Former Choreographic Fellow Yosuko Yokoshi recently returned to The Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography for a screening of two of her works, namely Zero One. The piece is a compilation of a dance and a documentary, both of which were created by Yokoshi. Zero One continues to tour internationally, bringing together the dance styles of different cultures.
Yokoshi first came up with the idea for the piece when her student Manami Fukuoka mentioned that she had a twin sister, Sawami, who was also a dancer. From there grew the idea of creating a piece that involved the different movements of two bodies that appear to be identical in a style that combines traditional Japanese with American jazz. Later she added a film element of Hangman Takuzo, a performer who practiced the art of suspension by hanging himself in his garden. This documentation serves as a backdrop to the dancing twins.
Zero One is Yokoshi’s first work to be created and presented in her home country. She divides her time between Japan and New York and often caters her choreography to American audiences in the hopes of showcasing Japanese culture. This show describes the life of the twins and the art of dance itself, which she says becomes zero when it’s over. She is quoted in The New York Times as saying, “It’s about the fate of being born as a twin and dealing with this individualism their whole life — of trying to locate themselves…The one [in the title] stands for ‘something.’ The world is made up of this dual relationship between something and nothing.”