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Sumida River

Choreography by Denise Fujiwara

February 18, 2006 @ 8PM

Market Hall Performing Arts Centre, 336 George St. N

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 $15 / $12 students,
seniors, underemployed
Reservations: (705) 745-1788

Sumida River
Denise Fujiwara (Toronto)

Sumida River is the haunting tale of a woman in search of her stolen child. Fujiwara’s delicately shaded performance of the Butoh work explores a mother’s deeply moving and compelling journey.

“A butoh dance of remarkable purity” ~ Le Devoir, Montreal

Internationally acclaimed Butoh choreographer Natsu Nakajima has created this spellbinding solo interpretation of the renowned 15th century Japanese noh play especially for the remarkable Canadian performer, Denise Fujiwara.

“Fujiwara is radiant in her powerful performances… (she is) one of the country’s most unique and unrestrained artists” ~ NOW Magazine, Toronto

Denise Fujiwara has had the remarkable privilege of working intensively with Butoh master Natsu Nakajima over the past decade. Her extraordinary solo dance concerts have won her critical and audience acclaim across Canada and internationally.

Denise Fujiwara is a choreographer, dancer, actor, dance impresario and teacher with over 25 years of professional experience.

She began her interesting career in childhood, as a gymnast and competed internationally on the Canadian Modern Gymnastics team. Upon completing an Honours B.F.A. in Dance at York University (1974-1979), she became one of the founders of T.I.D.E. (Toronto Independent Dance Enterprise). Here she was instrumental in the creation of a diverse body of work for the now-defunct but still notorious company that danced across Canada for 10 years.

She has created and tours five exquisite solo concerts. Sumida River, a haunting Butoh work created especially for her by acclaimed choreographer, Natsu Nakajima, has been featured in dance festivals in Seattle, Washington DC, Ottawa, Vancouver, Calgary, Denmark, Ecuador and India. It was named the Best Dance Performance of 2000 by Toronto NOW Magazine. Elle Laments, her fourth concert of solo dances, was a highlight of the Canada Dance Festival, Vancouver’s Dancing on the Edge Festival and the St. John’s Summer Dance Festival in 1998/99. Her 5th solo concert, Brief Incarnations, presented in March 2002 by DanceWorks, featured new works by the remarkable choreographers Peter Chin and Tedd Robinson, as well as her own work. It received two Dora Award nominations. Her recent foray into ensemble choreography resulted in Conference of the Birds, a work for 9 dancers and 3 musicians that was called, ” – the best thing to premiere at the (fFIDA) festival in many a year” by the Toronto Star.

She also works in theatre, television and film. Walls, a CBC documentary about her life and work by filmmaker Jeremy Podeswa won a 1995 Gemini Award. In 1997 she co-founded and continues as the Artistic Director of the vibrant CanAsian Dance Festival in Toronto.

In 2004/05 she produced three new works, Komachi, by Tokyo Butoh luminary, Yukio Waguri, Late Fall for the Via Salzberg Chamber Music Series at the Glenn Gould Theatre on June 2, 3, and Conference of the Birds, which was presented by fFIDA at The Distillery and the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival.

Photo by Cylla von Teidemann


Butoh based training and improvisation
with Denise Fujiwara
Sunday, February 19
Noon to 3 pm
Market Hall Performing Arts Centre
Fee – $10
call (705) 745-1788 to register

A dance-theatre workshop to train the body and the imagination by working from vivid internal conditions expressed through intense physicality. Using Butoh, the modern Japanese dance form as a foundation, we work to reveal the dance’s inner life of authenticity, depth and paradox, and to express one’s humanity in all of its irrationality, ugliness, beauty and mirth.

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