Yasuko Yokoshi created ZERO ONE in a merging of her roles as a choreographer and a filmmaker, using both to explore the duality and the ephemerality of performance as metaphor for the transience of existence.
On stage are dancers Manami and Sawami Fukuoka, identical twin sisters performing a blend of Western contemporary and traditional Japanese choreography. Their worlds are both together and apart: Manami has lived a life rooted in Japan and its traditional dance culture, while Sawami has lived most of her life abroad in Europe as a contemporary dance artist studying Western forms.
On screen behind the dancers is Hangman Takuzo, Yokoshi’s film that features three legendary and iconoclastic Japanese performance artists. The film takes its name from the Japanese performance artist who hangs himself everyday from a tree in his garden and has been practicing the art of suspension for more than 40 years. In addition to Hangman, Namiko Kawamura, a lifelong practitioner of the singular and understated act of meditative walking, and Mika Kurosawa, widely known as “the godmother of contemporary dance” (and Hangman’s partner) make appearances.
In dance and ritual, these artists navigate the places where motion becomes the literal and metaphorical space between life and death. ZERO ONE reflects upon dance as a kind of social and philosophical practice in body and in mind, peeling back layers of duality and individualism.
Want to learn more about the concepts and creation behind the piece?
+ Join Yokoshi and choreographer Beth Gill for a Q&A following Thursday night’s performance on September 24.
+ Read about ZERO ONE in the New York Times. “‘Zero One,’ a work featuring identical twins, has less to do with togetherness than the isolation and dislocation of its performers. ‘It’s about the fate of being born as a twin and dealing with this individualism their whole life — of trying to locate themselves.'”
+ Watch a preview of ZERO ONE below: