Enmei (Long Life)

April 6 & 7, 2018

‘Enmei (Long Life): A Dance and Aging’ Project brings together dancers and designers from the United States and Japan to explore what it means and what it takes to age as a woman in the field of contemporary dance. Artists Kei Takei and Masako Kitaura join forces with Mary Fitzgerald, Eileen Standley and Rose Weitz to create an evening of solo and collaborative works that examine how our respective cultures value and represent women dancers as they age. Using the dancing body as a site of exploration, Enmei investigates our unique cultural histories by collapsing the past and present, the personal and universal, the tangible and immaterial. In a series of three distinct sections that are both richly layered and stripped down, these works are a testament to the accumulated wisdom of the aging body, and a celebration of the human spirit.

 

‘Enmei’ features an original musical score created by Kotoka Suzuki. Guest performer Laz Brezer, Associate Director of Moving Earth, also will be joining the cast for these performances. Performers include: Mary Fitzgerald, Masako Kitaura, Eileen Stanley, Kotoka Suzuki, Kei Takei, Laz Brezer

 

This project was conceived by Mary Fitzgerald and Eileen Standley with Rose Weitz. The original collaborators include Japanese artists Kei Takei, Masako Kituara and Kotoka Suzuki. Associate Director of Moving Earth, Laz Brezer, recently joined the project to perform in one of Kei Takei’s new works.

 

Enmei (Long Life): A Dance and Aging Project is supported by the Japan Foundation through the Performing Arts Japan program and has been made possible at Links Hall thanks to the generosity of the University of Arizona.

Enmei is supported by the Japan Foundation through the Performing Arts Japan program

Masako Kitaura

MASAKO KITAURA (choreographer/costume design/performer) is a proprietress of a Kimono shop in Japan, which has been established in Osaka for more than 100 years. She is also a dancer and performing artist with roots in Japanese modern dance. She moved to Europe in 1995, where she lived for nearly 10 years. She worked with numerous international independent choreographers and musicians. She was also a member of the dance companies, Deja Donne in Italy, Magpie Music Dance Company in Holland and has performed in the works of American choreographer Susan Rethorst at The Kitchen in New York City.

Kei Takei

KEI TAKEI [ケイタケイ] (choreographer/performer) is a native of Tokyo Japan. In 1967, Ms. Takei was given a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the Juilliard School. In 1969, she began the creation of what has become an epic work, entitled LIGHT which at present consists of 47 distinct “Parts”. The individual parts of LIGHT range in character from solos to large group pieces involving 20 or more performers. Each “Part” is a separate and autonomous artistic entity, and yet belongs to the interconnected wholeness of LIGHT.
Ms. Takei has twice been named a fellow in Choreography by The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and has been the recipient of numerous choreographic grants and awards from state & federal agencies in the US and in Japan, and also from corporations, foundationsand individuals in the US and in Japan. In 2013 Ms. Takei was awarded by the Japanese Department of Cultural Affairs with the Monbu Kagaku Daijinsho. She has been guest faculty at many universities and her choreography has been commissioned by numerous dance companies world-wide.
Kei studies Noh dance and dramatic monologue with Yoshiaki Okaniwa, Kanze style Noh master teacher. Kei Takei’s dance company MOVING EARTH is a company of up to 14 performers. Over many years, the company has presented hundreds of concerts, and has introduced Ms. Takei’s choreography to audiences in 60 cities in the U. S. A. and in 17 countries.

US Artists

Mary Fitzgerald

MARY FITZGERALD (performer/choreographer) is a dance artist whose creative work includes choreography, performance, and more recently, dance film. She was a member of Kei Takei’s Moving Earth for nearly ten years, performing and teaching internationally. She also has danced with A Ludwig Dance Theatre, Fred Darsow Dance, and several independent choreographers throughout the United States. Mary’s creative work has been presented locally and internationally in theatres, museums, new media festivals, and numerous outdoor spaces. She has received support from such organizations as the Ministry of Culture in Mexico, the Japan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, ASU’s Institute of Humanities Research and the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts. Mary is currently an Associate Professor of Dance in the School of Film, Dance, and Theatre at ASU where her teaching and creative research centers on interdisciplinary art- making, contemporary movement practices and somatics.

Eileen Standley

EILEEN STANDLEY (performer/choreographer/visual design) is a dancer, choreographer, and visual artist. She has produced internationally at the Mercat de les Flors in Barcelona, Center for Contemporary Art in Cádiz, Side Step Festival in Helsinki, the Bimhuis and Frascati Theaters in Amsterdam, and the Asahi Art Square in Tokyo. Her national shows include gallery settings and sites such as the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, the Phoenix Icehouse, and the Arizona State University Art Museum. Eileen’s projects received support from various Dutch Arts Commissions, the Japan Foundation, the Netherlands Embassy in Japan, the Institute for Humanities Research, and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. Eileen is a Clinical Professor in the School of Film, Dance and Theatre at Arizona State University.

Kotoka Suzuki (composer)

KOTOKA SUZUKI’s (composer/performer) work engages deeply in the visual, conceiving of sound as a physical form to be manipulated through the sculptural practice of composition. Her work has been featured internationally by performers such as Arditti String Quartet, eighth blackbird, Pacifica Quartet, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Continuum, and Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra (Leipzig), at numerous venues and broadcasts such as Deutchland Radio, BBC Radio, Ultraschall, World Music Days, The Stone, ZKM Media Museum, and MATA. Among the awards she has received include DAAD Artist in Resident-Berlin, First Prize in Bourges Multimedia, First Prize in Musica Nova, Norton Stevens and North Shore fellowship (MacDowell Colony), Robert Fleming Prize (Canada Council for the Arts), and Howard Foundation Fellowship. Suzuki is an associate composer at the Canadian Music Centre since 2001 and currently an Assistant Professor of Music at Arizona State University.

Rose Weitz

ROSE WEITZ (speaker/choreographer/performer) is a Professor of Women and Gender Studies within ASU’s School of Social Transformation. Her recent books include Rapunzel’s Daughters: What Women’s Hair Tells Us About Women’s Lives, and The Politics of Women’s Bodies: Appearance, Sexuality, and Behavior. Rose has never quite forgiven her mother for not letting her take dance classes as a kid, but she’s made up for lost time by dancing everything from Macedonian folk dance to contact improvisation and West Coast Swing over the last fifty years.

Laz Brezer

LAZ BREZER (guest performer) was born in Edmonton, Canada. His 50 year career as a performing artist on stage and on screen is the embodiment of Bob Dylan’s lyric, “Somebody got lucky, but it was an accident.”–‘Pledging My Time’, Bob Dylan