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Conversations with Sculptures

Japanese theatre dance collides with explosive quartet music in the gardens of Grounds for Sculpture.

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Dear followers,

On May 14, 2016 we presented  REMEMBRANCES  at Westminster Performing Arts Center in Bloomfield, NJ to a house filled with enthusiastic audiences! The Yass Hakoshima Movement Theatre collaborated. With the DA CAPO CHAMBER PLAYERS and guests in this very special program, celebrating our 45th anniversary season!.


The  Program could have been called a continuation of last year’s  Conversations with sculptures, since sculptures were here again part of  the theme. In “Underwater Phantasy” with music by George Crumb (Vox Balaenae)  a sculpture by Toshiko Takaezu was the center of  the story of the whale hunter! In “Creature to Creature” Su Lian Tan’s Music, performed by Da Capo, created  an almost haunting atmosphere.  In “Rashomon” Hakoshima was joined by the dancer yon Tande, and music by  Ray Lustig underlined the eeriness of the location.

In an interview with the Montclair Times, Patricia Spencer, flutist and cofounder of Da Capo said  ” it is always great fun for instrumentalists. To get in touch with the movement .we use movement images sometimes to get in touch with the music. Seeing what Yass does is really wonderful, the way he moves to the music and the way he listens to the music. He knows exactly what tempo he wants. He chooses the repertoire very carefully. It is very challenging music. We love that!”

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Conversations with Sculpture

Posted on March 25, 2016 by Danmari - Yass Hakoshima Movement Theatre

Save the Date: Saturday, May 14, 2016, 7:30 PM, the Yass Hakoshima Movement Theatre will celebrate its 45th anniversary season in the performance of “Remembrances” with live music by the Da Capo Chamber Players.

this will mark our sixth collaboration with the amazing musicians of the Da Capo Chamber Players. 

Yass hakoshima, choreographer and performer will be joined by guest artist Whitney V. Hunter in this retrospective performance with music by George Crumb, Raymond Lustig, Charles Ives and others.We will once again present this performance at the Westminster Arts Center, in Bloomfield, NJ 

for more information please check out our website: http://www.yasshakoshima.com

Conversations with Scuptures

Happy bows after “Conversations with  Sculptures” at Grounds for Sculpture on May 16:

Yass Hakoshma & Christopher Byrnes with  the Sirius Quartet |

Fung Chern Hwei, violin, Leonor Falcon, violin, Ron Lawrence, viola and Jeremy Harmon, cello.

Photo by: Charles T. Miller.

Yass Hakoshima in Conversations with Sculptures

Yass Hakoshima  in Conversations with Sculptures at Grounds  for  Sculptures, conversing with  Jae  Ko’s  Installation “Waves.”

Photo: Charles T. Miller

Conversations with Scuptures

Our performance on May 16 at Grounds for sculpture was a special event: thanks to New Music USA we were able to collaborate with the Sirius Quartet of New York. They are a very energetic group of musicians, whom we met for the first time three years ago . Since then, choreographer Yass Hakoshima  prefers to work with them on his projects

Conversations with Sculptures

Dear followers,

we are so proud to let you know, that we had a most memorable experience at Grounds for Sculpture with our performance of “Conversations with Sculptures.” A special day for audiences in this unusual setting, where one meets sculptures at every corner of the beautifully landscaped grounds. Scupltures by Seward Johnson dominated during the month of May, and  a surprise happens when you  enter into the East Gallery , where you see the abstract installation of the Korean artist  Jae Ko, as well as  getting a view of Toshiko Takaezu’s Three Graces  outside the Gallery..

Unexpected by the  viewers  are the big stage set-up in the middle of the Gallery, and  a group of musicians , the Sirius Quartet, greeting them with scenes from Gregor Huebner’s  music  “Times Square.”

The audiences were mesmerized and transported to another realm. 

……More to follow soon, as well as some media!


On May 16, 2015, Yass Hakoshima Movement Theatre (http://www.yasshakoshima.com) will perform with the music of Sirius Quartet at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ in an extraordinary production entitled “Conversations with Sculptures.” Incorporating tantalizing music with Japanese theatre dance around sculptural art, this show is a remarkable collaboration whereby the choreography developed by Yass is a visualization of music in a unique and beautiful setting.

International artist Yass Hakoshima, hailed by many as Japan’s Marcel Marceau, has spent more than 40 years dancing to live music and is a 10-time awardee of the Live Music for Dance grant. He uses perfect physical control and imagination to combine the intensity of Japanese Noh Theatre, the drama of classical mime, and the athleticism of American modern dance. Yass Hakoshima Movement Theatre mesmerizes audiences with sculptural props, masks, and costumes. The New York Times is quoted, “To watch Yass Hakoshima perform is to be captured and captivated…”

For “Conversations with Sculptures,” Sirius Quartet will surf in a vast ocean of spontaneous sonic creation by skillfully blending the precision of classical music with the energy of rock, metal, and free jazz. Yass has chosen the following for Sirius to play on May 16th:

Charles Ives: String Quartets #1 and #2

Gregor Huebner: Times Square 7 PM, from “NY Suite”

Robin Rodheli : Trees

Sirius Quartet: Prepared Improvisations

While Sirius plays, Yass will engage the listening audience with theatre company members Christopher Byrnes and Michela Musolino by utilizing the background of two exhibits at Grounds for Sculpture. A special presentation within the performance will showcase Yass creating a giant Japanese calligraphy work on white rice paper. Yass will skillfully and dramatically paint the Japanese letters for the year of the sheep on a vertical standing screen. (The background of the second art exhibit mentioned below is the perfect plain, yet undulating environment for this scene.)

The exhibits at Grounds for Sculpture are: first, “Three Graces” by Toshiko Takaezu. This outdoor sculpture is a trio of cylindrical bases cast of bronze. The human scale and voluptuous form of each of the “Three Graces,” coupled with their title, invite figurative interpretation; while the varied patinas refer to their natural surroundings. The second exhibit entitled “Force of Nature, Shiro” by Korean-born artist Jae Ko transforms over 20,000 pounds of varying shades of white recycled Kraft paper to span more than 80 feet. The installation is described by the artist as “a glacier cut or sliced to expose the ancient layers within it” and is part of a series funded in part by the National Endowment of the Arts.

“Conversations with Sculptures” is an opportunity for the Yass Hakoshima Movement Theatre and Sirius Quartet to connect with an entirely new audience in an artistic setting. Spectators will surely walk away emotionally awakened from such an interdisciplinary arts experience, gaining a specific awareness of body language as a means of musical expression. The cost of this 1.5 hour long production will be free with museum admission. Expected attendance is 250.

Project Media

Paths Become Lines
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Features: Sirius Quartet

Sirius Quartet pushes beyond the conventional vocabulary of string instruments with exhilarating repertoire and unequalled improvisational fire.

Born and bred in New York City’s downtown music scene, Sirius has performed at major venues around the globe, including Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, the Andy Warhol Museum, LACMA, Stuttgart Jazz and the Beijing Music Festival.

For more information, please visit http://www.siriusquartet.com

Echoes by Yass Hakoshima Movement Theatre
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The work of Yass Hakoshima Movement Theatre is a blending of music, art, and literature–combining the tradition of mime, the mystery and fatalism of Japanese theatre, and the expansiveness of modern dance.

Productions are under the artistic direction of Yass Hakoshima himself, whose work has been hailed widely for innovative content and thought-provoking style. Yass is a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship recipient and is internationally known.

For more information, please visit www.yasshakoshima.com

Start and End Dates



Hamilton, New Jersey

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Last update on July 6, 2016

Project Created By

Montclair, New Jersey
Yass Hakoshima (artistic director, choreographer, and performer) began his career while dancing with the Yokoyama Ballet troupe in Japan. His initial success led him to the United States, where he studied modern dance with Erick Hawkins and mime with Etienne Decroux. In the late 1960s Hakoshima made his stage debut in New York, and thereafter…


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