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Elegant and stately on one hand, risky and experimental on the other, Denise Fujiwara is always redefining herself.
– Globe and Mail
One of the country’s most unique and unrestrained artists.
Dancer and choreographer Denise Fujiwara is one of the most inventive dance artists in Canada. During 35 years of practice, she’s refined an approach to performance that draws on research with teachers as diverse as butoh master Natsu Nakajima, Canadian Judy Jarvis and SITI Company’s Anne Bogart. From solos to her more recent ensemble works, Fujiwara’s dance is marked with humour and pathos, virtuosic detail and riveting attentiveness.
World Stage is proud to present the world premiere of Fujiwara’s new work, EUNOIA, an adaptation of Griffin Poetry Prize-winner Christian Bök’s celebrated poem of the same name. In Bök’s Eunoia, each chapter is constrained to the use of a single vowel and despite this, he is able to create oddly fascinating worlds. With exacting precision, Fujiwara adapts these formal rules into her own dance and allows them to transform her choreography. The result is a witty and absorbing monument to human expression.
Fujiwara Dance Inventions was formed in 1990 to house its artistic director’s endeavours as a choreographer and performer. Since its inception, Fujiwara’s seven solo dance concerts, Spontaneous Combustion, Vanishing Acts, Sumida River, Elle Laments, Brief Incarnations, Komachi and Lost & Found, have garnered praise across Canada and have toured to international festivals in the United States, South America, Europe and Asia. Her recent forays into ensemble choreography have brought together some of the city’s best and most respected artists. This has resulted in Conference of the Birds, a work declared by the Toronto Star as “. . . the best thing to premiere at the (fFIDA) festival in many a year”; and NO EXIT, a trio that continues to be performed throughout Canada.
For a full list of collaborators on this project visit the company website below.
Denise Fujiwara began her career in childhood as a gymnast. While competing at the international level she completed an honours BFA at York University’s dance department. In 1978, during the first National Choreographic Seminar, Fujiwara co-founded the choreographers’ collective, Toronto Independent Dance Enterprise (TIDE). She created Fujiwara Dance Inventions in 1990 to continue her solo projects. Notably in 1993, she began studying butoh with master choreographer and performer Natsu Nakajima. Nakajima created her contemporary interpretation of Motomasa’s 15th-century Noh play, Sumida River, for Fujiwara. Sumida River established Fujiwara as a senior solo dance artist and butoh practitioner. Fujiwara premiered her second major butoh work, Komachi by Yukio Waguri, in 2005. In addition to her solo projects, Fujiwara has expanded into ensemble choreography with new works in Germany and Costa Rica. She has taught workshops in Canada, the United States, the United kingdom, Europe, South America and India. A CBC Television documentary about her life and work called Walls, won the 1995 Gemini Award for best performing arts programme. In 1997, Fujiwara co-founded the CanAsian International Dance Festival, for which she is artistic director.
This Series 8:08 Alternative Technique Class integrates the embodiment practices of the dance-theatre form of butoh with the embodiment practices of Linklater voice and speech work as a means to increased creative potential, range and precision as performers and performance creators.
Led by two remarkable teachers: butoh artist Denise Fujiwara and choreographer and National Voice Intensive core faculty member Gerry Trentham.
Open to dancers, actors, performers and people interested in performance and creative process.
Denise Fujiwara will be hosting a preshow event for every performance of EUNOIA at World Stage. Please note that the preshow events on March 20-22 will begin at 7:15pm instead of 7pm.
We said it would be risky. And we meant it. But it will also be welcoming. Consider yourself invited to the preshow event – taking place one hour before showtime in the lobby of the venue – for an artist talk and freshly brewed tea. We’ll provide the programming, as well as the cup and saucer. All you need to bring is yourself.
Denise Fujiwara discusses her work and EUNOIA with World Stage audience members through conversation facilitated by host Samantha Mehra Donaldson. Samantha is a PhD candidate at York University, a member of the Society for Canadian Dance Studies, the Society of Dance History Scholars and the Canadian Dance Assembly.
The talkshow follows the performance. Admission is free with the purchase of a ticket to EUNOIA.