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The School of Hard Knocks (SOHK) Projects

Since 2007, Yoshiko Chuma & The School of Hard Knocks

has collaborated with Ryuji Yamaguchi (as creative producer and performer) on 8 major productions:

  • Living Room Project: 200 New Faces (2009) Amman, Petra, Madaba, Zarqa

  • Hold the Clock: Jordan (2010) Amman

  • Midan: Gathering Space (2010) Amman, Zarqa, Madaba, Wadi Rum

  • 6 Seconds in Ramallah (2011) Amman, Ramallah

  • Documentation #2 and #3 (2012) Amman, Ramallah

  • Love Story Palestine (2012) New York

  • Documentation: π=3.14 (2012) Tokyo

  • My Dairy: Secret Journey to Amman (2020) Amman, Madaba

Yoshiko Chuma (conceptual artist, choreographer/artistic director of SOHK) has been a firebrand in the post-modern dance scene of New York City since the 1980s, has been consistently producing thought-provoking work that is neither dance nor theater nor film nor any other pre-determined category. She is an artist on her own journey. A path that has taken her to over 40 “out of the way” countries and collected over 2000 artists, thinkers and collaborators of every genre since establishing her company The School of Hard Knocks in New York City in 1980.

The School Of Hard Knocks: About

Living Room Project: Jordan (2009)

Performers visit 9 family homes in Amman, Zarqa, and Petra to experience diyafa, Jordan's proud tradition of hospitality. Hosts and guests share home cooked food while playing their roles as hosts and guests. The family living space is transformed into a place for performance.

Concept, Design, and Direction: Yoshiko Chuma

Creative Producer: Ryuji Yamaguchi

Video Director: Sarah Kaskas

Artists: Hiromu Motonaga, Rie Ono, Ryuji Yamaguchi, Shireen Abukhader, Sizzle Ohtaka, Yoshiko Chuma

Supported by: Japan Foundation, King's Academy, Midan - Amman Dance Lab, GOH Productions

The School Of Hard Knocks: Video

Hold the Clock: Jordan (2010)

Presented by: Amman Contemporary Dance Festival

Concept, Design, and Direction: Yoshiko Chuma

Producer: Ryuji Yamaguchi and Midan: Amman Dance Lab

Artists:   Hiroki Ohishi, Jana Zeineddine,  Kotaro Inoue,  Noora Baker, Riyad Ghallab, Ryuji Yamaguchi, Sami Khoury, Sharaf Darzaid, Tatsuya Sano, Yoshiko Chuma, Yousef Kawar, Yuko Mitsuishi, Yuya Onishi, performers from National Center of Culture and Arts and King’s Academy 

Supported by: National Center for Culture and Arts, King's Academy, Midan - Amman Dance Lab, GOH Productions

The School Of Hard Knocks: Video

Midan: Gathering Space (2012)

Expanding on Living Room Project (2009), performers visit larger gathering spaces to interact with the audience in a site-specific performance. 7 different locations were covered including Al Balad Theater.

Concept and Design: Yoshiko Chuma

Creative Producer: Ryuji Yamaguchi

Artists: Kotarou Inoue, Junpei Katsumi, Yuko Mitsuishi, Ryuji Yamaguchi, Sizzle Ohtaka, Yoshiko Chuma, Ban Majali, Noora Baker, Laila Boukhari, Yuya Onishi, Saeko Baba, Matsunori Ushida, Rie Ono, Hugh Burkhardt, Mohammad Amin, Rand Abdul Nour, Bonnie Sue Stein, Waleed Laham

Collaborating organizations: King's Academy, Al Balad Theater, Hamzet Wasel, National Center fo Culture and Arts, Ruwwad, Embassy of Japan in Jordan, El Funoun Dance Troupe

Supported by: Japan Foundation, ROOT CULTURE, King's Academy, Midan-Amman Dance Lab, GOH Productions

Gathering Space Email Flyer 2.jpg
The School Of Hard Knocks: About

6 Seconds in Ramallah (2011)

Presented by Amman Contemporary Dance Festival and Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festival

Concept, Design, and Direction:: Yoshiko Chuma

Assistant Directors: Noora Baker, Ryuji Yamaguchi

Supported by: Japan Foundation, Mid-Atlantic Fund, Root Culture, El-Funoun Dance Troupe, King's Academy, Midan - Amman Dance Lab, GOH Productions

The School Of Hard Knocks: Video

Documentation #2 and #3

Presented at Royal Film Commission (Jordan) and The A.M. Qattan Foundation (Palestine)
Concept, Design, and Direction by Yoshiko Chuma
Artists: Ryuji Yamaguchi, Miriam Parker, Yoshiko Chuma, Sari Husseini, Anas Abuoun
Supported by: The A.M. Qattan Foundation, ROOT CULTURE, King's Academy, Midan - Amman Dance Lab, GOH Productions

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The School Of Hard Knocks: About

Love Story, Palestine (2012)

Presented at La MaMa ETC (New York)

Concept, Design, and Direction: Yoshiko Chuma

Featuring members of El-Funoun Dance Troupe of Palestine: Anas Abu Oun, Sari Husseini

Dance by: Miriam Parker, Saori Tsukada, Tatyana Tenenbaum, Ryuji Yamaguchi, Yoshiko Chuma

Music by: Aska Kaneko, Robert Black, Sizzle Ohtaka

'Dabke' Choreography by El-Funoun Dance Troupe

Pianists: Matthew Shipp, Senri Oe, Kathleen Supove, Dave Malloy, Anthony Coleman

Supported by: New York State Council for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts

In association with: ROOT CULTURE, Midan-Amman Dance Lab, GOH Productions

The School Of Hard Knocks: Video

Documentation: π=3.14....

Presented by KEN (Tokyo, Japan)

Concept and Direction: Yoshiko Chuma

Featured Performer: Noora Baker of El-Funoun Dance Troupe

Artists: Koichi Makigami, Ryuji Yamaguchi, Nobuko Higuchi, Yuko Mitsuishi, Sizzle Ohtaka, Hiroki Ohishi

Supported by: ROOT CULTURE, Tailuck, Midan: Amman Dance Lab, GOH Productions

The School Of Hard Knocks: About

My Diary: Secret Journey to Amman (2020)

Twenty chapters  cross over within the frame of one hour. Musicians, dancers, and film editors interact, but not directly—a parallel to incidents of sound, text and action, and a metaphor for endless continuous circles of life that fluctuate between utopia and war. While observing, the audience will perceive the results of war: tipping utopia.

Presented by: Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, King’s Academy

Concept Design, Installation, and Direction: Yoshiko Chuma and Ryuji Yamaguchi

Film editors: Agnė Auželytė, Majd Manaa, Ursula Marlee H. Marcussen

Music Soundtrack: Jason Kao Hwang

 Dance Artists: Adam Wawi, Alaeddin Rahmeh, Anas AlQatawe, Duanduan Lin, Emran Al-Amareen, Hala AlDur, Hanae Yoshida, Haneen Shraim, Mahmoud Shraim, Mera Diab, Noor AlJamal, Raneem Nahhas, Ryuji Yamaguchi, Salleh Belagon, Teera AlTal, Valeria Dimitrova, Yanlin Li, Yiran Zhao, Zaid AlJamal, Ziqi Yu

Stage Managers: Khalid Siraj, Taha Noui Mehidi, Yiran Zhao

Assistant to Stage Managers: Zaid AlZoubi

Pianist: Hani Alkarrain

Assistant to Director: Emran AlAmareen 

PR & Communication Director: Ruba Hattar

Supported by: King’s Academy, Midan—Amman Dance Lab,

The School Of Hard Knocks: Video
The School Of Hard Knocks: Text
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