Yuriko Kikuchi in Martha Graham’s Primitive Mysteries; Photo by Martha Swope; Courtesy of Martha Graham Resources

Historic and Rarely Seen Performance and Rehearsal Footage of Yuriko

Spoken Tributes from Janet Eilber, Baayork Lee, Ted Chapin, members of Yuriko’s family and More

Performances by Martha Graham Dance Company and Graham 2 

In Person
Thursday, October 27, 7:30 pm ET
FREE with registration – here

The 92nd Street Y, New York Harkness Dance Center’s 2022/23 Mainstage Series continues with Yuriko, A Celebration of Life, paying tribute to the trailblazing dancer, choreographer and performing artist Yuriko Kikuchi, in a free event on Thursday, October 27 at 7:30 pm . Yuriko, an influential force at the Martha Graham Dance Company for more than 50 years – including creating the Martha Graham Ensemble in 1983, now Graham 2 – headlined her first solo choreographic concert on the Kaufmann Concert Hall stage at the 92nd Street Y in 1949, where her company later returned to perform almost every year between 1964 and 1971. She made Broadway history by originating the role of Eliza in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I and broke barriers not only performing the role on stage and in a major motion picture, but as director for a long-running revival of the musical. Yuriko passed on March 8, 2022 at the age of 102.

Yuriko, A Celebration of Life includes historic performance footage from her time with Martha Graham Dance Company; childhood and family photos including her time in internment camps; personal stories from collaborators, students and artists she inspired; and performances from Martha Graham dancers. 

Speakers in Order of Appearance

George Taylor, Emiko Tokunaga, Lawrence Kikuchi,Janet EilberMiki OriharaKen ToppingRika OkamotoMarianne Handy HraibiTed Chapin, Baayork LeeYasuko Tokunaga, Susan Kikuchi, and Cassey Kikuchi Kivnick

“We’re honored to celebrate Yuriko’s historic legacy in the space she made her own for many years, our 92NY Kaufmann Concert Hall,” comments 92NY Harkness Dance Center director Taryn Kaschock Russell. “Yuriko’s impact on dance and theater was immeasurable. She was larger than life and her personal story – including the hope she gave through offering dance to fellow internees during World War II – is one of an unyielding daily pursuit of excellence.  She was a lifelong teacher and mentor – and her journey will be illuminated by those whose lives she touched at this very special event.” 

The Mainstage Series continues

SETH PARKER WOODS & RODERICK GEORGE
Difficult Grace
A World Premiere in Collaboration with 92NY Tisch Music
Seth Parker Woods, cello & Roderick George choreographer/dancer
In Person – Sat, Nov 19, 7:30 pm, from $25
Online – from 7:30 pm Sat, Nov 19 – 7:30 Tue, Nov 22, from $25
A breathtaking multimedia work centered on the Great Migration from the astonishing Seth Parker Woods in the triple role of cellist, narrator and movement artist. First performed in Seattle in 2020, Difficult Grace has now expanded to a collaboration with acclaimed choreographer-dancer Roderick George. This performance marks its world premiere. Difficult Grace  features film, visual art, the poetry of Amiri Baraka and Dudley Randall, and music written for and with Woods by Freida Abtan, Monty Adkins, Fredrick Gifford, Michael Gordon, Nathalie Joachim, and Pierre Alexandre Tremblay. This production also includes newly commissioned music by Ted Hearne and Devonté Hynes, a.k.a. Blood Orange. An evocative, theatrical, genre-bending production reflecting on immigration, displacement and the marginalized, Difficult Grace is a riveting new work from two of today’s most remarkable young artists.

Harkness Dance Center Artists in Residence 
MUSIC FROM THE SOLE – LEONARDO SANDOVAL & GREGORY RICHARDSON
Partido (2021)
In Person – Thu, Dec 22, 7:30 pm, from $30 / $10 student 
Online –from noon Fri, Dec 23 – noon Mon, Dec 26, from $20
Partido is an evening-length work of tap dance, body percussion, and live music, that explores the convergence of percussive dance with contemporary urban dance and music in the US and Brazil. Developed for Music From The Sole, and initially spurred by Leonardo Sandoval’s experience as an Afro-Brazilian immigrant in the United States, the piece celebrates and highlights the deep connections between Afro-rooted culture in both countries, connecting tap with styles like samba and house dance through shared rhythms and footwork.

Music From the Sole is a tap dance and live music company that celebrates tap’s Afro-diasporic roots, particularly its connections to Afro-Brazilian dance and music, and its lineage to forms like house dance and passinho (Brazilian funk). Led by Brazilian dancer/choreographer and 2022/23 Harkness Dance Center Artists in Residence Leonardo Sandoval (2022 Vilcek Foundation Prize for Creative Promise) and composer Gregory Richardson, their work embraces tap’s unique nature as a blend of sound and movement, incorporating wide-ranging influences like samba, passinho, Afro-Cuban, jazz, and house. 

PETER CHU
In Person – Thu, Jan 19, 7:30 pm, from $30 / $10 student
Online – noon Fri, Jan 20 – noon Mon, Jan 23, from $20
Peter Chu, whose storied career as a performing artist, educator and choreographer has received accolades and honors both nationally and internationally, will be creating a brand-new work which will have its world premiere on our Kaufmann Concert Hall stage.

JOHNNIE CRUISE MERCER
Revival 2023: ‘to those who have seed in the ground’
In Person – Thu, Feb 2, 7:30 pm, from $30 / $10 student
Online – noon Fri, Feb 3 – noon Mon, Feb 6, from $20
Choreographer, educator, and producer Johnnie Cruise Mercer brings together two generations of artists with the intention of calling upon (and embodying) collective inner will.  

Inspired by William McDowell’s 2016 album, Sounds of Revival‘to those who have seed in the ground’ propels itself conceptually from the weight of yesterday, guiding an ensemble of movement artists through a series of meta-physical practices rooted in black spiritual tradition, and movement history.  

‘to those who have seed in the ground’ marks Johnnie Cruise Mercer’s third year producing, choreographing, and directing TheREDprojectNYC’s Revival, an annual event curated around communal breath, ephebism, and generational revitalization. 

MAURYA KERR / tinypistol
black calls to dark calls to deep underneath
World Premiere
In Person – Thu, Mar 9, 7:30 pm, from $30 / $10 student
Online – noon Fri, Mar 10 – noon Mon, Mar 13, from $20
Maurya Kerr, Bay Area-based choreographer, poet, performer, educator, and the artistic director of tinypistol brings a world premiere to the 92nd Street Y. Much of Maurya’s work—across the disciplines of movement, language, and film—is focused on black and brown people reclaiming their birthright to both wonderment and the quotidian. 

FLOCK & ARTISTS
Somewhere Between
New York Premiere
In Person – Thu, Apr 20, 7:30 pm, from $30 / $10 student
Online – noon Fri, Apr 21 – noon Mon, Apr 24, from $20
FLOCK returns to perform again at 92NY after kicking off our inaugural Harkness Mainstage Series in September 2021 for the New York premiere of their brand-new touring show Somewhere Between featuring a cast of world-renowned dance artists.  

MALEEK WASHINGTON
In Person – Thu, Jun 8, 7:30 pm, from $30 / $10 student
Online – noon Fri, Jun 9 – noon Mon, Jun 12, from $20
Maleek Washington, a 2021 New York Live Arts Fresh Track grantee, who was also nominated for a Bessie as an “Outstanding Breakout Choreographer” in the same year will be closing out our Mainstage Season by bringing his compelling creative voice to the 92nd Street Y, New York stage for the first time.

92NY Health & Safety Protocols  
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for all adults and children ages 5+. 
Face masks are highly recommended for everyone age 2+ in performance spaces.

About The 92nd Street Y, New York:  The 92nd Street Y, New York (92NY) is a world-class center for the arts and innovation, a convener of ideas, and an incubator for creativity. 92NY offers extensive classes, courses and events online including live concerts, talks and master classes; fitness classes for all ages; 250+ art classes, and parenting workshops for new moms and dads. The 92nd Street Y, New York is transforming the way people share ideas and translate them into action all over the world. All of 92NY’s programming is built on a foundation of Jewish values, including the capacity of civil dialogue to change minds; the potential of education and the arts to change lives; and a commitment to welcoming and serving people of all ages, races, religions, and ethnicities. For more information, visit  www.92NY.org