This 65 minute documentary film by Richard Rutkowski is based upon KOOL-Dancing in My Mind, Robert Wilson's stage tribute to Suzushi Hanayagi, legendary Japanese choreographer, for which Carla Blank served as dramaturg and choreographer. KOOL premiered in the 2009 Guggenheim Museum's Works & Process Series, in conjunction with "The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860-1989". In the film, interviews with fellow artists are combined with archival and newly filmed material of Suzushi Hanayagi, along with rehearsal and performance excerpts from KOOL's reconstructed dances, as performed by CC Chang, Sally Gross, Meg Harper, and Yuki Kawahisa, and featuring Illenk Gentile and new choreography by Jonah Bokaer. The Space in Back of You reflects Hanayagi's current state of dementia and serves as a poetic monument to a working friendship as it reveals how, from her beginnings in the discipline of Japanese traditional dance training to her decades of modern dance performance, this bold indomitable woman uniquely bridged East and West, making work that expanded what classical or modern dance is and could be.
I'm going to be talking about "Rediscovering America" wherever I get an opportunity. We, the writers and the public, can't thank you enough. It was a tremendous effort--the book shows the time, energy, commitment and love you put into it. Now here it is. The opportunity to teach our true history with your book is in our hands. Let's get it into the schools!”
—Rudolfo Anaya, in a letter to Carla Blank, 01/18/2004
Carla Blank is a writer, editor, and director whose cross disciplinary historical reference, Rediscovering America: The Making of Multicultural America 1900-2000 (Three Rivers Press, 2003), highlights and reintegrates the complex contributions of women,...