Artist Profile - Kazuko Yamazaki
Kazuko Yamazaki graduated from Indiana University with a PhD in specializing in the anthropology of dance in 2001. She also studied in the Hanayagi and Fujima schools of traditional Japanese dance in Tokyo and uses her unique perspective as a native performer with an embodied intercultural perspective. By discerning what is most essential in the tradition and distinguish it from features that are incidental, styles that are particular to certain performers, and cultural stereotypes, Kazuko hopes to preserve traditional Japanese dance in its elements.
As part of her Fellowship’s Meet the Artist requirements, Kazuko presented The World of Japanese Dance at the Bainbridge Public Library. She presented three dance works; before each dance, a description was read of the underlying concepts and their cultural significance to the dance, followed by a slideshow of related photos. The third piece included audience participation: she played the recorder and taught the audience two Japanese songs and a traditional Japanese folk dance. During the question-and-answer session that followed, an audience member said, “Somehow the dances that you perform connect me with my present and past… your contrasts of mood among the dances would bring joy to anyone. I appreciate the hard work it takes to perform with seeming ease!”