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ASIANS and AMAZONS BY ABALOS
inside news about Asians and women on stage
Teabag's Kevin So.
TEABAG LUNAR YEAR SPECTACULAR: Contrary to the genteel rituals and refine manners of tea ceremonies and high tea, Telly Wong's "TEABAG Open Mic,
Unfiltered. Uncensored. Unpredictable," has stirred a phenomenon, more jarring than genteel, at times rather raunchy than refine. Nevertheless, "Teabag" is a potent potion by performance artists. Held every Friday night in Chinatown, "Teabag" is one of the most unique and liveliest open mics in Manhattan! Each "Teabag" features an eclectic mix of music, hip hop, poetry, comedy, trash talk and spontaneous insanity! On Friday, Jan. 23, 8PM-10PM ,"Teabag" will host the Lunar Year Spectacular at Silk Road Café, located at 30 Mott Street, BASEMENT, (between Pell and Mosco Streets, 2 1/2 blocks south of Canal Street) in Chinatown. For more info, call 646-613-8887 or visit www.teabagopenmic.com.
According to Executive Producer, Telly Wong, "I started 'Teabag' in September 2003. I originally intended it to be a free venue for aspiring Asian American performance artists to come and showcase their work as well as a soapbox for APAs to come express their opinions on the issues effecting our community and stir up some dialogue. I felt this was needed because there is so much talent out there (i.e. Asian Americans winning all those reality show competitions: that BET MC battle, Fame, Last Comic Standing) but not enough opportunities for them to showcase their talent. And secondly, because o the lack of Asian American media outlets and the mainstream media's ignorance for covering our stories, there needed to be a place where APAs can go to discuss what's going on out there. Lastly, Chinatown NEEDS something like this, on so many levels."
"However, the open mic has morphed into something completely different. Each week, we draw a crowd that is made up of blacks, latinos and Asians. The performers are also from these backgrounds. We've featured musicians, poets, comedians, rappers, dancers and spoken word artists. It is incredible to see all these different people coming together each week and sharing their stories and/or entertaining each other. I now see 'Teabag' as something that will help build bridges in all these diverse communities while also entertaining the masses. We also want to help nurture our artists and offer them opportunities whenever they are available to us. For example, we are sponsored in part by Tofu Records, an Asian American record label. I hope that we'll be able to introduce artists to them in the future."
Some of regular performers include singer Anthony, poet Asianne, comedian Barf Brooks, rapper IllM, singer/songwriter Jared Rehberg, commedian/rapper John Shin, singer/songwriter Kevin So, singer Kid Beast, beatboxer Tyron and rapper The Zodiac.
"Teabag will launch its own television show on MNN in a few weeks, which will be a condensed version of the live shows and featuring interviews with the artists, said Wong.
GLOBAL THEATER: Renowned Philippine scholar, playwright, and feminist writer Maria Josephine Barrios will hold a symposium in New York City to discuss contemporary developments in Philippine drama, and the globalization of theater, using the Manila production of the Broadway musical, "Miss Saigon," as case study. Sponsored by Ma-Yi Theater Company, the Symposium will be held on Monday, January 19, 6:30PM at The Mitchell Room, 3rd Floor, 520 Eighth Avenue in New York City. The talk is FREE and open to the Public. For more info contact 212-971-4862.
According to Ralph Pena, Ms-Yi's Artistic Director, "We're sponsoring Joi's visit to New York so
she can lead this important discussion on how Filipinos have come to represent themselves on the world stage, and give a primer on the current state of Philipipne Theater."
Written from the perspective of a Filipino woman playwright, Dr. Barrios' paper, Staging/Upstaging Globalization: Notes of a Playwright from the Philippines," focuses on the globalization of culture and the responses of theater groups in the Philippines. The paper interrogates the "homecoming" production of Miss Saigon, the political patronage that accompanied it, and the "conquering hero myth" that prevails even in the "official discourse" of the United States-Republic of the Philippines Visiting Forces agreement. The paper argues that the Filipino playwright, through productions that assert nationalism (Hibik at Himagsik by Bienvenido Lumbera) and promote political consciousness (Revolutionary Hearts by New Voice Theater Company) provides a counter-voice that accurately depicts the dynamics of neo-colonialism and the struggles of the Filipino people.
The paper hopes to respond to the following questions: How can we study Miss Saigon as a metaphor for the globalization of culture? What is it in the colonial past of the Philippines that makes its actors audition and its audiences line up for the play? How does the production participate in post-Vietnam War discourse? How has the "theater of spectacle" been used as a tool of both colonization and globalization? How have local theater groups responded to globalization?
Maria Josephine "Joi" Barrios is currently Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Arts and Letters and Associate Professor at the Department of Filipino, CAL. She was Visiting Assistant Professor at University of California Irvine, University of California Los Angeles, and Osaka University of Foreign Studies. She has a Ph.D. in Philippine Literature from UP.
Dr. Barrios' doctoral dissertation was entitled "Mula sa mga Pakpak ng Entablado: Pagyapak at Paglipad ng Kababaihang Mandudula (From the Theater Wings: the Grounding and Flight of Women Playwrights." This dissertation won the Best Dissertation Award from the UP Center for Women's Studies in 1998 and has been accepted for publication by the UP Press. She has written several plays, two of which ("Damas de Noche" and "Las Viajeras") have won Palanca national literary awards. She has also published a book of plays, "Bailaya" (University of the Philippines Press, 1997).
Dr. Barrios has also published: two volumes of poetry, "Ang Pagiging Babae ay Pamumuhay sa Panahon ng Digma (To Be a Woman is to Live at a Time of War)," 1990 and "Minatamis at Iba Pang Tula ng Pag-ibig (Sweetened Fruit and Other Love Poems)," 1998; and a collection of romance novels and essays, "Ang Aking Prince Charming at Iba Pang Nobela ng Pag-ibig (My Prince Charming and other Romance Novels)," 2000. She has co-edited literary anthologies and has published at least seventeen critical essays either as book chapters or in academic journals.
She has won more than a dozen national literary awards for her creative work. She was chosen as Most Outstanding Junior Faculty Member in 1993. In 1998, she was given the Tagahabi ng Kasaysayan (Weaver of History) Award by the National Centennial Commission Women's Sector as one of the one hundred women who have contributed to the development of Philippine society during the 20th century. Dr. Barrios is a member of the Congress of Teachers for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND) and literary manager of Ma-Yi Theatre Company.
Ma-Yi Theater Company is an Obie Award-winning, nationally acclaimed professional theater company based in New York City producing new and innovative plays about the Asian American experience. Since its founding in 1989, Ma-Yi Theater Company has distinguished itself as one of the country's premier incubators of new works that challenge what audiences have come to expect from culturally specific theater.
HIROSHIMA MAIDEN: Arts at St. Ann's presents "Hiroshima Maiden" Jan. 14- Feb. 2 at St. Ann's Warehouse on 38 Water Street, DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY. Dan Hurlin's Everyday Uses for Sight, a series of puppet theatre works begun in 1999, explores the different ways we see (or don't see) the world around us. The current installation, "Hiroshima Maiden," is centered on the true story of 25 women, disfigured by the nuclear blast at Hiroshima in 1945, who were invited to the U.S. in 1955 to undergo reconstructive surgeries. The climax of their odyssey came when they were invited to appear (in silhouette) on the television program "This is Your Life," where the producers arranged for them to meet the pilot of the Enola Gay-the plane that had dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. For reservations, call 718-254-8779 or visit www.stannswarehouse.org.
In "Hiroshima Maiden," the women's story is told through the experiences of the main character, a young girl named Michiko, one of the surviving Hiroshima Maidens whom Hurlin met in Japan in 2001. Michiko's scenes are intercut with episodes about a young American boy-his study of ants; his learning the story of Medusa; his inability to watch "I Love Lucy," because the humiliation Lucy will inevitably face is too painful for him. While flipping channels to get away from Lucy, the boy comes upon the episode of "This is Your Life" featuring Hiroshima Maiden-not wanting to look at it, but utterly unable to look away.
Performed in the style of traditional Japanese Bunraku puppetry, "Hiroshima Maiden" involves nine puppets and set pieces manipulated by four puppeteers and five dancers. The gorgeous life-like puppets created by Hurlin possess an astonishing range of emotion. They are hauntingly beautiful as they depict the young Japanese women- one can barely gaze at Michiko's broken face without feeling a lump in the throat. Visual images are culled from the works of Hiroshige and Yoshitoshi, Edo-era master printmakers, as well as from elements from the 1950's "atomic" style of art. Composer Robert Een's original score borrows from Haiku poetry and will be performed by a three-piece ensemble.
"Hiroshima Maiden" explores the act of looking-particularly looking at things you do not want to see but cannot look away from-and points to the inability of people to look at, and come to terms with, the physical and psychological results of war waged in their name. The work has a particular resonance now, with images of war fed to the public as filtered reports and packaged events that are repeatedly played to encourage specific attitudes and desires. This manipulation of sight tells only part of the story.
"Hiroshima Maiden" premieres at St. Ann's Warehouse (Brooklyn, NY) in January 2004. Hurlin received a 2002 Guggenheim Fellowship to work on "Hiroshima Maiden."
Conceived and directed by Dan Hurlin, music is by Robert Een with Bill Ruyle and Jeff Berman performing. Puppeteers include Dawn Akemi Saito, Lake Simons, Deana Headley, Matthew Acheson, Nami Yamamoto, Tom Lee, Kazu Nakamura, Chris Green, Eric Wright, andYoko Myoi.
THE HUNGER WALTZ: Relentless Theatre presents Sheila Callagahan's "The Hunger Waltz" beginning previews January 8th at Manhattan Ensemble Theatre at 55 Mercer Street. Directed by Olivia Honegger, the production stars downtown favorite Susan O'Connor (Never Swim Alone, Shopping & Fucking). Opening night is scheduled for Saturday, January 10th. "The Hunger Waltz"runs January 8-25. For information and reservations call 212-340-1916 or visit www.relentlesstheatre.com
"The Hunger Waltz" explores one woman's search for identity over a period of 600 years. The play takes place in three acts, in three time periods: the 18th century, the 20th century, and the 22nd century. Gwen, the protagonist, searches for a personal freedom she cannot name. She attempts to discover its nature through interactions with her female lover and her abusive husband. Elements of the supernatural intervene and guide her on her quest.
"The Hunger Waltz" stars Michael Connors, Susan O'Connor, Kittson O'Neill and Brenton Popolizio. The production features sets by Orit Jacoby Carroll, lighting by Dana Sterling, costumes by Naomi Wolff and sound design & original music by Robert Kaplowitz.
Sheila Callaghan is the recipient of a 2000 Princess Grace Award, a 2001 LA Weekly Award for Best One-Act, a 2001-02 Jerome Fellowship, a 2002 Robert Chesley Memorial Prize for Playwrighting (along with Christopher Shinn) and a Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award. Her plays include Scab, American Jack, The Katherine Calamity, Softland, and Kate Crackernuts. She is currently working on commissions from Playwright's Horizons, South Coast Rep and Eye of the Storm Theatre in Minneapolis.
Olivia Honegger most recently directed Suzanne Bradbeer's The Sleeping Girl for the Stamford Center. She directed the West Coast premiere of Kenneth Lonnergan's Lobby Hero for South Coast Repertory, where she also directed Sheila Callaghan's Scab. She also assisted Marion McClinton on August Wilson's King Hedley II at the Mark Taper Forum, Goodman Theatre, Kennedy Center and Broadway's Virginia Theatre.
Relentless Theatre was founded in Los Angeles in 1994 by a trio of graduates from New York University: Ian Ferguson, Olivia Honegger and William Wheeler. LA productions include Paula Vogel's And Baby Makes Seven, The Monogamist, Skin, and The Crackwalker, the latter earning year-end "Top 10" nods from the Los Angeles Times, Backstage West, Drama-logue, Entertainment Today and New Times. Despite being named "LA's most gritty theatre company" by the Los Angeles Times, the company recently relocated to New York City. "The Hunger Waltz" marks their East Coast debut.
LE SCANDAL: New York's longest running burlesque show "Le Scandal (formerly the Blue Angel) returns to The Cutting Room on 19 West 24 Street for an open ended run on Saturday nights at 10:30PM. "Le Scandal" has been enticing audiences since 1993 with its unique blend of neo-burlesque and vaudeville, with a touch of downtown edge and a dash of Cooney Island. "Le Scandal's dazzling mix of scintillating striptease, eccentric sideshow acts and risque performance art teases audiences with eye-popping performances. For tickets, call SmarTix at 212-868-4444 or visit www.smarttix.com. For more info about "Le Scandal", visit www.BlueandBurlesque.com.
Demi Moore, Wesley Snipes, Ralph Fiennes, Jim Jarmusch, Goldie Hawn and Lou Reed were just a few who checked their inhibitions at the door. Drew Barrymore even performed a scandalous striptease that's been the talk of the town ever since!
"Le Scandal" celebrates classic burlesque with a revolving troupe of seductive and talented men and women. Performers include Bonnie Dunn, a torch singing fan dancer from new Orleans; Hatash, a sword swallower from the Sudan; Angelo, a lasso/rope dancer; Andrea, belly dancer from the Orient, and the always provocative Velocity Chyaldda. Guest artists and MCs include Dirty Martini, Bambi, Magical Madness among many.
"Le Scandal" originally began as The Blue Angel in Tribeca in 1993, under the tutelage of Ute Hanna. In 2000, she handed the show over to Bonnie Dunn, a cabaret singer and burlesque dancer for over a decade. As a teenager growing up in New Orleans, she developed her burlesque and cabaret persona, watching and performing in New Orleans' famous French Quarter. She has recorded with New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint. She has produced and performed nationally as well as internationally in such exotic places as Bankok, Copenhagen and Cyprus. Bonnie Dunn and the Blue Angel Cabaret (Le Scandal) can be seen on HBO's "Real Sex #25." Bonnie has also been featured on Metro TV's "To Live and Date in New York," "NY Central," "Naked NY," and Metro's Gotham TV.
LA BONNE SOUPE: The Actors Company Theatre (TACT) presents Garson Kanin's adaptation of the French farce "The Good Soup (La Bonne Soupe) by Felicien Marceau at the Florence Gould Hall at the French Institute Alliance Francais on 55 East 59 Street Jan 24-26. This is the first time this work has been performed in New York since the 1960 Broadway production in which Kanin directed his wife Ruth Gordon in the leading role. For tickets, call Ticketmaster at 212-307-4100 or visit www.TACTnyc.org.
"The Good Soup" is the story of Marie-Paul, a woman "of a certain age" whom we first encounter around the roulette wheel of a monte Carlo casino as she recounts her long, illustrious (if slightly immoral) career. As she reminisces, she quite literally brings her past to life as a younger Marie-Paul appears. The audience joins the older woman in watching her evolution from poor shop girl to courtesan, to prosperous business woman, to "respectable" wife. A steady stream of lovers, husbands and dupes who foot the bill help create the obstacles for her desires. And what does she desire? Love? Sex? Money" No. Just the most elusive jackpot: The Good Soup!
"The Good Soup" is directed by Kyle Fabel with a cast that includes Sean Arbuckle, Nora Chester, Francesca Di Mauro, Delphi Harrington, Kelly Hutchinson, Joel Jones, Simon Jones, Jack Koenig, Darrie Lawrence, Greg McFadden, Margaret Nichols, James Prendergast, Gregory Salata and Scott Schafer.
The Actors Company Theatre, with Scott Alan Evans, Cynthia Harris, and Simon Jones as co-artistic directors, celebrates language, the actor and the spoken world. Founded by professional actors in 1992, TACT is dedicated to presenting neglected or rarely performed plays of literary merit with a focus on creating theatre from its essence: the text and the actor's ability to bring it to life.
PERSIANS AT THE PEARL: The Pearl Theatre Company presents "Persians" through Feb. 8 at 80 St. Mark's Place in New York City. The very first play extant in the Western tradition is Aeschylus' The Persians." What is more remarkable than its date (472 B.C.) is that never since has any playwright written with so much sympathy and insight to the suffering that his ownc ountry inflicted on an enemy. A mere 8 years before he wrote the play, the playwright himself fought in the decisive battle that devastated the imperialistic Persian army. When this play speaks of war, it is, in every way, with the authority of experience. The pedigree of the play is enhanced even further by the fact that its "producer" (choragos), a citizen honored by the opportunity to underwrite the performance, was none other than Pericles, and this honor is the fi4rst public mention of his name on record. For tickets, call 212-598-9802 or visit www.pearltheatre.org.
In "Persians," Aeschylus, known as "The Father of Tragedy" for the numerous contributions he made to the expansion of Western drama including over 90 plays he authored, tells the tragic tale of the Battle of Salamis in a revolutionary way -from the perspective of the enemy. Aeschylus draws upon his role as a Grecian soldier and the actual combat he took part in fighting against the Persians in the historical battle. This piece of our dramatic lineage shows the enemy not as monstrous creatures, but as human souls facing their own loss of life, defeat of dreams and perversion of power in their fruitless journey to become and remain great.
Artistic Director Shepard Sobel will direct a cast of Resident Acting Company members who will play the chorus, and as Aeschylus intended and Greek drama of the time was structured, each will step out from the ensemble to play individual roles in this tragic tale. Original company member Joanne Camp will play Queen Atossa, along with Resident Company Members Robert Hock as the ghost of Atossa's husband, King Darius, Sean McNall as their son who would become king, Xerxes, and Scott Whitehurst as the Messenger. Costume designer Devon Painter along with choreographer Alice Teirstein and composer Andy Teirstein are set to collaborate on the production.
Sarah Chang. Photo credit: Christian Steiner.
SARAH CHANG: Violinist Sarah Chang will perform Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1 with the New York Philharmonic Jan. 15-20 with Kurt Masur conducting at the Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center. The program also includes Weber's Der Freischütz Overture and Schumann's Symphony No. 3, "Rhenish." For tickets, call 212-875-5656 or visit the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office, Lincoln Center, Broadway at 65th St. Tickets for Open Rehearsals are $14 and are available at the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office.
In addition, Sarah Chang will discuss her life as a musician on Tuesday, January 13, 2004, from 7-8PM in the series, "The New York Philharmonic Offstage at Barnes & Noble," Broadway and 66th Street, third floor.
Sarah Chang appears in the music capitals of Asia, Europe, and the Americas, and has collaborated with most of the major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic and the orchestras of Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, Cleveland, Berlin, Vienna, London, and Amsterdam. Notable recital engagements have included her Carnegie Hall debut and performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Symphony Hall in Boston, the Barbican Centre in London, the Philharmonie in Berlin, as well as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. She has reached an even wider audience through her many television appearances, concert broadcasts, and best-selling recordings for EMI Classics. Her accomplishments were recognized in 1999, when she received the Avery Fisher Prize. She is also the recipient of Gramophone's Young Artist of the Year award, Germany's "Echo" Schallplattenpreis, Newcomer of the Year honors at the International Classical Music Awards in London, and Korea's Nan Pa award. Born in Philadelphia to Korean parents, Sarah Chang began studying the violin at age four, and within a year had performed with several orchestras in the Philadelphia area. Following high school graduation and completion of The Juilliard School's pre-college program, she enrolled at Juilliard as a college student, where she studied with the late Dorothy DeLay. She last appeared with the Orchestra in November 2001, playing the Berg Violin Concerto, led by Mr. Masur.
Kurt Masur is well known to orchestras and audiences alike as both a distinguished conductor and a humanist. In September 2002 Mr. Masur became music director of the Orchestre National de France in Paris. Since September 2000 he has been principal conductor of the London Philharmonic. From 1991 to 2002 he was Music Director of the New York Philharmonic. Following his 11-year year tenure, he was named Music Director Emeritus, becoming the first New York Philharmonic music director to receive that title, and only the second (after the late Leonard Bernstein, who was named Laureate Conductor) to be given an honorary position. The New York Philharmonic established the Kurt Masur Fund for the Orchestra, which endows a conductor-debut week at the Philharmonic in perpetuity in his honor. For many seasons, Maestro Masur served as Gewandhaus Kapellmeister of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, a position of profound historic importance. Upon his retirement from that post in 1996, the Gewandhaus named him its first-ever Conductor Laureate.
NI-EGUCHI DUO PLAYS WITH COS: The Children's Orchestra Society presents Cellist, Hai -Ye Ni and Pianist, Akira Eguchi at Christ Episcopal Church on Northern Boulevard, on Sunday, Jan. 25, 4:30PM. The program includes Sonata in D by Pietro Locatelli, Sonata in F by Johannes Brahms, Lament by Ellen Taafe Zwilich, Romance and Dance of Hsiao and Ch'in by Chen Yi and Sonata for Cello and Piano Op. 40 by Dmitri Schostakovitch. The recital is dedicated to raising funds for the repair of the organ at Christ Episcopal Church. For tickets, call COS at 516-869-9696 or visit www.childrensorchestra.org.
Born in Shanghai in 1972, Hai-Ye began her cello studies with her mother and later at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Hai-Ye continued her musical education with Irene Sharp at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, with Joel Krosnick at the Juilliard School of Music, and with William Pleeth in London. Now one of the most accomplished young cellists of our time, Hai-Ye Ni came into prominence via her critically praised New York debut at Alice Tully Hall in 1991. This noted performance came as a result of Ms. Ni capturing the first prize at the Naumburg International Cello Competition, and thus becoming the youngest recipient to receive this distinguished award. In 1996, Ms. Ni was the unanimous choice for first prize in the International Paulo Cello Competition in Finland. And in 2001, she received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Furthermore, Ms. Ni has served as a faculty member for the Children's Orchestra Society in recent years. And in May 2000, she was the featured solo guest artist in a Gala Benefit Concert at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center with the COS Young Symphonic Ensemble, in which she played Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococco Theme.
Ms. Ni's performances have been broadcast throughout the US on NPR. She has been featured on the ABC television show "20/20" and the PBS documentary of the Tchaikovsky competition. Her performance of Bright Sheng's concerto was aired on CBS Sunday Morning. She was the cover story in the May/June 1997 issue of Strings magazine and is featured along with Yo-Yo Ma in the book, Twenty-first Century Cellists. Ms. Ni's awards include the 1995 Sony Career Award, and the best performance prize of the Tchaikovsky at the 1994 International Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow.
Akira Eguchi, born in Tokyo, received a degree in Music Composition from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, where he subsequently served as a faculty member. Currently living in New York and on the faculty of CUNY Brooklyn College, Mr. Eguchi received his Master's Degree in Piano Performance from the Juilliard School.
Acclaimed for his extraordinary artistry, maturity and intelligence (New York Times), Akira Eguchi has captivated audiences and critics throughout the world as a piano soloist, chamber musician, harpsichord player and collaborative pianist. Praised as a "pianist of fluency and rectitude" by The New York Times, his appearances in the United States include Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall and the 92nd Street Y in New York City, and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Distinguished for his performances for heads of State, Mr. Eguchi has played for President Clinton presented by Isaac Stern at the White House and for the Emperor and Empress of Japan at Hamarikyu Ashahi Hall in Tokyo.
Founded in 1962 by Dr. H.T. Ma, the Children's Orchestra Society (COS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to "Teaching Children the Language of Music." This is the COS's 35th Season of teaching children and young adults to play classical music and presenting them in orchestral and chamber music concerts with their peers and well-established musicians. Next month's COS performances will include a Faculty Recital on January 23, 2004 and Student Recital on January 30, 2004. Both concerts will take place at Christ Episcopal Church and are free of charge.
Since 1984, COS has flourished under the leadership of Music Director and Conductor Michael Dadap and his wife, Executive Director Dr. Yeou-Cheng Ma, daughter of the orchestra's late founder.
TAKEMITSU SHOWCASE: Miller Theatre presents the late Takemitsu's atmospheric works for guitar and ensemble in its Composer Portraits Series on Thursday, January 22, 8PM Columbia University's Miller Theatre is located north of the Main Campus Gate at 116th Street and Broadway on the ground floor of Dodge Hall. Takemitsu's works to be perform will include: Folios for guitar (1974), Toward the Sea for alto flute and guitar (1981), Air for flute solo (1996), Sacrifice for flute, guitar, crotales, and vibraphone (1962), Voice for flute solo (1971), Valeria for violin, cello, guitar, electronic organ, and two piccolos (1965), In the Woods: Three pieces for guitar (1995), Michelle, What a Friend, and Summertime from 12 Songs Arranged for Guitar (1977). For tickets to Miller Theatre events, the public should call 212-854-7799 or visit www.millertheatre.com.
An heir to Debussy, Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996) had a wide-ranging musical imagination. He was able to create atmospheric tone poems, avant-garde masterpieces, and affecting arrangements of Beatles songs. Takemitsu left an important body of chamber works with guitar that includes many styles of music from across his wide musical outlook. At the time of his death he had completed five works for solo guitar and, despite its limited dynamic range, 16 other works involving the instrument, including a concerto. He was one of the few major modern composers to greatly expand the guitar's repertoire, and Takemitsu's unique musical vocabulary gave the guitar a new sound.
This performance will showcase Takemitsu's varied output through guitarist Antigoni Goni, "one of today's most compelling young talents" (Guitar Review). Performers scheduled are: Antigoni Goni, guitar, Laura Gilbert, flute and piccolo, Susan Rotholz, piccolo, James Baker, percussion and conductor, Amelia Piano Trio.
The works of Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu combine the tradition of Western classical music and the sounds of traditional Eastern instruments. His compositions use percussion in unusual ways, electronic alteration of orchestral sounds, and silence. Takemitsu composed more than 90 film scores, including Woman in the Dunes (1964) and Ran (1985). Largely self-taught, Takemitsu's first composition to attract international attention was Requiem for strings (1957), which became one of his most popular works. Igor Stravinsky and Aaron Copland promoted his music, and it began to be performed abroad. Major orchestras also commissioned and performed his compositions, among them what was possibly his best-known work, November Steps (1967). Takemitsu's later music reflected the influence of Debussy, Gershwin, and Messiaen, and incorporated elements of tonal harmony along with those of serial music. He also claimed that the Japanese formal garden inspired the structure of his music, illustrated in works such as A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden (1978) and Tree Line (1988). Among his awards were the Gravemeyer Award (1994) and the Glenn Gould Prize (1996). Takemitsu's last work was a piece for flute, and he was working on his first opera at the time of his death.
DE LA FUENTE IN ROSSINI OPERA: Ben de la Fuente will be performing in the Bronx Opera Company's American premier of Rossini's opera buffa, "L'equivoco stravagante" (The Bizarre Deception), on Saturday January 10 in the Bronx and on Saturday, January 17, 2004 in Manhattan. It is in English, fully staged with full orchestra. In the Bronx, his performance will be on Saturday, January 10, 2004 at 8PM at the Lovinger Theater, Lehman College, 250 Bedford Park Blvd. West. Tickets at the box office: (718) 960-8833.
In Manhattan, his performance will be on Saturday, January 17, 2004 at 8PM at The Kaye Playhouse, Hunter College, 68th Street, between Lexington & Park Avenues. Tickets at the box office: (212) 772-4448.
Benjamin de la Fuente (bass-baritone) is pleased to make his Bronx Opera debut in L'Equivoco Stravagante. As an apprentice at the Caramoor festival, he appeared in Deidamia and in Will Crutfhfield's world premiere of Donizetti's Elisabeth. He also performed last season with the New York G&S Players in The Yeomen of the Guard (2nd Yeoman), The Mikado, and The Pirates of Penzance. In concert, he has sung with the CUNY Contemporary Ensemble and is a member of the National Chorale. Mr. de la Fuente is a graduate of Amherst College and Manhattan School of Music. He'll be performing the role of Theseus in Benjamin Britten's "Midsummer Night's Dream" at the Tanglewood Music Festival in Mass. this summer.
BACHANALIA: On Tuesday, Jan. 13 at 8pm, Bachanalia presents the second concert in its 15th season, "A Russian New Year Celebration" at St. Peter's Church at Citicorp Center, 619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street. The program, under the direction of founder and artistic director Nina Beilina, features the world premiere of Jakov Jakoulov's Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom for voice and chamber orchestra, set to the first modern Russian translation by Henri Volohonsky. The program also includes Johann Sebastian Bach'sThree Chorale Preludes for violin and organ, transcribed by Nina Beilina and Souvenir de Florence, Op. 70 for 2 violins, 2 violas, & 2 cellos by Tchaikovsky. For reservations, call 212-239-5906.
Jakov Jakoulov, born in Moscow in 1958, is a 1999 award winner of the American Society of Composers. He has composed five concertos for various instruments with orchestra, five string quartets, two full-length ballets, and numerous symphonic, choral, and chamber works.
Violinist Nina Beilina, of whom The New York Times wrote: "Russia's loss is our gain," concertizes extensively in Europe, and the United States with BACHANALIA. She studied with Abraham Yampolsky, Julius Eidlin, and David Oistrakh. Competition honors include the Gold Medal in Enesco, Grand Prix in Long-Thibaud, and Laureate in Tchaikovsky. She received the Gold Medal as Musician of the Year in Vercelli, Italy.
BACHANALIA, an orchestra of international competition winners and soloists, was founded in 1988 by violinist Nina Beilina. The ensemble performs an annual series of six concerts at Merkin Concert Hall and St. Peter's Church. Each concert opens with
a work by Bach and continues with a musical exploration of different chamber
music traditions which have developed and been influenced by his work.
CARNEGIE HALL IN BRIEF: Other Asian musicians performing this month include: David Chan, violin, works by Debussy, Saint-Saëns, Ysaÿe, and Schubert, with guests Deborah Hoffman, Harp, Edward Arron, Cello, John Novacek, Piano, at Weill Recital Hall, Jan. 11, 8:30PM; Yo-Yo Ma, cello, all Schumann program with the Staatskapelle Berlin, Daniel Barenboim conducting, Stern Auditorium, Jan. 23, 8PM; Ankee Hong, cello, Weill Recital Hall, Jan. 24, 5PM. For tickets, call CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or visit www.carnegiehall.org.
Kinding Sindaw artists Tomas Jason Trinidad and Diane Camino in traditional Igorot costume. Photo credit: Rose Yapching, December 2003.
KINDING SINDAW: THROUGH THE LENS: "Kinding Sindaw: Through the Lens" is a collection of artistic and reportage photographs documenting Kinding Sindaw's history. Images of the theater company in performance, stills and candid moments are captured by Asian American photographers Corky Lee, Rose Yapching, Steven De Castro, Jennifer Kiamzon and Fernando Mendez. Curated by Rose Yapching, the Photo Exhibit is on view through Jan. 30 at the Philippine Center, on 556 Fifth Avenue in New York City. For more information about the exhibit and Kinding Sindaw, e-mail KindSindaw@aol.com or visit www.KindingSindaw.org
Kinding Sindaw (Dance of Light), a resident artistic company at La MaMa E.T.C, was founded in 1992 by Potri Ranka Manis, the daughter of a Sultan of the Maranao people of Mindanao, a true modern-day princess and tradition-bearer. The theater company's repertory is built upon the dances, music, and orature of the Maranao, T'boli, Igorot, Maguindanao, Yakan, Jama Mapun, Higaonon, Tausug and Bagobo peoples of the Philippines. Kinding Sindaw exists to assert, preserve, reclaim and re-create the traditions of dance, music, martial arts, storytelling and orature of the indigenous peoples of the Philippines. By asserting their arts and traditions, the historical and contemporary stories of these peoples are brought to life.
According to Potri, Kinding Sindaw is not promoting any religion but the Filipino precolonial artforms that are still present among the indigenous people. In other words Kinding Sindaw is emphazising the artforms of the unconquered Filipinos...those who were not subjugated by the colonizer
Japanese Contemporary Dance.
JAPANESE CONTEMPORARY DANCE: Encounter Japan's thrilling new dancers and choreographers in this must-see New York City performance, exclusively at Japan Society's seventh Annual Contemporary Dance Showcase Jan. 9-10, 8PM. Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street, between First & Second Avenues. For tickets the box office at 212-752-3015 or visit www.japansociety.org.
Large ensembles and soloists alike come together in a concert of brilliantly diverse dance performances: IDEVIAN CREW uses subtlety and wit to reveal the humor inherent in group life. Performing Arts Unit "PROJECT FUKURO" features breathtaking mechanical constructions, puppets and a physicality that accentuates the Asian-ness of the dancers' bodies. Mika Kurosawa, named "The Ultimate Solo Dancer" by Performing Arts Journal, demonstrates her own dense, evocative technique. Dance Barbizon, known for the insightful inner life of their rigorously physical pieces, debut a new work in their first New York performance; and Un Yamada, one of Japan's most fascinating new solo dancers, uses shockingly humorous images to great effect. This special evening of diverse choreographic and performance styles highlights the magic and vision of each company.
JAPANESE HORROR FILMS: Japan Society traces the historic evolution of Japanese horror films during the past 50 years, including adaptations of traditional Japanese ghost stories, literature and theater pieces, contemporary murder dramas and psycho thrillers.
Japan Society Film Center screens a wide variety of Japanese horror films made over the past 50 years. The series started with a broad discussion on Monday, Dec. 1, and concludes with the world premiere of Ghosts at School on Tuesday, Feb. 24. Classic Japanese horror films are included in the series, and many films are making their New York or U.S. premiere. Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street, between First & Second Avenues. For tickets the box office at 212-752-3015 or visit www.japansociety.org.
Recent Hollywood remakes and adaptations of films such as Hideo Nakata's Ringu and Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Kairo and Cure have increased the popularity of Japanese contemporary horror films abroad. At the same time, academic disciplines such as psychoanalysis, gay and lesbian, ethnic, and Gothic literature studies, among others, are reexamining the horror film genre. is series is curated by Daisuke Miyao, Postdoctoral Fellow of Expanding East Asian Studies, Columbia University and Kyoko Hirano, Director, Japan Society Film Center.
For the month of January, the films to be screened include:
Thursday, January 15, 2004, 6:30 pm: The Devil's Ball (Akuma no temariuta)
1977, 144 min., color, 35mm. Directed by Kon Ichikawa. Written by Christei (pen name of Kon Ichikawa and Natto Wada, taken from Agatha Christy), based on the story by Masashi Yokomizo. Director Ichikawa drew from Yokomizo's popular books featuring humorous private eye Kosuke Kindaichi to create a series endowed with his elaborate visual style and an all-star cast. In The Devil's Ball, the second in the cycle, Kindaichi faces a series of brutal murders taking place in a mysterious mountain village that has been forgotten by civilization. There, as the rule of mysteries says, there are always beautiful women behind the scene. Tuesday, January 20, 2004, 6:30 pm: Sinners of Hell (Jigoku) 1960, 100 min., color, 35mm. Directed by Nobuo Nakagawa. Written by Nobuo Nakagawa and Ichiro Miyagawa. New York premiere. A man is manipulated by his devilish friend to accidentally kill three people. The parents of a victim take their revenge, and all of them end up in hell. Nakagawa depicts hell according to the Japanese traditional narrative and visual arts, and dramatizes the destinies of the sinful souls and their salvation in an eye-poppingly kitschy style.
Friday, January 23, 2004: Onibaba lecture (6:30 pm) & screening (7:30 pm)
Keiko I. McDonald, Professor of Cinema and Literature, the University of Pittsburgh, discusses how noh masks and theatrical aspects are exploited in Onibaba. Onibaba
1964, 103 min., b/w, 35mm. Directed and written by Kaneto Shindo. In Shindo's intense psychological thriller set in Japan's civil war era, a mother and her daughter-in-law survive by killing soldiers and selling their armor. When a friend of the younger woman's husband turns up and begins an affair with her, this drives the older woman mad with jealousy. She puts on a demon's mask to scare them, but finds that she cannot take the mask off her face, since she has been taken by evil spirits. Friday, January 30, 2004, 6:30 pm: The Vampire Doll (Yurei yashiki no kyofu: Chi o suu ningyo) 1970, 93 min., color, 35mm. Directed by Michio Yamamoto. Written by Ei Ogawa and Hiroshi nagano. New York premiere. Described as the Japanese Terrence Fisher, Yamamoto is a cult director admired for his B-picture horror movies. In this first installment of the Blood Thirsty series, a young woman's spirit survives a car accident when her body dies, and she becomes a female vampire looking for blood.
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