Bridge Dance Festival: Beyond the Box II ~ Yu (遊)

Bridge Dance Festival: Beyond the Box II ~ Yu (遊)

Tech / Design Credits: Prop master - Steve Ducklow, Scenery Consultants - Yoko Kawaguchi & Duncan Robert Anderson, Graphic Design - Al Brandtner, Costume/Make-up - Grandmaster Shunojo Fujima, Videographers - Rebecca Tsai & Yao Dang

Special Thanks: Grandmaster Shunojo Fujima, Kayako Kawaguchi, Tom Lee お父さん、お母さん、里奈 Millicent Drauer

Sponsored / Funded By: ChicagoDancemakers Forum, High Concept Labs, Asian Improv aRts Midwest

Yoshinojo Fujima

Chicago-area native, Yoshinojo Fujima (a.k.a Rika Lin) is an interdiscplinary performing artist, based as a Japanese classical dancer/choreographer. She received her professional name in 2006 as a member of the Fujima Ryu Japanese Classical Dance School in Japan, and attained her grandmastership last year, which certifies her with a shihan (teaching license). She has performed as an active performing member of Toyoaki Shamisen, as well as in collaborations with Asian Improv aRts MidWest, Tsukasa Taiko, Tatsu Aoki’s the Miyumi Project and was featured in the 2016 Chicago Jazz Festival at the J. Pritzker Pavillion. In 2016 she was awarded the Links Hall Artistic Associate Curatorial Residency for the 2017 season, for her “Beyond the Box” presentation/series. Currently she is beginning her research for "Asobi - Playing within Time" project as a 2017 Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist.

Natsuki Kubo

Natsuki Kubo ~ A design calligrapher, a.k.a Hourin Natsuki was born in Kyowa-Chou, Hokkaido in 1984. She started learning calligraphy at age 7 from Master calligrapher Zuihou Sato. In 2009, she created her original writing method that combines letters and illustrations. In 2012, she moved her working base to Sapporo. At the same time, she started to collaborate and perform with artists and creators of various industry genres such as sound, clothing designers, lighting, and food. In 2014~15, she expanded the range of her artworks to include group exhibitions, workshops, and demonstrations in Japan and in America (Chicago). In 2016 she formed a unit “Wakana” to enjoy calligraphy in kimono. Her motto is “ to live with calligraphy a life-time”, expand the charm of calligraphy, which is one of traditional Japanese cultural arts, for future generations.

Tatsu Aoki's Reduction Ensemble

Tatsu Aoki's Reduction Ensemble

The original concept of Reduction was Tatsu Aoki’s creative response to the popular taiko drumming stripped of its musical elements, it argues for upholding the beauty in taiko performance and for its connectivity to aesthetics and musicality. The performative incarnation being realized annually for over 14 years at venues such as the Museum of Contemporary Art as Taiko Legacy and Reduction. The Reduction Ensemble is the musical extension of this philosophy. A new configuration of one of Chicago's traditional, experimental, and creative jazz music scene bulwarks, Tatsu Aoki's Reduction Ensemble, synthesizes and weaves their vibe with the current member roster: Tatsu Aoki (shamisen/contrabass), Edward Wilkerson Jr. (saxophone, didgeridoo), Jamie Kempkers(cello), and KIOTO (taiko, tsuzumi).

Julia A. Miller

Julia A. Miller is a guitarist, composer, improviser, sound artist, visual artist, curator and educator. Julia specializes in synthesized electric guitar, performing as a soloist or collaborator and with the band Volcano Radar, along with Elbio Barilari.

In 2011, a live recording of her solo performance on Chicago's Experimental Sound Studio Sunday Solos Series, "Solo Variations", was released as a digital EP on the Chicago netlabel Pan y Rosas. in 2012, Julia was asked to participate in the $100 Guitar Project, a double cd release of improvised and composed short pieces by 65 different guitarists which was released on Bridge Records with proceeds benefitting CARE. Also in 2013, Volcano Radar released the digital EP "Refutation of Time" on Pan Y Rosas. Julia's music has also been released on the Artco and Pilgrim Talk labels. Julia has been recognized by the blog Prepared Guitar

(, Many Many Women (, and Squid's Ear, as well as the Chicago Reader.

Julia is Guitar Professor at Carthage College in Kenosha, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Sound at the School of the Art Institute (SAIC) in Chicago. Julia received a DMA in composition from Northwestern University in 2005.

$12 - $15 Online, $17 Door


Beyond the Box II ~ Yu (遊) takes another step and explores the roles of women from the confines of traditional Japanese classical dance where female characters are predominantly limited to subtle, contained, and subdued expressions. Up against this notion of submission, “Yu” boldly and creatively deviates from the accepted norm in traditional Japanese performance practices, the performers facilitate the meta-perceptual opportunity to embody the full range of emotional and physical expression, strength, and power, and subconsciously accepted standards for gender identity.

Grandmaster Yoshinojo Fujima, Reduction Ensemble, led by renown artist/creative musician Tatsu Aoki, Hokkaido calligraphy artist Natsuki Kubo, and synthesized electric guitarist/composer/sound artist Julia A. Miller present: “Yu (遊)” as the concluding event of the Bridge Dance Festival. 

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