1995 – Maida was invited to observe Kazuo Ohno teach his regular evening class in his home studio, Kamihoshikawa, built in 1961 in Hodogaye, Yokohama, Japan. Maida was introduced to Kazuo Ohno by Gozo Yoshimasu, poet and filmmaker, and Marilia, a collaborator for our Stone Circle project at Beam Theatre in Tokyo, Japan. Gozo Yoshimasu had collaboated with Kazuo Ohno on performance projects. Maida performed with Gozo Yoshimasu in Yokohama (see archives).
“Kuzuo Ohno has always been a teacher. I was told he began his weekly class the same each week. Please review the video for the sequence of the class over a period fo 2 hours. The session, the date for taping, was delayed waiting for an English-speaking translator to arrive because most of the students were not Japanese. As Kazuo Ohno began to teach Maida realized her camera was available and perhaps he would allow the session to be video taped. Holding up her camera, Kazuo Ohno nodded approval of the taping. Kazuo Ohno started with his book (journal, I think) on his lap while talking about the SUN and the creation process and moved to the SON and his personal creation process. His life as an artist seemed somewhat of a family matter with costumes and production support coming from members of his family. His brilliant son, Yoshito Ohno, directed all of Kuzuo Ohno’s performances since 1986. I saw Kazuo Ohno on the playground in his yard with his grandchildren. During my time in Japan, I attended a concert of dance that featured all senior aged artists, including Kazuo Ohno, with a dance critic from the same generation. It was an extraordinary event as you might imagine We are now just coming to respect the older artists as they have been respected in Japan for many years.” (Notes by Maida Withers)
The taped session is two hours in length.