About this Event
As part of the Library’s efforts to recognize the artists featured in the exhibition Border Crossings, the Jerome Robbins Dance Division welcomes scholar Wendy Perron and choreographer Muna Tseng to discuss the legacy of Japanese-American dance artist, Michio Ito, a key figure in early American modern dance.
An influence on Martha Graham and Lester Horton, Michio Ito developed a unique technique based on Dalcroze Eurythmics. He choreographed many solos and duets in New York and later produced massive spectacles in Los Angeles. Arrested immediately after Pearl Harbor as an “enemy alien,” he was later deported to Japan, where he produced entertainment for American GIs’ in Tokyo. In our monthly Dance Historian Is In lecture, Muna Tseng and Wendy Perron discuss Michio Ito’s full-circle trajectory from Japan to Europe to New York to Los Angeles to a Department of Justice facility to being deported back to Japan.
Up until his incarceration, he thought of himself as a universal artist with no cultural boundaries. But his treatment at the hands of the U.S. government made him reclaim his Japanese roots. In 1979, Ito’s disciple, Ryuko Maki, reconstructed several of his works for Jean Erdman’s Theater of the Open Eye, which were filmed by the Jerome Robbins Dance Division. Choreographer Muna Tseng, a member of the Open Eye at that time, will speak about performing his choreography, and about the role of Michio’s nephew, composer Teiji Ito, as the music director for Erdman. (Teiji Ito also composed music for Jerome Robbins’ Watermill.) For this lecture, Perron has selected videos of Michio Ito’s famous solo, Pizzicati, as danced by Ryuko Maki, and other works from this memorial concert by Satoru Shimazaki and Ryuko Maki.
Photo Credit: Maurice Goldberg
This event will take place online via Zoom as well as in person at The Library for the Performing Arts.
*A streaming link will be emailed to everyone on the morning of the event for those wishing to attend virtually.
SEATING POLICY | Programs are free and open to all, but registration is requested. Check-in line forms 45 minutes before the advertised start time. Registered guests are given priority check-in 15 to 30 minutes before start time. Five minutes before the advertised start time, all seats are released, regardless of registration, to our patrons in the stand-by line. If you arrive after the program starts, you will be seated at the discretion of our front-of-house staff.
STANDBY LINE | If registration is sold out or has ended, do not fret! We welcome you to come to the Library regardless of registration status and wait in our standby line, which forms 45 minutes before the advertised start time. Five minutes before the program starts, all remaining seats are released. While this is not guaranteed, we will do our best to get you into any of our programs.
ASSISTIVE LISTENING AND ASL | ASL interpretation and real-time (CART) captioning available upon request. Please submit your request at least two weeks in advance by emailing [email protected].
BRUNO WALTER POLICY | Please note that any unoccupied seat will be released five minutes before the show begins and holding seats for anyone beyond that is prohibited. There is no food or drink allowed inside the venue.
AUDIO/VIDEO RECORDING | Programs may be photographed and recorded by and at the discretion of the Library for the Performing Arts and will post signs indicating as such. If you would prefer your image not be captured, please let us know and we can seat you accordingly. Attending any program indicates your consent to being filmed/photographed and your consent to the use of your recorded image for any and all purposes of the New York Public Library.
PRESS | Please send all press inquiries to Alex Teplitzky at [email protected]. Please note that all recording, including professional video recordings, are prohibited without expressed consent from the Library.
Event Venue & Nearby Stays
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts -Bruno Walter Auditorium, Enter via 111 Amsterdam Ave. between West 64th and 65th Street, New York, United States