Constellations and Influences: Aretha Aoki
In 2012 Danspace Project presented two historic Platforms, Parallels and Judson Now. In 2013 we continue to explore artistic constellations and lineages. What web of connections do new generations of artists trace? Who are their influences?
This season we will ask each artist to share a significant artistic influence. Below is Aretha Aoki’s response:
I can’t choose one artistic influence because I have too many! So here is a list of sorts:
Weekly, informal showings by Le Groupe Dance Lab lead by Peter Boneham and the many choreographers that came through–Helene Blackburn, Lesandra Dodson and Damian Munoz to name a few. Collaborative encounters with dance, theater and visual artists while at SFU, especially Cindy Mochizuki, Trisha Collins, Olivia Delachanel and Miranda Huba. The artists, activists and thinkers connected to the grassroots festival, Powell Street. Seeing Kei Takei perform. Performing in Harry Aoki’s intercultural lecture/performance experiments in a variety of non-conventional venues. Spending a summer on an herb farm, pulling weeds and making tinctures. Working with Juliette Mapp and her wonderfully detailed and considered approach to movement-making. Intuitive, playful improvisations with Vanessa Anspaugh. Working with Emily Johnson’s approach to story telling and building a performance that is rooted in what is here, what was and what’s possible. Maura Donohue’s challenges to the conventions of performance and our conversations over sake or beer. Watching so many performers and choreographers here in NYC that make me thirsty for this form again and again (DD Dorvillier, Young Jean Lee, robbinschilds, Jen Rosenblit, Molly Lieber and Eleanor Smith, Jon Kinzel, Mary Read, Vicky Shick, Hilary Clark, Lindsay Clark…I could go on and on). Working at McDonald’s, Blockbuster Video, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and other odd jobs. Scientific discoveries that challenge my sense of reality. My sisters’ sense of humor. Months spent lying around and trying to figure out why or how to dance. Moments that nudged me out of my usual patterns of behavior or perception. Moments that contain a sense of both the familiar and unfamiliar. Spending time with my Ojisan, Uncle Naomichi and Aunt Jodi in rural Ontario, eating, drinking, listening to stories and watching Japanese historical dramas. Holding my Obasan’s hand in the hospital and being witness to her incredible humor even in her last moments.
Shared Evening: Aretha Aoki / Benjamin Kimitch runs February 14-16, 2013 at Danspace Project