Yumiko Yoshioka

Article Bio Works Projects Images
crossroads:
beauty, body, identity, memory
genre(subgenre):
Performing Arts (dance / butoh)
region:
Asia, Eastern, Europe, Western
country/territory:
Japan, Germany, France
city:
Berlin
created on:
March 15, 2005
last changed on:
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Article

Memories in motion

Yumiko Yoshioka more or less personally experienced Europe´s encounter with the style butoh. As a dancer she came in 1978 with the work ´Dernier Eden´ and the women´s ensemble Ariadone to Europe. It was the first butoh performance ever outside Japan and was received coolly. After only a single appearance in a cabaret in Paris, the ensemble was sacked by the club´s owner. Only when further performances were given in a small private theatre did Ariadone play to increasingly large audiences. In 1981 it was back in Paris under the guidance of Ko Morubushi and Carlotta Ikeda, by which time it had already made a name for itself and played to full houses 150 times in a year.
The tension of confrontation during the first European guest performances was a key experience for Yumiko Yoshioka, who then began to travel to and fro between Japan and Europe because: "Living in Europe means friction for me!" and friction is the source from which the dancer, soon active as a choreographer and teacher too, draws her energy of motion. Between the third and fourth generation of butoh artists, she has developed, under the influence of various Asian training methods and schools and on the basis of butoh, a personal style called ´body resonance´, integrating features of nogushi gymnastics, yoga and tai chi. A key process is the freeing of memory-layers, which Yoshioka says hold energies and experiences stored in the body and are cosmic and universal. This inner reservoir, of which we are mostly unaware, contains not only rational and emotional knowledge but also, in a changed form, elements and forces from nature. Yumiko Yoshioka takes all this to be an archaic fund of the human, open to reactivation, so classical butoh motifs serve as a vehicle for the transformation of energy: "There is a feedback between the imagination and the body. By enabling dancers to develop antennae and by supplying them with images, I try to let them channel impressions and information. They may then achieve a state in which they can transcend their egos and change themselves," so Yoshioka in an interview.

Since 1988 Yoshioka has been living in Germany. In the following years she toured mainly with Manako Seki and Delta R´ai in the co-founded ensemble tatoeba - THÉÂTRE DANSE GROTESQUE. In 1995 during a working stay with tatoeba in the German cultural centre in the Schloss Bröllin she met her most important cultural partner so far - the sculptor Joachim Manger. As tatoeba broke up a short time later, the TEN PEN Chii art labor sprang up virtually overnight. The relationship between Yoshioka´s bodywork and Manger´s object-like stage installations lies at the heart of works which TEN PEN Chii has since produced and also influences the dancer´s teaching practice. With Manger she also holds workshops in dancing and sculpture. Whether it be Neo-Nationalism in Germany (´Brown Shadows´, 1995) or the chimera of gene technique (´Test Laboratory Z.0005´, 2001), there seems to be no anxiety in treating themes in the art labor. Indeed a contrast is sought between the aesthetics of movement based on butoh and contemporary themes, which Yoshioka relates to her search for basic feelings.

One of the most extravagant projects so far has been ´Test Laboratory Z.0005´, enclosing four dancers in a threatening 2.50 m high metallic machine. Hares, set free in the surroundings, activate one or another light-installation, which in turn activates mechanisms for opening or sealing enclosures. The body is hermetically caught then free to move in two water basins. Likewise picturesque and metaphorical, though aesthetically plainer, are the works involving Yumiko Yoshioka as a soloist and with which she regularly tours with TEN PEN Chii, while continuing her didactic work and acting as the artistic director and curator of various projects at Schloss Bröllin.
Author: Constanze Klementz

Bio

Yumiko Yoshioka was born in Tokyo and is now a choreographer, teacher and curator. In 1974 she joined the women´s butoh company Ariadone, with which in Paris in 1978 she performed the first butoh work ever shown outside Japan. Since 1981 Yumiko Yoshioka has been alternating between Japan and Europe and has been living in Germany since 1988, the year in which she founded with Minako Seki and Delta R´ai the group tatoeba THÉÂTRE DANSE GROTESQUE, which till its break-up in 1994 successfully toured Japan, Europe und North America. In 1995 arose the TEN PEN Chii art labor, led by Yoshioka, the visual artist Joachim Manger and the American musician Zam Johnson. Its works have included: ´N. YoiN´, ´DA-PPI´, ´iki - an interactive body dance machine´, and ´TEST LABORATORY Z.0005´. The company is at home in Schloss Bröllin in the Northeast of Germany (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern), where Yumiko Yoshioka is the artistic director of the butoh-related art project ´eX...it!´ and the curator of the festival ´Pro Existence´ (2004). ´furu zoom´ was premiered at the festival ´Über Schönheit/About Beauty´ in the House of World Cultures in Berlin (2005).

Works

´Minos Alpha´

Production / Performance,
2002
Interdisciplinary site-specific project, Berlin/ Germany

´TEST LABOR Z.0005´

Production / Performance,
2001
Interdisciplinary performance, Mueritz/ Germany, Graz/ Austria, Berlin/ Germany

´DUST´

Production / Performance,
2000
Site-specific performance, Israel

´Ex...it! 99´

Production / Performance,
1999
International Butoh & Related Art Symposium Art Direction: Y. Yoshioka and Delta R´ai

´iki - an interactive body dance machine´

Production / Performance,
1999
Interdisciplinary performance, Broellin/ Germany, Graz/ Austria, Stettin/ Poland

´Labirinti´

Production / Performance,
1999
Interdisciplinary site-specific project, Aulla/ Italy

´TEST LABOR´

Production / Performance,
1998
Interdisciplinary improvisation, Broellin/ Germany, Stettin/ Poland

´DA-PPi´

Production / Performance,
1998
Berlin/ Germany, Broellin/ Germany, Graz/ Austria

´Zoo Project´

Production / Performance,
1998
Interdisciplinary site-specific project, Ueckermuende/ Germany

´Liquid Animal´

Production / Performance,
1998
Interdisciplinary performance, Schwerin/ Germany

´The Last Sound of the Earth´

Production / Performance,
1997
Interdisciplinary site-specific project, Graz/ Austria In collaboration with tatoeba

´Il Giorno del Ritorno al Sole´ (The Day of the Return to the Sun)

Production / Performance,
1997
Interdisciplinary site-specific project, La Spezia/ Italy

´Luba´

Production / Performance,
1997
Site-specific project, San Francisco/ USA In collaboration with Delta R´ai

´Terminal Paranoid´

Production / Performance,
1996
Interdisciplinary site-specific project, Graz/ Austria

´N.YOiN´

Production / Performance,
1996
Performance with dance, sound and sculpture, Broellin/ Germany Choreography, Dance: Y. Yoshioka, K. Johnson

´KAZA-ANA´

Production / Performance,
1996
Interdisciplinary site-specific performance, Greifswald/ Germany Choreography: Y. Yoshioka, K. Johnson

´Province Europe´

Production / Performance,
1996
Experimental interdisciplinary exchange project, Ribnitz- Damgarten/ Germany, Sperlinga/ Sicily

´Il Ritorno dell Era Glaciale´ (The Day of the Return of the Ice Age)

Production / Performance,
1996
Interdisciplinary site-specific project, Portovenere/ Italy In collaboration with tatoeba

´Trans...it!´

Production / Performance,
1996
International Dance Exchange Project, Broellin/ Germany; Rostock/ Germany; Ludwigshafen/ Germany

´Demontage Paradox´

Production / Performance,
1995
Site-specific project, Graz/ Austria

´Ex...it! 95´

Production / Performance,
1995
International Butoh & Related Art Symposium at Schloss Broellin/ Germany

´DEKA- DANCE´

Production / Performance,
1995
Dance performance and sound sculpture, Katzow/ Germany

´Il Giorno del Ritorno al Mare´ (The Day of the Return to the Sea)

Production / Performance,
1995
Interdisciplinary site-specific project , La Spezia/ Italy In collaboration with tatoeba Installation: Manger, Makoto

´Brown Shadows´

Production / Performance,
1995
Installation and Performance, Tokyo/ Japan

Projects

This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.

About Beauty

Exhibition, Dance, Workshops, Conference

(18 March 05 - 15 May 05)
images
´i-ki - an interactive body-dance-machine´