Developing a Common Culture (03:21)
One of the benefits of working with the same dancers is the ability to improvise. When Armitage choreographs, she usually begins with a thought or feeling she would like to express, then chooses the correct music. She prefers compositions with space— she compares the interplay between dance and music to two individuals making love.
Curiosity Over Success (04:23)
Armitage never tried to conform and feels as an artist it is important to be an alternative voice to corporate structure and pop culture. She prepares specific phrases for the dancers to perform at rehearsal and tends to prefer rigorous choreography over improvisation. The tracking of a movement is more important than the position of the dancer.
Japanese Culture and Traditions (07:39)
Thermal hot springs are a common site in Japan and over the centuries they have been used as spas and health resorts. Kyoto, capital city for 1,000 years remains the center of traditional culture.
The Dream Trilogy (04:52)
Armitage feels that the hardest thing to accomplish in the trilogy was the fine-tuned movement. David Salle discarded the set design for "Connoisseurs of Chaos" days before dance premiered. Armitage and he decided on projecting images on a black screen using black light.
Japan's Period of Isolation (07:23)
The voyage of Magellan in 1521 proved to Europeans that Asia was a separate continent form America and began a growing stream of foreigners into the land. For two centuries Japan was closed off to outsiders and the arts flourished.
End of the Ancient Shogun (03:30)
Japan's long period of isolation ended in 1853 when President Millard Fillmore demanded the right of US ships to land in Japan. They had little choice but to deal with the US and the new leader moved toward a more western style government.
New Era in Japan (06:34)
Industrialization in Japan began to change the nation from a rural farming land to the beginnings of an industrial giant. One of the greatest changes of society was the opening of the army to the common man.
Collaborating with Salle (02:43)
Salle and Armitage have worked together since 1984 when they were a couple. Armitage describes how she, Salle, and Peter Speliopoulos work holistically through a series of trial and error. She has choreographed two musicals on Broadway.
Japanese Nationalism (07:00)
A major problem between Japan and western nations was price cutting because labor was so much cheaper in Japan. Profits from exports were siphoned off and used to create a military machine designed for war and conquest.
Attack on Pearl Harbor (09:25)
In 1931 the Japanese launched a full scale invasion of the Manchurian Republic, which it felt was rightfully Japan's. Knowing the US was hesitant to get involved with the war in Asia, Japan planned a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor
Japanese Nationalism (04:54)
A major problem between Japan and western nations was price cutting because labor was so much cheaper in Japan. The captains of industry in Japan worked in synchronization with the leading military forces to turn Japan's modern industrial might into a machine designed for war and conquest.
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