution to friendly relations between Japan and the United States. Through dance she promotes cultural exchanges and inspires collaborations between different American dance companies, cultural institutions, and government agencies.

The ceremony began with remarks from Ambassador Hiroki, who described Yuriko as “a pioneer of the modern dance movement,” someone who merged East with West and changed the concept of dance during her time with Martha Graham.

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[via Lars Boe Jarvad]

‘Footballet’: Go 49ers!

Our San Francisco 49ers are headed to the Super Bowl stage with the Baltimore Ravens this Friday! With their performance imminent, what better time to compare their athleticism and strength to the discipline of ballet through pictures? Let’s just call it ‘Footballet’.

Wide receiver Michael Crabtree: is this a grand jeté we see?

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John Cage: Song and Dance

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Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor
Joan La Barbara, vocalist
Meredith Monk, vocalist
Jessye Norman, soprano
Marc-André Hamelin, piano
Yuval Sharon, director
Jesse Stiles, electronics
Brandon Collwes, dancer
Andrea Weber, dancer

Solo dancers from Merce Cunningham’s celebrated company perform the lead roles in a new realization of Second Hand, a major collaboration of Cage and Cunningham based on music by Erik Satie. Cage used I-Ching chance operations to deconstruct Satie’s music and reform it into a Dada-esque musical coloring book, asking such questions as: “Of those orchestra instruments that easily play all the notes of the phrase, how many and which actually do?”

MTT, Joan La Barbara, Meredith Monk, Jessye Norman, Marc-André Hamelin and NWS musicians join forces for a multimedia production of Cage’s mind-bending and provocative Song Books. With texts by Henry David Thoreau, Marcel Duchamp, Erik Satie and others, each of the work’s solos explores the boundaries of song, live electronics and theater.

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Dancing around Duchamp

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This spring the Barbican embraces chance, provocation and humour in an international season celebrating Marcel Duchamp, widely considered the father of conceptual art and the most influential artist of the 20th century. We invite you to explore work by his precursors, collaborators and the generations of artists he has influenced across art, music, dance, theatre and film. At the heart of the season is the major exhibition The Bride and the Bachelors: Duchamp with Cage, Cunningham, Rauschenberg and Johns, featuring a rich array of painting, sculpture, stage sets and musical notations, orchestrated by leading contemporary artist Philippe Parreno. An exciting programme of live Cage music and Cunningham dance performances in the gallery by graduates and students of London Contemporary Dance School and dancers from Richard Alston Dance Company is integral to the exhibition. [Source]

Comme des Garçons founder Rei Kawakubo costumes for Merce Cunningham’s 1997 dance Scenario

Focusing on the extraordinary costumes that Comme des Garçons founder Rei Kawakubo created for Merce Cunningham’s 1997 dance Scenario, this exhibition explores the collaboration between the Japanese fashion designer and the legendary choreographer. The show is the third in a series showcasing the Walker’s Merce Cunningham Dance Company Collection—the single largest acquisition of visual art in the Walker’s history. [Source]

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Walker Art Center
1750 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403