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Michio Ito (1893-1961)

by Mary Jean Cowell

Overview

Of the pioneers in what became “modern dance,” Michio Ito was the most daring and arguably the most versatile.  He left his native Japan as a teenager topursue an artistic career in music in Europe.  Inspired by Isadora Duncan (1877-1927) and Vaslav Nijinsky (1890-1950) and by study at the Dalcroze Institute, he changed his focus to dance, launching his professional career in London.   The growing disruptions of World War I and the offer of a contract from a famous American producer brought Ito to New York.   Here he began a career as a dancer-choreographer, a teacher, a stage director, a designer of costumes, lights, sets and posters, a film actor and consultant.   From 1916 to 1941 he became recognized, along with Martha Graham (1894-1991), Doris Humphrey (1895-1958), and Charles Weidman (1901-1975) as a prominent figure in the emerging world of an American art dance distinct from ballet.  Ito began teaching his own method of dance training in 1919, well before the development of the Graham and Humphrey-Weidman techniques.  He and his company performed his choreography—often very short works he described as “dance poems”—to music by composers such as Chopin, Schumann, Debussy, Yamada, Scott, and American composer Charles Griffes. His themes and movements sometimes evoked “the Orient,” especially in his early years, but he was essentially a modern artist.  His dancing, choreography and teaching method embodied a contemporary, individual vision of dance rather than a collectively formed traditional or classical mode of expression.  After his relocation to California in 1929, large ensemble works choreographed for the Hollywood Bowl and the Rose Bowl also reflected Ito’s personal aesthetic.  The racism of the era sometimes affected perception of Ito’s work as well as his job opportunities and his personal life, yet he consistently asserted the potential of dance, and of art in general, to promote balance and harmony in the individual, in society, and in international relations.

Artistic Development

A cosmopolitan and exploratory outlook was important in Ito’s life from his early years.  Born in Tokyo in 1893, he was the oldest surviving son in an affluent family with strong interests in the West and in things modern as well as in traditional Japanese arts. Perhaps because his father had studied architecture in the United States, Michio was allowed to pursue his dream of becoming an opera singer rather than entering Tokyo Imperial University (the original family plan).  Beginning early in 1912, he studied music, including opera, at the Tokyo Academy of Music and had private lessons in classical Japanese dance (nihon buyo) from Kichitoyo Wakayagi for about ten months.  In November of the same year, the 18-year-old Ito set sail for Marseilles.  He went directly to Paris, the dream city of every Japanese interested in the arts, a city linked to a romantic image of a community of young artists engaged in new visions and a Bohemian life style.  After a few days as a tourist in Paris, he traveled to Berlin to stay with a brother-in-law in the diplomatic service.  However, his brief time in Paris was pivotal since, by his own account, he was deeply disappointed in the opera he saw there. He had looked forward to seeing glorious productions of operas like Carmen and Faust, but he discovered that, for the Western audience of the era, opera was primarily a musical event.  He was dismayed by how poorly the opera singers moved and acted.  In Germany he continued to muse on the purpose of art and its connection to life, visiting museums and living in the home of an actress to study German.  He visited museums and found the Egyptian art so impressive that he later claimed that he had visited Egypt and discovered there, with the help of a venerable professor, the meaning of art and life.  Family records indicate that Ito never traveled to Egypt—or India or China as he sometimes asserted.  Yet the influence of Egyptian art left occasional traces in his dances and in his costume designs.

Even from his childhood, the boundary between dream and reality was tenuous for Ito.  His family early noticed his gift for elaborating experiences with elements of fantasy that made the reality more dramatic.   Michio carried this trait with him throughout his life, giving interviews and writing copious essays in which he created entrancing versions of real events mixed with his dreams and his utopian ideals for art and life.  His commitment to his ideals and dreams was genuine, consistent, and fervent despite the fabrications that sometimes surrounded them.

An authentic turning point in Michio’s artistic development occurred when he saw a 1913 production of Gluck’s opera Orpheus at the Dalcroze Institute in Hellerau.  Here he saw music, movement, narrative and the innovative lighting of Adolphe Appia combined in a fresh and exciting way.  Shortly thereafter he entered the Dalcroze Institute as the first Asian among students from some eighteen countries.  Emile Jaques-Dalcroze (1865-1950), composer and pianist, had developed a system of training correlating movement with the rhythmic and melodic structure of the accompanying music.  Although originally designed for musicians, the training attracted aspiring dancers like Mary Wigman (1886-1973) who were interested in creating a new dance art distinct from ballet.  Ito’s year at the Dalcroze Institute and his earlier, brief study of classical Japanese dance seem to be his only pre-professional movement training.

In Berlin, Ito saw performances by Isadora Duncanand the Ballets Russes, with Anna Pavlova and Vaslav Nijinsky, further inspiration directing him toward a career in dance. The influence of Duncan’s “natural movement” style is apparent in some of Ito’s choreography.  However, the Dalcroze emphasis on integration of movement with musical rhythm is highly important in the technique that Ito developed.

With the outbreak of war in 1914, many foreign nationals had to leave Germany and France immediately.   Ito fled to London.   His father had originally given him permission and financial support for study abroad four years.  Now, however, he called his son home.  Having decided to become a dancer, Ito declared that he wanted to remain abroad and would support himself.  He rapidly found himself enduring the impoverished Bohemian life style that had once seemed romantic.  He pawned most of his clothes and, since he spoke almost no English, was considering looking for some form of manual labor to survive.

However, he continued to frequent the Café Royal where he could speak German or French with some of the artists and intellectuals who gathered there.  Other Japanese expatriates or English acquaintances would buy him a drink.   An artist friend took Ito with him to a party hosted by the socialite and art patron Lady Ottoline Morrell.  After dancing at her home, he received other invitations to perform at private parties where he met English patrons, socialites, politicians, and artists who recognized him as a unique young dancer-choreographer.  In 1915 he made his public debut in “harmonized Europe-Japanese Dances” at the London Coliseum and was well-reviewed.

Lady Ottoline also introduced Ito to playwrights Bernard Shaw and William Butler Yeats.   Yeats and fellow poet Ezra Pound were interested in Japanese literature and theatre, in particular the classical noh theatre.  While Ito had never studied noh, he had seen it many times with an uncle who loved it.  (Michio confessed he originally detested noh, although he did like the flamboyant kabuki theatre.)  Based on descriptions and attempts by Ito and Japanese friends to demonstrate noh movement and singing, Yeats wrote At the Hawk’s Well, one of four short poetic dramas that he described as “plays for dancers.”  Ito danced the title role and collaborated with painter Edmund Dulac on the Hawk’s costume.  Michio’s interest in Egyptian art is especially obvious in the headpiece.   The April 1916 production of Hawk’s Well was presented for an elite audience in a private mansion, but Ito’s reputation and public bookings continued to grow.  The serious interest in Japanese culture shown by some English artists and intellectuals impressed Ito and led him to a deeper understanding of his own heritage and of how it could relate to modern Western forms of art.

Career in America

In 1916, American producer Oliver Morosco offered Ito a contract to perform in New York.  Yeats urged Ito to accept this opportunity to forward his career and to escape the increasing turmoil of World War I.  When Ito and Morosco began working together in New York, Michio soon discovered that the musical comedies and plays he was expected to appear in were not in keeping with his goals as an artist.  He negotiated the dissolution of his contract, leaving him free to pursue his own visions.  This meant, however, that he led the financially precarious life of a free-lance artist.  He toured in 1917 with Adolph Bolm’s (1884-1951) Ballet Intime, a company that included a number of artists who performed “oriental” work.  He sometimes appeared in commercially successful productions like the Pinwheel Revel, for which he was director, scenic designer and choreographer as well as dancer.Nor was he the only evolving young dance artiste who survived on this kind of work, in part.  Michio and Martha Graham danced together on Broadway in the Greenwich Village Follies (1923-1925).  (Deborah Jowitt, Time and the Dancing Image, 215)

From 1916 to 1929 Ito developed a career based in New York City.  He gave dance recitals, worked on small-scale theatrical productions with groups like the Washington Square Players and on more elaborate stagings of operas and operettas.  Depending upon the event, Michio was performer, choreographer, director, designer of sets, lights and costumes, or some combination of these roles.  Some of these productions, like Bushido, Madame Butterfly, and The Mikado, were based on Japanese scripts or themes. 

In his early years in the United States, many of Ito’s dances had Japanese or “Oriental” titles:  for example, Pair of Fans, Shojo, Sakura-Sakura, Song of India, Siamese Dance. “Orientalia” was popular in theatre, film, interior design, and certainly dance, in which Ruth St. Denis (1879-1968) was probably the most famous “Oriental” dancer in America.  Ito, being Japanese, was expected or assumed to be more authentic, but he used the Asian forms simply as a creative springboard for choreography to music that was most often written by Western composers.  Asian audience members familiar with traditional dance forms sometimes criticized Ito for his lack of authenticity.  But he never claimed to be presenting the classical styles, stating,  “I do not dance the legendary dances of my country as they are originally done in the East.” (Musical America, 12/8/17)  Michio insisted:  “In my dancing, it is my desire to bring together the East and the West.  My dancing is not Japanese.  It is not anything—only myself.”  (New York Tribune, 8/19/17)

By the time that Ito arrived in the United States in 1916, he had a clear vision of what art should be and how it could benefit the individual and society. Elements of both Eastern and Western culture must coalesce to form the most perfect art because,  “The East has the perfect spiritual understanding of Art; the West, the perfect material.”  (Shadowland, November, 1919)  He saw the ideal art as a balanced combination of the spiritual and material, of idea and tangible expression.  Ito, then, was not thinking simply of a pastiche of specific movement vocabulary (“steps”) assembled from various Eastern and Western genres but of something more deeply and abstractly integrated.   In En Bateau (1929), an ensemble work to music by Debussy, Ito combines buoyant skipping and running with a few movements abstracted from classical Japanese dance and with other flowing movements.   Blue costumes (designed by Ito) vaguely evoke the kimono silhouette, but the color and full sleeves combine with the movement and music to support the wave theme of the dance.

Ito’s approach to choreography resembled much early modern dance in its emphasis on connecting choreographic structure to musical rhythm and form and on using a motivating idea or emotion to determine specific movement choices.  He was clearly part of the 1920s emerging world of a new American dance art distinct not only from ballet but also from Duncan’s “natural” style with its Greek tunic reference to classical European culture.  He taught in a Carnegie Hall studio and at the New York Denishawn School and danced in some of the same productions as Martha Graham and Charles Weidman, including the “orchestral dramas” staged by Irene Lewisohn in 1928.  Throughout the 1920’s, reviews of Ito’s work were generally very positive and treated him as a peer of Doris Humphrey, Weidman, Graham, and other young Americans seen as innovative dancers.  His company often performed in the same small theatres (available to dancers only on Sunday nights) used by the other “pioneers.”  The number of dances with “Orientalia” titles on his concerts gradually diminished, although these works remained popular with his audiences. That his choreography had moved toward a more abstract, less ethnically colored mode of expression is clear from this 1928 review:  “. . .the Sunday-night recitals persist, in some cases, in offering to the public sheer, gay, or tragic, exquisite beauty of movement, ranging from that dancing which verges on pantomime—as in the work of Angna Enters, Agnes DeMille, Charles Weidman, and less inevitably, Martha Graham—to pure dance design as with Michio Ito and Doris Humphrey.”  (Ruth Pickering, The Nation, 11/2/28)

Teaching and Technique

Ito had begun teaching his own classes in 1919, well before Grahamleft the Denishawn company and began developing a personal technique.  He felt that dance would benefit everyone because it created a mind-body balance, an integration now associated with somatic practices like yoga and Alexander technique.  In a brochure for his school, Michio describes his classes as embracing “the ballet, which trains the legs; acrobatic dancing, which trains the body; Oriental dancing, which trains the arms; and Dalcroze Eurhythmics, which develops the brain control of all three.”  (Keyes Porter, 33)  However, none of those who studied with Ito left any descriptions of “acrobatic dancing” as we think of it today.  I assume that that the “acrobatic dancing” was the era’s rhythmic gymnastics, skipping, prancing, and leaping reminiscent of the Duncan style, and other non-balletic stretching and strengthening exercises. There is nothing “Oriental” in form about the twenty arm gestures and their variations that are the distinctive core of his training method.  Perhaps Ito described them this way because arm movements different from ballet were often associated with “Oriental” dance and because he, a genuine Asian, would be expected to have gestures reflecting his heritage.  The “brain control” developed by Ito’s adaptation of Dalcroze Eurhythmics results from rigorous attention to following musical form in the gesture exercises and in the coordination challenges involved.  Significantly, the gesture exercises are less cerebral than “brain control” suggests because they emphasize specific integration of breathing with the movements, encouraging an awareness in the dancer that resonates with the current interest in making dance training more somatic.  The Ito method also teaches a particular style of walking with the gesture work but does not include a vocabulary of steps for legs and feet.   Choreographic vocabulary is not confined to gestural variations and the Ito walking forms but varies widely with the theme of the dance.

Ito’s philosophy of teaching was certainly modern in his stress on the importance of individuality in content and expressive style.  In 1926 he wrote:  “When the technique of any art form is mastered it is possible to express the inner life.  Everyone has his own individual feeing and mode of expression therefore the dance should be a creation not an imitation.  There is no individual expression in imitation.  The true teacher asserts, advises, inspires, and it is only in this manner that the real self of the dancer may be revealed.”  (School brochure, 1926.)             

As pre-professional training, Ito’s approach is modernist in that it supports his individual aesthetic and helps other dancers prepare to dance in his style.  However, it is transitional pedagogy:  the eclectic nature of its elements resembles Denishawn training, and it is not as comprehensive an embodiment of personal style as the Graham and Humphrey-Weidman techniques.   On the other hand, the Ito method allows for contemporary forms of movement training to be substituted for the “acrobatic dancing” element, and its inclusion of basic balletic vocabulary has come to be typical of many modern and jazz classes.  These aspects, together with its focus on integrated breathing, make Ito’s technique valuable for the contemporary dancer, whether professional or amateur.  In particular, the systematic attention to breath demands being “in the moment” and thus develops presence in the dancer.

Ito’s technique and choreography survive both in Japan and in the United States.  Members of the Tokyo Michio Ito Doomonkai organization maintain classes and about twenty-eight dances, giving occasional concerts and lecture demonstrations.  The Utah Repertory Dance Company has some fifteenworks by Ito in its repertory and teaches the Ito gesture method regularly.  Faculty at DeSales University and Washington University in St. Louis also teach the method and some of the choreography.

Ito in California

In 1929 Ito took his company to California for a tour and, shortly thereafter, relocated permanently in the vicinity of Los Angeles.  There Lester Horton (1906-1953) became his student and performed the title role in Ito’s 1929production of At the Hawk’s Well. In California, Michio’s company consisted of white, Asian, and Hispanic dancers and undoubtedly would have included any talented African-Americans who chose to study with him.  He continued to be outspoken about the role of art in bringing together East and West (as commonly conceived in his era) and in fostering the international brotherhood of man. 

While Ito was warmly received by Californians with similar interests in the arts and utopian ideals, he encountered much more anti-Asian racism on the West Coast.  Miscegenation laws would have made it impossible for him to marry his first wife, Hazel Wright, in California, and his opportunities to work in six Hollywood films were usually related to his Japanese heritage.  He was the choreographer of a “Japanese” dance interlude for No, No Nanette (1930), a consultant on Madame Butterfly (1932), an actor playing villainous Asians in two films (Dawn of the East [192], and Booloo [1938]).  His most prestigious film work was for Spawn of the North (1938), an important action film starring Henry Fonda and George Raft.  On screen in his role as “Native Chief-dancer,” Ito also choreographed an extensive salmon run ritual for this film.  (Hollywood films of the era typically cast Asians in supporting roles as Mexicans, Native Americans and as a variety of “Orientals” and “primitives.”  Leading roles were played by white actors made up to be Chinese, Indian, etc.)  Final editing of the film left out most of Ito’s work, giving preference to shot-in-Alaska footage of fishing craft and collapsing glaciers, a choice that earned Academy Awards for photographic and sound effects.  Only his choreography for The Sunset Murder Case (1938) reflected Ito’s personal aesthetic and made significant use of the kind of movement vocabulary in his concert work.   Ito was hired to work on this generally awful crime film at the insistence of its star, Sally Rand.  Famous for her titillating fan dance, Rand had studied with Ito, admired his work, and was attempting to reclaim her 1920s status as a legitimate film actress.

Apart from his film work, Ito’s life in California was much like that during his New York years.  He supported himself and his family, which now included two sons by Hazel, Donald and Jerry, by teaching and presenting concerts.   However, he rapidly became a well-known dance artist through his large scale choreography for outdoor venues such as the Pasadena Rose Bowl and the Hollywood Bowl. Here he used casts of up to two hundred dancers in non-narrative interpretations of symphonic music, works like Dvorak’s New World Symphony, Strauss’s Blue Danube Waltz, and excerpts form Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite and Borodin’s Prince Igor.  Michio met the challenges of presenting dance in a huge setting designed for an orchestra and an audience of up to twenty thousand by using the space in unconventional ways, by costuming the dancers in brightly colored and somewhat bulky costumes (to make them more visible), and by innovative lighting.   In an exception to his ensemble choreography for such venues, Ito performed in the Rose Bowl a signature solo work, Shadow Dance (Pizzicati), with flood lights casting his enormous shadow on a forty-foot-tall gold screen.  The ecstatic audience demanded an immediate encore.

Return to Japan and Wartime Struggles

In 1931 Ito returned to Japan for the first time in twenty years, taking his family and a company of twelve accomplished dancers, including himself and his wife Hazel.  He received an enthusiastic welcome from the public, as few Japanese artists had achieved such international recognition. Michio’s company also toured the West Coast occasionally during the 1930s and went to Mexico in 1934.  Ito was less than ideal as a husband and father, which led to the breakup of his marriage in 1936.  He returned to Japan with his second wife, Tsuyako, in 1939 for his parents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary and mounted an “Ito Concert” as part of the celebration.  This event included dances by himself and his sister-in-law Teiko and a new production of At the Hawk’s Well, performed and designed by five of his brothers, Teiko, and himself.

At the same time Ito began informal peacemaking efforts with friends and relatives in influential positions.  War between Japan and the United States seemed more and more likely after Japan invaded Manchuria and began exploiting other Asian nations for their natural resources.  Although immigration laws of the time made Ito ineligible to apply for citizenship, he was loyal to the United States and concerned for the welfare of his family, especially for his half-Japanese sons.  Other peace-making trips that he made to Japan from 1939 through 1941 and a neighbor’s report that he was an agent of the Japanese government brought Ito under surveillance by the FBI.  He was suspected of being a spy, although his tendency to fabricate stories, his poor management of money, and his extra-marital romantic liaisons should have made it obvious that any government would regard him as unsuited to conduct reliable espionage.    

Within hours after the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941, Ito was arrested and imprisoned as an enemy agent.  He was interrogated, declared likely to be a spy, but was never formally charged.  He was not permitted to join Tsuyako, in a family internment camp, and so opted to return to Japan in a 1943 prisoner exchange.  This effectively ended his career in the United States, and he became “the forgotten pioneer of American modern dance.”  Back in a Tokyo largely reduced to rubble, Ito soon opened a studio in rented space and began teaching his technique and repertoire.  Air raids destroyed the building where he first taught, but he continued classes in the home of a friend.  However, his work in post-war Japan began with his appointment as head choreographer for the main American Occupation theatre venue, a clear indication that all doubts about his loyalty had ended.  From 1945 Ito’s versatile career in Japan included his own dance studio and concerts of his choreography by students, work as director or choreographer for a variety of theatrical productions, and founding of the first training school in Japan for fashion models.   He was already developing plans related to his appointment as head choreographer for the Tokyo Olympics of 1964 when he died suddenly in 1961.  Despite the injustice and hardships he experienced, Ito remained an idealist about art and the brotherhood of man to the end of his life.  One of his visions for the Tokyo Olympics closing ceremony was a circle dance performed to Japanese work songs withboth winners and losers from all countries participating.  It wouldn’t matter, he said, if the participants were awkward because the spirit of harmony would be wonderful.  


NOTE

Most of the autobiographical information in the essay below is from or has been verified with the information in Koreya Senda’s “Atogaki,” a lengthy postscript that this younger brother of Michio wrote for the Japanese translation of Helen Caldwell’s biography.  Using family records, Senda corrected misinformation that appears in many English sources, fabrications that Michio shared in many interviews and program notes.


 

Mary-Jean Cowell, Coordinator of the Dance Program at Washington University in St. Louis, trained in NYC with Merce Cunningham, Alwin Nikolais, and Paul Sanasardo, among others. She performed with the Katherine Litz Company and in her own work, produced by several New Choreographers Showcases.  Satoru Shimzaki introduced her to the technique and repertory of Michio Ito.  After studying the Ito work in Japan, she has been teaching the course "Contemporary Dance and the Michio Ito Method," giving master classes, lecturing during residencies and at conferences, publishing articles--all in an effort to make this unique dancer better known.

 

Select Resources for Further Research

Books & Articles

Caldwell, Helen. Michio Ito: The Dancer and His Dances. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977.

Cowell, Mary-Jean, and Shimazaki, Satoru.  “East and West in the Work of Michio Ito.” Dance Research Journal 26/2, (Fall 1994).

Cowell, Mary-Jean.  “Michio Ito in Hollywood: Modes and Ironies of Ethnicity.”  Dance Chronicle 24/3, 2001.

Fujita, Fujio.  Ito Michio:  sekai o mau.  Tokyo: Musashino Shobo: 1992.

Gray, Madeleine.  “Eastern Art Spiritual, Western Art Material, Says

Michio Itow.” Musical America 27/6 (December 8, 1917).

Ito, Michio.  “Michio Itow’s School” (brochure), 1926.  The New York Public Library, Astor Lenox and Tilden Foundations.

Jowitt, Deborah.  “In Thrall to Meaning.” Village Voice, October 15, 1979.

Jowitt, Deborah.  Time and the Dancing Image.  Berkeley and Los Angeles:  University of California Press, 1989.

Kisselgoff, Anna.  “Dance:  Michio Ito Salute.” New York Times, October 4, 1979. 

Kisselgoff, Anna.  “Michio Ito, An All-But Forgotten Pioneer on American Modern Dance.” New York Times, February 26, 1978.

Koner, Pauline.  “With Michio Ito.” In Solitary Song.  Durham and London:  Duke University Press, 1989.

Pickering, Ruth.  “The Dance:  Doris Humphrey and Others.” The Nation 127/3308 (November 2, 1928).

Porter, Keyes.  “As an Oriental Looks at Art.” The Dance, January, 1926.

Preston, Carrie J.  “Michio Ito’s Shadow:  Searching for the Transnational in Solo Dance.” In On Stage Alone: Soloists and the Modern Dance Canon, edited by Claudia Gitelman and Barbara Palfy.  Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2012

Prevots, Naima.  “Michio Ito:  The Eye of the Mind.” In Dancing in the Sun:  Hollywood Choreographers 1915-1937.  Ann Arbor: U.M.I. Research Press,  1987.

Senda, Koreya.  “Atogaki—yume to genjitsu.” In Helen Caldwell, Ito Michio:  Hito to Geijutsu, trans. Einosuke Nakagawa.  Tokyo:  Hayakawa Publishing, Inc., 1985.

Sherwood, C. Blythe.  “A Dream of Dreams,” Shadowland, November, 1919.

Takeishi, Midori, edited and revised by David Pacun. Japanese Elements in Michio Ito’s Early Period (1915-1924): Meetings of East and West in the Collaborative Works. Tokyo: Gendaitosho, 2006.

Underhill, Harriette.  “Michio Itow,” New York Tribune, August 19, 1917.

Wong, Yutian, “Artistic Utopias:  Michio Ito and the Trope of the International.“ In Susan Leigh Foster, ed., Worlding Dance. Basingstoke, U.K.: Palgrave MacMillan, 2009. 

Online Resources

Michio Ito Foundation

The Official Website of Michio Ito, the Dancer and Choreographer

http://www.michioito.org

Michio Ito Documentary

RDT  https://vimeo.com/82415891

Michio Ito: Pioneering Dance-Choreographer TRAILER

John Flynn  https://vimeo.com/53273665; also currently posted on Youtube.

Amerika ni yume o utta otoko:  Michio Ito

Five excerpts from this Japanese television documentary are currently posted on YouTube by nukonhyan as Michio Ito 3, 5, 6, 7 or simply Michio Ito.  Michio Ito 5 includes brief footage of Ito performing in Booloo, a 1938 Paramount film.  This seems to be the only surviving footage of Ito dancing.

The Dances of Michio Ito (2007), a film produced by the Chamber Dance Company, is not available online but may be purchased from the University of Washington: Contact Hannah Wiley, hcw@u.washington.edu. The film includes performances of Ito repertoire reconstructed by Taeko Furusho. (Taped in 2001 at the Meany Theatre and the Meany Studio Theatre, University of Washington.)

Archives

The largest archive of Michio Ito material is at Waseda University, Tokyo, in the Theater Museum at the Tsubouchi Shoyo Memorial Library. Most materials are in Japanese. Other archival material in English is in the Jerome Robbins Dance Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (http://catalog.nypl.org/) and in the private collection of Ito’s granddaughter, Michele Ito.