It’s an indication of how interested Iwaasa has become in adding an explicitly theatrical dimension to her performances. From playing Frederic Rzewski’s De Profundis—based on Oscar Wilde’s letters—in drag to working with dance innovator Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg, the pianist is increasingly bringing other media into her musical world.
“It’s funny: in piano pedagogy, we talk about ‘choreography’ in a kind of an offhand way,” she says. “It’s a word that we just use, particularly if we have to get from one part of the instrument to the other very quickly. We talk about it much less in terms of the effect on the listener.…And that shows up in the way we talk about the audience as ‘listeners’ as opposed to ‘viewers’, when in fact the audience really is both.”