NORITOSHI HIRAKAWA

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— Since the performance of A Struggle for Heaven at the Yohji Yamamoto boutique in New York in 1995, I have been working on creating many dance performances that appeal much more deeply to myself and also better engage my inspirations. Over the past two decades I have been focusing on performances, rather than on exhibiting my artwork in other mediums, and my exhibitions have became more like accompaniments to these performance. Some art curators and dealers of my work requested me to create more dance performances on occasion of viewing my performance-oriented exhibitions these past years.

My latest dance-based work was performed on May 15th 2015. It was only a one time performance due to special circumstances–Marisa Newman approached me to create a performance as part of the event program at NADA Art Fair in New York. The title was decided as Reverie from a prior conversation with Marisa. Although I did not know yet what to do with the offer, I began on what would come to be a month’s worth of preparations, starting with casting dancers. After the audition was finished and I had chosen four dancers, I went to Singapore and Japan for other activities. In the meantime, I bought a book of Buddha and delved deeply into the story of his life. I was thinking of connecting the story of Buddha and the roles of each dancer.

I returned to New York less than two weeks before the date of performance with the story not yet clear, and at the same time, found out that one of chosen dancers had dropped from the performance. It was supposed to consist of two female dancers and two male dancers but now had changed to be three female dancers and one male dancer. After Raz Mesinai agreed on composing the music, just a week before the performance day, I started writing the scenario and completed it the same evening for a forty minutes long dance performance. I had only two rehearsals…one was four hours during the day before the performance, May 14th, and one hour on the day of performance just two hours before the real performance. The final composed music was made in the middle of rehearsal on May 15th.

The actual story was very spiritual, associating physicality with non-existence, but on the surface Reverie appeared very sensual and physical. Also, watching the performance was a bit like solving puzzles with viewers trying to piece together multiple layers into one picture, though this effect was incidental. Reverie was completed with awareness that it was supposed to be performed in the venue of the art fair, which gave each movement a different nature of functionality.

Reverie features dancers Ariane Bernier, Carlye Eckert, Lisa Clementi, Pavel Machuca. Clothes by Thomas Chen, Emmanuelle NYC. Produced by Marisa Newman Projects.







Noritoshi Hirakawa was born in 1960, in Fukuoka, Japan. He originally studied Applied Sociology and today works with photography, film, installation and performance. The artist believes that human activity forms the culture in which we live today and proposes to push the boundaries of perception in order to further culture as such. Hirakawa’s work has been exhibited over 300 times, including at the Venice Biennale, Venice; Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul; Museum fuer Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Centre Pompidou, Paris; MoMA PS1, New York; Kunsthalle, Vienna; MOT, Tokyo etc. The artist has also collaborated with poets, musicians, choreographers and architects and presented his work at Das TAT, Frankfurt; Danse Montpellier; at Fondation Cartier, Paris; Casa Barragan, Mexico City. Noritoshi Hirakawa has lived and worked in New York City since 1993.