For the latest in our Talking Human series, Hook Research spoke to dancer and choreographer Yukiko Masui about her latest dance piece It Takes Two Too, in which she pushes the boundaries of gender in dance in order to better illuminate the limits she witnesses within society as a whole.
How can dance make us think about traditional gender roles, communication, and popular TV programming? Take a look at the video and find out!
Challenging the rules of Strictly Come Dancing
“My name is Yukiko Masui, and I’m a dancer and choreographer. I created a project called It Takes Two Too which explores gender roles, and we’re exploring that through Latin dance.
Strictly Come Dancing is a TV programme about ballroom and Latin dance. Latin dance has such strict rules of males leading female dancers. So I wanted to do a piece that deconstructed the rules of males leading females. Also, guys can dance together within the pair dance structure – or females can dance together.”
Pushing the boundaries of gender in dance
“I think it’s always questioning what we have now in arts or society. That’s what I wanted to explore: to see more possibilities in the current society and the future through dance.
What I like about dance is that it’s open for interpretation. It’s more like physical empathy or emotional connection without words.”
Becoming comfortable with our bodies again
“I feel like we’ve forgotten how to be in our bodies.
We rely on verbal communication – but actually, while I’m speaking I’m moving my hands or fidgeting. It means a lot without you noticing, and that’s what I like about dance: it speaks on a sub-conscious level, almost.”