Akiko: Portrait of a Dancer


Release Date: January 1, 1985

Original name: AKIKO あるダンサーの肖像

Status: Released

Running time: 1h 47m

Akiko: Portrait of a Dancer

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“I have three tasks in my life: to dance, to teach dance, and to create dance,” says the pioneering Japanese performer Akiko Kanda in this intimate portrait of creativity and individuality, After seeing a Martha Graham performance in college, Kanda left her family behind in Japan and arrived in New York City, where she studied under the legendary Graham and became a principal dancer with the troupe. Following the wiry artist as she moves from practice floor to performance hall, and from the cramped single-room apartment she lives in to a trip home to see her aging mother, director Sumiko Haneda reveals a woman who has rebelled against traditional ideals of marriage and motherhood, and who nearly single-handedly brought modern dance to Japan-and kept it alive. “When I die,” Kanda tells the director, “I will be content if I can just say, ‘I danced.'”

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