On May 14, 2016, Yass Hakoshima Movement Theatre (YHMT) performed with the Da Capo Chamber Players at Westminster Arts Center in Bloomfield, NJ in a new production titled “Remembrances.” This event marked the celebration of the 45th anniversary of both Da Capo and YHMT! Da Capo’s legacy of new music artistry set the stage for Yass, to showcase 45 years of Japanese theater dance choreography. There was so much to commemorate in this original performance which highlighted best works.
International artist Yass Hakoshima, is an 11-time awardee of the Live Music for Dance grant. He uses perfect physical control and imagination to combine the intensity of Japanese Noh Theater, the drama of classical mime, and the athleticism of American modern dance. YHMT (http://www.yasshakoshima.com) 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….”
Hakoshima strongly believes in the integration of artistic disciplines in their original form. He demonstrates this belief through a history of commissioning new works that incorporate live music, as well as visualization of recorded music. Although mime and movement theatre are often perceived as silent arts, Hakoshima finds that such disciplines are strengthened by the inclusion of live music and views his choreography as a physical rendering of the music. Last year was Yass’ sixth collaboration with Da Capo Chamber Players, creating another great performance.
The Naumburg Award-wining, internationally acclaimed Da Capo Chamber Players (www.dacapo.com) embodies an exciting legacy of musical directions: openness to a wide spectrum of styles of new music plus a special dedication to working with composers. Founded in 1972 by American composer Joan Tower. The Montclair Times quoted Patricia Spencer “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 music. He knows exactly what tempo he wants. He chooses the repertoire very carefully. It is very challenging music, we love that.
Working together, YHMT and Da Capo produced “Remembrances” which encompassed three presentations: Rashomon, Under Water Phantasy, and Creature to Creature. Rashomon, wirth guest artist, dancer Yon Tande, features Raymond Lustig’s 2009 score. Lustig often interlaces light and dark elements in his vibrant and highly expressive music–a perfect compliment to Yass’ conceived idea. Phantasy features George Crumb’s “Vox Balanae” (Voice of the Whale). Crumb is noted as an explorer of unusual timbres, alternative forms of notation, and extended instrumental techniques. The sculpture was created by Toshiko Takaezu. Creature to Creature featured Su Lian Tan’s 2006 score entitled Creature to Man.
“Remembrances” honored the long-standing commitment made by YHMT and Da Capo to their art through a true alliance of cultures, nationalities, and artistic disciplines. Through the years these two organizations have had a significant impact on the tens of thousands of people who have witnessed their works. This anniversary production was the crowning jewel.