Yasuko Yokoshi


2006-2008 Lab Artist: Yasuko Yokoshi

yasuko 200wideThe seeds were planted in February 2006 when Vermont Performance Lab invited Yasuko Yokoshi for a two-day visit to Windham County where she met students and faculty of the Performing Arts/Dance program of the Windham Regional Career Center (WRCC) at the Brattleboro School of Dance. Following this winter visit, Yokoshi proposed an experimental project idea that would involve collaborating with teenagers from the Dance Program of the WRCC. With the support of Vermont Performance Lab, the Brattleboro School of Dance and the Performing Arts/Dance Program of the WRCC, Yokoshi began working in July 2006 with 7 students (age 15 to 17) where she conducted a trial weeklong intensive performance workshop at the Brattleboro School of Dance. In September 2006, 5 more students agreed to work with Yokoshi on an experimental dance project and have worked together on weekends and during holiday breaks throughout the fall and winter to develop material for a performance project, Reframe the Framework DDD (Dance-Docu-Drama).

Reframe the Framework DDD is a collaboration between Yokoshi and twelve teenagers from Windham County. During 2006/2007 Genevieve Amarante, Emery Chapman-Hale, Danielle Crouch, Lindsay Crouch, Helga Gardner, Chelsea Hausrath, Karin Linden, Sarah McKinney, Abby Nace, Barbara Pimentel de Oliveira, Hannah Robinson and Nicole Thomas participated in the project. In the summer of 2007, five of the seniors transitioned out of the project to head off to pursue other adventures. Therefore performance material was transfereed to Caitlin Greve and Andrew Marcheve who joined the group. The project involved research into the transformation and progression of postmodern dance through the examination of Framework, a work created by postmodern choreographer David Gordon in 1983. The project rigorously challenged the notion of dance creation and, by extension, explored how creative development is processed and transformed by questions, observations and acceptance, rather than by answers, definitions and control.

The project was developed through workshops, rehearsals, and interviews between July 2006 and August 2007. As a part of the process, Yokoshi invited the teenagers to question methodically and in detail the aesthetics of the work by looking at a video documentation of Framework with Mr. Gordon’s permission. The young people came up with their own interpretations and applied them to create their own movements and text. The dance making process, as well as the daily lives of the teenagers, was videotaped and made into a documentary which became an integral component of the final presentation of the project.

Yokoshi believes that the project's process reflects how culture, art and history are transferred, transgressed and reinvented. She is the medium of carrying the visual and conceptual information between the two generations of performers. She would like to be a witness of this passing. She is an observer, enabler and final decision maker, thus the author of the project, who will take responsibility of the outcome and result of the project. She considers this new project to be a personal journey — to encounter a new generation of dancers and artists in America by providing them with a creative environment in which to explore and observe their perceptions of dance and dance tradition in their own country and culture, thus their own lives.

Reframe the Framework DDD was conceived and conducted by choreographer/performance artist Yasuko Yokoshi and was co-produced in collaboration with Vermont Performance Lab, the Brattleboro School of Dance, and the Performing Arts/Dance program of the Windham Regional Career Center in Vermont. Yokoshi and the dancers began working together in July 2006, and in January 2007 the Brattleboro-area dancers traveled to New York City to perform the material at the annual Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP). They also performed exceprts of the work in Brattleboro at the BSD studios and at the New England Youth Theatre. In addition, Yokoshi presented a work-in-progress version of the work in New York City in January 2008 at Judson Church, and premiered the work in New York City in April 2008. 

The creation and development of Reframe the Framework DDD was made possible with support from Vermont Performance Lab and the Rockefeller MAP Fund.