The project “Yu” (遊), explores the presentation of time, gender, and meta-perceptual awareness using Japanese Classical dance choreography, theatrical taiko, and experimental music as its conceptual foundation. The original taiko piece, also called “Yu”, was spawned from the 1970’s Tokyo underground arts movement. The musicality of theater taiko lends itself to the application of Japanese classical dance movement and presentation; Yoshinojo utilizes the temporal space that is created by the piece as the foundation to conduct an experimental challenge. While at HCL, Yoshinojo will fuse aspects of technology (projections) and nature (bamboo) to address issues which stem from perception. This work in progress will continue her ponderings and will synthesize the revelations gleaned from her previous projects, Quantum Monk II and Mai Ougi.
I believe innovation must first come from a complete immersion in tradition. It then must make an intrepid leap towards another manifestation to remain relevant. Inspiration and identity are grounded by core aesthetics. How does a tradition come into being, and sustain? These inquiries affect how and what I present. It is the impetus for creation and collaboration. I would like to challenge these assumptions with a new work combining classical Japanese dance with creative and/or electronic music. In order to sustain the art, the essential progression is to evolve the art and bring it to the next level while continuing to uphold the aesthetics, protect the core, and present it to the audience. As a generational continuation of the Japanese cultural diaspora, my observations, views, and ideology are based on tradition, yet incorporate an inherent willingness to address traditional context with a contemporary mindset. Today the traditional arts have a conservative tolerance that limits recognition of transgender issues which are relevant in today’s society. The artistic conventions enveloping Japanese classical dance provide structural splendor, but at the same time these inherent constraints limit the evolution and hinder relevance to today’s 21st-century surroundings. Throughout my experience dancing within the traditional Japanese context, I had questions regarding the expression, phrasing, and presentation of traditional Japanese theatrical dance in order for it to be relevant to my experience as an Asian American woman in the 21st century. I want to address these concepts from within the contemporary artscape creating works that extrapolate core aesthetics of classical Japanese dance and apply them to the 21st century Asian American woman’s experience manipulating the perception, presentation, and experience of time while testing the conventionally accepted gender presentation and movements.
Chicago-area native, Yoshinojo Fujima (a.k.a Rika Lin) is an interdisciplinary performing artist, based as a Japanese classical dancer/choreographer. She received her professional name in 2006 as a member of the Fujima Ryu Japanese Classical Dance School in Japan and attained her grandmastership last year, which certifies her with a shihan (teaching license). She is an active performing member of Toyoaki Shamisen and performs in collaborations with Asian Improv aRts MidWest, Tsukasa Taiko, and Tatsu Aoki’s the Miyumi Project and was featured in the 2016 Chicago Jazz Festival at the J. Pritzker Pavilion. She has performed at venues such as Elastic Arts, Hairpin Arts Center, Constellation, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. She presented her “Beyond the Box” presentation/series at Links Hall as an Artistic Associate Curatorial Residency for the 2017 season and is currently conducting research for “Asobi – Playing within Time” project as a Chicago Dancemakers Forum 2017 Lab Artist.