Yoshiko Chuma’s “Love Story, Palestine” at LaMama

So maybe two years ago Yoshiko Chuma told me about the project she was working on. She’d be invited (or somehow put in touch with) the Palestinian Dance Troupe El-Funoun from Ramallah and wanted to go work with them, make a piece and bring it back. She couldn’t find funding – as far as I know – but went ahead anyway. Over the past few years she has been there, working with the company and making material, experiencing life in Ramallah and building relationships.

From May 9-12, 2012, for 5 performances, she will present that work at LaMama FOR FREE.

From the release:

Intentionally confusing documentation with history, Chuma tasks El-Funoun members Sari Husseini and Ana Abu Oun and NYC-based talents Miriam Parker, Tatyana Tenenbaum, and Saori Tsukada-—three performers who have never been to Palestine—with re-creating segments from her own documented works and experiences in Ramallah, Palestine. Chuma assembles a mosaic of images and interviews which pertain to pain and longing, as if framing theater with barbed wire. Traditional dance is juxtaposed with contemporary movement, video projection and spoken text in a borderless environment constantly reshaped by sculptural objects. Yoshiko Chuma herself performs on the backdrop of Robert Flynt’s photography.

I’ve long been a fan of Chuma’s work – it is a mix of highly structured and totally chaotic, a frenzy of media and dance, always challenging the audience to engage in an overwhelm of information and imagery. I imagine this will be a very compelling project.

All performances are free, but require reservations which you can make here.


Love Story, Palestine
Concept, Design, and Choreography by Yoshiko Chuma

May 9-12, 2012
Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa
66 East 4th Street (between 2nd Ave and Bowery)
Part of La MaMa Moves! Festival/ 50th Anniversary Season

Featuring members of Palestinian Dance Troupe El-Funoun from Ramallah
In association with ROOT CULTURE in Kamakura, Japan.

Dance by Miriam Parker, Saori Tsukada, Tatyana Tenenbaum,
Ryuji Yamaguchi, Sari Husseini, Anas Abu Oun and Yoshiko Chuma
Music by Sizzle Ohtaka, Aska Kaneko with Robert Black
Photography by Robert Flynt

Text excerpts from “Sayonara, Gangsters” by Genichiro Takahashi
Sound Design excerpts from “6 Seconds in Ramallah” by Koji Setoh
‘Dabke’ Choreography by El-Funoun Dance Troupe
5 monitors perform video documentation
5 moveable panels and 30’x30′ tarps fill the space

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