“The Glyph” – Commissioned in 2015 by ICA/Boston
Directed by Richard Colton
July 30th at 3PM + 7PM
BMCM+AC {120 College Street}
Dancer and choreographer Polly Motley and pianist Yukiko Takagi perform “The Glyph,” a playful work created by dancer Katherine Litz and composer Lou Harrison. The original performance at Black Mountain College was part of a Glyph Exchange with poet Charles Olson and painter Ben Shahn in the Summer of 1951. The program will also feature Lou Harrison’s Six Sonatas For Cembalo or Pianoforte performed by Yukiko TakagiI.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Jo Sandman / TRACES. Sandman, a multimedia artist, was in attendance as a student that summer and was influenced by this Glyph Exchange.

Polly Motley choreographs, performs and teaches.  She trained from an early age in classical and contemporary western dance forms—ballet, jazz, tap, modern and post-modern. She began improvising and choreographing in 1973 while dancing with experimental dance/theater companies in Houston and Austin, Texas.  She joined the faculty of Loretto Heights College in Denver in 1982.  She worked  with Barbara Dilley at  Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado where she also studied dance ethnology, contemplative dance, and creative process.  She performed, choreographed, and was a faculty member for Naropa University until she moved from Colorado in 1996.  Her work at Naropa included  dance-theater/video interactions,  multi-media performance meditations (with New York film/installation artist, Molly Davies), and structured improvisations.

She has collaborated with artists from many disciplines including dancers Diane Madden, John Jasperse, Steve Paxton, Dana Reitz, Simone Forti, Cori Olinghouse, Stacy Spence,  Kota Yamazaki and Mugiyono, with video artist Molly Davies, composers Charles Amirkhanian, Takehisa Kosugi, Fred Frith, DJ M. Singe, John King and Sean Clute, and poets Anne Carson and Jack Collom.

Motley’s work has been presented by the Asia Society, the Baryshnikov Art Center, the Jack Tilton Gallery, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, ICA Boston, Tulane University Art Gallery, Dance Theater Workshop, The Kitchen, Danspace Project, the Colorado Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Bates College Dance Festival, the New York Improvisation Festival, Movement Research, the Edge Festival San Francisco, MousonTurm Frankfurt, the Indonesian Dance Festival, and in her home state of Vermont by the Flynn Center for the Arts, The Current,  and River Arts Center.

Motley received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a thesis on the interactive relationships of video and performance. She lives half the year in Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera where she has a studio devoted to the local community.

Yukiko Takagi received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the New England Conservatory where she studied with Veronica Jochum and Stephen Drury.  While a student at the Conservatory she was selected to perform in several Honors programs and appeared regularly with the NEC Contemporary Ensemble.  Ms. Takagi has performed with the orchestra of the Bologna Teatro Musicale, the John Zorn Ensemble, the Auros Group for New Music, Santa Cruz New Music Works, the Harvard Group for New Music and the Chameleon Arts Ensemble.

She performs regularly with the Eliza Miller Dance Company and the Ruth Birnberg Dance Company and gives frequent duo-piano concerts with Stephen Drury.  Ms. Takagi is a featured performer with the Callithumpian Consort.  Her recording of Colin McPhee’s Balinese Cerimonial Dances was released by MusicMasters.  At New England Conservatory Yukiko Takagi has appeared on the First Monday series at Jordan Hall, and is a teacher and guest artist for NEC’s Summer Institute for Contemporary Piano Performance.


Richard Colton is the Founder/Director of Summer Stages Dance @ The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, a residency for the development and performance of new collaborative work between choreographers, composers, poets and visual artists. In addition, Richard is the Founder/Director of Movement Without Borders, a collective that brings together artists and activists in performance and talks around urgent issues such as immigration, homelessness, voting rights, gender equality, and peace.  Richard was a dancer with Twyla Tharp Dance, American Ballet Theater, City Center Joffrey Ballet, James Waring Dance Company at Judson Memorial Church and The White Oak Dance Project directed by Mikhail Baryshnikov.  He is honored to be bringing the collaborative work of Katherine Litz, Lou Harrison and Ben Shahn, The Glyph, to the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center.