LES BLANK††is a prize winning independfe3nt filmmakert,
best known for a series of poetic films that John Rockwell, wiring in the New York Times, said, "Blank is a documentarian
of folk cultures who transforms anthropology into art."
in 1935 in Tampa, Florida, Les Blank attended Tulane University in New Orleans.
In 1967 he began his first independent films, on Texas blues singer Lightnin'
Hopkins (The Blues Accordin' to Lightnin' Hopkins) which began a series of
intimate glimpses into the lives and music of passionate people who live at the
periphery of American society.
retrospectives of Les Blank's films have been mounted in Los Angeles at FILMEX
in 1977; the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in 1978 and 1984; New York's
Museum of Modern Art in 1979; the National Film Theatre, London, 1982; In 1986,
National Public Radio aired a half-hour special on Les Blank's work and in 1991
CNN aired a special on him worldwide.† In 1990, Les Blank received the
American Film Institute's Maya Deren Award for outstanding lifetime achievement
as an independent filmmaker.
1973 and 1994 Blank toured extensively with the sponsorship of the United
States Information Agency, screening his films and discussing them with
audiences throughout Latin America, China, Europe, East Europe, and Egypt.
2000 Somi organized a retrospective of Blank’s films that was the curatorial
focus of 2 film conferences in Jakarta and Yogyajakarta.
YOSHIKO CHUMA†, a native of Japan,†moved to the United States in
has created more than 40 full-length performance works for both theatres and
is the recipient of several fellowships and awards for choreography and career
work from:† John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, NEA, New York Foundation for
Artists, Japan Foundation, Meet the Composer Choreographer/Composer Commission,
Philip Morris New Works.†
has led workshops and master classes in East and West Europe, Asia, Russia and
the U.S.†† She received a 1984 BESSIE award for choreography and creation.†
1980, she has been Artistic Director of The School of Hard Knocks based in New
York, and served as Artistic Director of the Daghdha Dance Company in Limerick,
Ireland from 2000-2003.†
selection of recent works include: Game/Play (2004), 7 x 7 x 7 (2004), YELLOW
ROOM (2003), Tunnel (2002); Agitprops: The Recycling Project (2002); 10,000
Steps (2002);† PI = 3.14 (2002), Solos with a Phonograph (2001), In-Gear
(2001), Reverse Psychology (2000-2), Footprints of War (1999-00), The Living
Room Project (1996-†† ), Unfinished Symphony (1998), Crash Orchestra
(1995), Three Stories (1995), and Jo Ha Kyu (1993).
who have collaborated with Yoshiko Chuma include: Christian Marclay (Five Car
Pile-Up), Alex Katz (Eager Witness), Elizabeth Murray (A boy, a beer, and a
blonde), Yvonne Jacquette and Nona Hendryx (The Big Picture), Lenny Pickett
(Human Voice), Tan Dun (Nine Songs, Jo Ha Kyu), Mark Bennett, Robert Een, Aska
Kaneko (Unfinished Symphony) and (Nagoya Suite) (in Japan).
School of Hard Knocks" was the title of the company's first production, a
collaboration between Yoshiko Chuma (dance), Jacob†Burckhardt (film) and
Alvin Curran (music) presented at the 1980 Venice Biennale.
ZETTE EMMONS††is the
Manager of Traveling Exhibitions at the Newark Museum in New Jersey, just
outside New York City, which is known for its collection of Tibetan and South
was the Project Coordinator for Golden Eye: An International Tribute to the
Artisans of India at the Smithsonian Institution's Cooper-Hewitt National
Museum of Design for the Festival of India in 1985. She has also worked at the
Museum of Modern Art and Lincoln Center.†
worked in collaboration with L. Somi Roy on numerous film programs in the
1990s, including a traveling program of films on Tibet which circulated around
the U.S. in 1992.
first went to India on a grant from the University of California, Berkeley,
where she documented ephemeral folk art under the auspices of the All India
Handicrafts Board as part of a thesis project.