30 Questions Evoked by GRUNT Chicago Festival: a response by Alexander James Yukio Hayashi

GRUNT Chicago Festival

Fri, Apr 12, 7:00pm at Links Hall *

aMoratorium Director: J’Sun HowardCollaborators: Solomon Bowser & Dedrick “D.Banks” Gray (just Dedrick performed when I saw it) Sounds: Julius Eastman

Felt and Flannel Choreography/Performance: Molly Hess
Sound: Etta James & Harry James
Costumes: Molly Hess
Six of One Choreography/Performance: Ashley Chung, Larisa Eastman, Anne Kasdorf, Leah Raffanti
Sound: Shelly Steffens
Costumes: Amanda Franck
Lighting Design/Stage Management: Celia Calder
Festival Production: Ashley Fargnoli, J’Sun Howard, Anne Kasdorf
The following are 30 questions evoked by GRUNT Chicago Festival:
  1. How does painting composition relate to dance making?
  2. How can movement re-establish the geometry of a space?
  3. How can the geometry of a space impart meaning back to a piece?
  4. What references does the use of everyday clothes in the context of performance imply?
  5. Can anyone ever take on another’s identity?
  6. Are aspects of identity are performative?
  7. How does clothing shape the perception of identity?
  8. What are the complexities of kinship?
  9. How can movement be categorized by its relationship to the floor?
  10. How does the intimacy of lifting one another drive a feeling of connection in a work?
  11. Could this be achieved with a single person?
  12. How do you create a dialogue between different schools of movement?
  13. How can multiple bodies act as a single entity?
  14. How can different materials enable kinds of movement not possible without them?
  15. Where is the room for lightheartedness in performances?
  16. What are the meanings associated with different textiles?
  17. How can a performance be more about the audience than the performer?
  18. How can a performance be therapeutic for the audience?
  19. How does audience participation challenge traditional norms of performance?
  20. Why have activities deemed as “crafts” been typically devalued in the art world?
  21. What is required to restore “crafts” as something with meaning?
  22. Why do certain kinds of artificial sounds evoke feelings of unease and fear in humans?
  23. How does unease heighten the senses?
  24. How can garments be used to alter movement?
  25. How does the repetition of movement create discomfort?
  26. What are the implicit meanings associated with white clothing?
  27. What are the forms of unconscious connection between individuals?
  28. How does the the entry of new dancers to the piece create a narrative?
  29. How does ambiguity drive interest?
  30. What are the benefits of with holding closure in a performance? 


Alexander James Yukio Hayashi is a Japanese American dancer whose movements stem from a foundation in Breaking and Hip-Hop culture. His practice is one of balance, traveling back and forth between tradition and experimentation. With a deep focus on improvisation, Alexander explores how the values of his foundation can expand outside of their original context to add to the breadth and depth of contemporary dance making. Working across contexts, from the cypher to the theater, his earnest investigation of the personal, collective, and political implications of motion serves as a driving force in his creative process.

(*) PRJ is partnering with Links Hall to celebrate their 40th anniversary by providing a platform for artist-to-artist responses to the work that is presented as part of the Pay-the-40th-Forward season. Thank you, Links Hall, for all that you do for the dance and performance communities in Chicago. Congratulations on 40 years!