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ASIANS and AMAZONS BY ABALOS
inside news about Asians and women on stage
YiLing Li as Lulu in "The Sun Shall Rise" by Cao Yu, the "Shakespeare of China" Photo by Si-Jung No.
YANGTZE REP: The Yangtze Repertory Theatre will perform "The Sun Shall Rise," a 1930s classic by China’s premiere playwright, Cao Yu, author was pioneer of western style modern drama in China., Oct. 1-17, at the Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue (at East Tenth Street). Directed and adapted by Joanna Chan, "The Sun Shall Rise" is set in the Shanghai Hotel, a grandiose structure which comes alive only at night with gambling, drinking, gossip, suspicion, and heartache while the rest of the city is fast asleep. For tickets, call 212-254-1109 (English) or 718-263-8829 (bilingual) or visit www.theaterforthenewcity.net. For more info, visit www.yangtze-rep-theatre.org.
The play contains several inter-woven storylines that show the struggles of women, servants, secretaries, and banking ministers, all of whom are of various ages and strata of wealth. The heroine of the show, Lulu (an early Holly Golightly), lives in this hotel and relies on the charity of male acquaintances to pay for her extravagant lifestyle.
Lulu's story is entwined with subplots with socially-conscious themes, including the drama of Master Pan, a bank manager who betrays even those who make large sacrifices just to remain loyal to him; Madame Ku, a rich merry widow who is unable to find love despite her riches; and the Li family, which is broken and blinded by their father's desire to "belong" to the higher classes. The title of the play describes the sun that never does shine in these characters' lives.
The cast members are mostly Chinese-born. YiLing Li (Lulu) was the lead in China Central TV's series, "Blood of Umeng Mountain," "A Hui" and "My Land, My God, My People." She won many awards for her dance, including the National Ethnic Dance Competition in Beijing. She hosted her own programs at GuangZhou and Beijing TV Stations and was a featured actress at the Four Seasons Theater in Tokyo. In 2003, she directed and hosted a 52-part TV documentary, "Chinese in a Foreign Land," and appeared in the dance drama, "Butterfly Lovers," at Lincoln Center. Her Yangtze Rep productions include "Butterfly Dreams," "The Soongs: By Dreams Betrayed" and "Variations in a Foreign Land IV." The cast also includes Shaung Deng (Beijing), John Wu (USA), Sam Song (Liao Yang in Northeast China), Kevin Fang (Shanghai), Jo Mei (USA), Fang YuLin (a top-ranking theater artist from ShanDong Province), Vivian Chiu (USA), Ling KingYuen (originally from GuangZhou, China, he maintained a musical career in spite of the Cultural Revolution), Cathy Liu (originally from HuNan), Lu Yu (a co-founder and principal actor of Yangtze Rep, an original member of La Mama Chinatown and a founding member and honorary advisor of Pan Asian Rep), and Yu JianHuai (a principal dancer of China's HeiBei Dance Theater). Set design is by Chris Jones; lighting design is by Dana Sterling.
One of the most celebrated playwrights in modern Chinese theater, Cao Yu was born in Tienjin in 1910. In 1922, Cao Yu entered Nan Kai High School and became an actor with the Nan Kai Theater Company in 1925. He took parts Ibsen's "A Doll's House" and "An Enemy of the People" and became fascinated with the western art form. In 1930, he entered the University of Nan Kai, but soon transferred to the Department of Western Literature at Ching Hua University. Cao's first work, "Thunderstorm," was created in 1933 after five years of preparation. It was followed by "The Sun Shall Rise" in 1935 and "The Wilderness" in 1936. Mr. Cao began teaching at the Nanjing National Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1936. Two plays were created during this period: "Transformation" (1939) and "Beijing Man" (1940). After the Liberation, Mr. Cao held various high offices including President of China's Dramatists Guild and Director of the National Theater of Beijing. He wrote two works at the dictate of the Government: "A Book of Courage" in 1961, and "Wang Zhao-Jun" in 1978.
Yangtze Repertory Theatre of America was co-founded by Joanna Chan in 1992 to produce works for and by Asian artists. It has since become New York's most significant entry point for dramatic works from Chinese-speaking countries and a place of collaboration for artists from various parts of Asia. Yangtze and its artistic director have been responsible for the New York debuts of many notable artists, including Wang LuoYung, who appeared in the leading role in "Miss Saigon" on Broadway, and Dr. Wang XiaoYing, Deputy Director of China's National Theater in Beijing. In 1997, Gao Xingjian, the 2000 Nobel Laureate in Literature, was brought to NY by Yangtze Rep to direct his own play, "Between Life and Death," at Theater for the New City and to present a showing of his ink paintings at Schimmel Center for the Arts, Pace University.
Kim Ima and photo of her father, Kenji Ima.
THE INTERLUDE: Kim Ima’s play "Interlude: A Japanese Daughter Remembers" will run Oct. 7 – Oct. 24 at La MaMa E.T.C. Kim Ima's father, as a boy during World War II, spend most of his grade-school years in an American concentration camp--the Minidoka internment facility in Hunt, Idaho. It was a place to which Japanese Americans, their loyalty suspect, were forcibly moved from the West Coast shortly after the outbreak of the war. Their years in the camp were memorialized in a glossy bound yearbook, published in 1943, titled "The Minidoka Interlude." Ms. Ima has created a multimedia theater piece, "The Interlude," to recall this dark episode and to try to understand the legacy of her father's past. For tickets, call 212-475-7710 or visit www.lamama.org
The play uses spoken text, dance, music, film, documentary photography and video to create a collage of stories about life in the camp. Throughout the play Kim, playing herself, searches for an explanation of her father's silence about his past. She decides he must have been a special secret agent working for America. Using both humor and leaps of imagination, Ms. Ima and her company, Cheap & Sneaky Theatricals, perform a look at the lives of the people at Minidoka and Kim's personal journey to connect to her father. It also poses awkward questions: What is the legacy of the camps? How far have we come since?
Altogether, 120,000 people of Japanese descent were imprisoned by Executive Order 9066 during the war; of these, 9,397 were at Minidoka. The play uses an American government newsreel from the period, narrated by a smiling politician, which shows thousands of Japanese families leaving shops, home and businesses that they had been building all their live, only to be driven by coach, and under Army supervision, into the deserts of Idaho. Despite the government's assertion that the "relocated" Japanese were being provided with good food and jobs, the truth is that the food was appalling, conditions squalid, family lives were disrupted, and businesses and savings were lost. Men and women who had spent their lives running their own shops or small business were expected to perform agricultural work for a negligible salary or to occupy themselves with the petty tasks of administering the camps.
The government's reasoning for the detentions was "military necessity." Two thirds of the Japanese people placed in the camps were American citizens and an initial government-sponsored investigation into the potential for Japanese subversion in America had already found no evidence to suggest any threats. During World War II, no Japanese American was ever charged with espionage or sabotage related offenses. But today, old misconceptions and justifications persist. Contemporary rightwing politicians have cited Executive Order 9066 as legitimate and prudent in their defenses of racial profiling since September 11, 2001. The piece raises uncomfortable parallels to current questions of loyalty, nationality, race and freedom in the United States: the "enemy" wears a new face but the old feelings are still here.
Kim Ima wrote and will direct and perform in "The Interlude." The multi-ethnic cast includes Kim Ima, Katie Takahashi, Glenn Cruz, Lindy Jamil Gomez, Yoshiro Kono, Sarah Hayon, and Sam Hurlbut. Video design is by Brian Nishii. Lighting design is by Adam Larson, costume design is by Melissa Schlactmeyer, sound design is by Stefano Zazzera and set design is by Gian Marco Lo Forte.
Ima has been supported in her project by the Densho Foundation (www.densho.org), an organization parallel to the Shoah Foundation, aimed at recording memories and experiences in the hope that we may learn from the past. The production is also partially funded by some of the money awarded in 1988 to her paternal grandmother as reparations--part of the US government's efforts to atone for the creation and use of the internment camps.
Residents of Block 36, Minidoka Relocation Center, Hunt, Idaho 1943. From: "The Minidoka Interlude," a yearbook published by Residents of Minidoka Relocation Center, Thomas Takeuchi, Ed. (republished 1989).
The prisoners' use of the word "interlude" in the title of their Yearbook to describe their period of detention was significant. The authors hoped that the suppression of their rights would be a temporary and reversible aberration, and dedicated their book to "The America of Tomorrow." The preface states, in part:
"We, as residents of the Minidoka Relocation Center at Hunt, Idaho, take pleasure in dedicating this book to the "America of Tomorrow" and reaffirm our faith in the principles and ideals of the founders of the United States. In dedicating this book to the greater America to come….When victory has been won over the forces of aggression and greed, it is our firm conviction that a nation so great, so powerful and so wise whose very foundation of government and principles of living is based on equality and justice, will solve her domestic racial problems in a just and equitable manner."
Kim Ima has made a name for herself as producer, with Greg Pak, of the highly acclaimed independent feature film, "Robot Stories," which the Village Voice called "a genuinely stirring indie rarity." Her own acting credits include Cassandra in "The Trojan Women" (directed by Andrei Serban with music by Elizabeth Swados) at La MaMa E.T.C., "The Seven Deadly Sins" at New York City Opera (directed by Anne Bogart) and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at The National Asian American Theater Company. Her directing credits include "Dancing With My Demons" at the Nuyorican Poet's Café and The Blue Heron Arts Center. Her company, Cheap & Sneaky Theatricals, creates original theater and film projects. Born to a Jewish mother and a Nisei (second-generation) father, Ms. Ima knows the experience of intolerance from both sides of her family.
EYES OF THE HEART photos by Ching Gonzalez. pictured, Virginia Wing, Mia Katigbak and James Saito
NAATCO’S EYES OF THE HEART: On Oct. 11, the National Asian-American Theater Company will present "Eyes of the Heart" by Catherine Filloux at INTAR 53 on 508 West 53rd Street at 9th Avenue. Directed by Kay Matschullat, "Eyes of the Heart" is about a Cambodian woman, suffering from psychosomatic blindness, a condition afflicting a segment of middle-aged Cambodian women refugees in California who witnessed atrocities of the Khmer Rouge, reunites with her surviving relatives in the U.S. With her American doctor she begins the painful journey towards healing and finds a surprising role in her new home. Mia Katigbak, takes the lead role. "Eyes of the Heart" runs through Oct. 30. In addition to performances of "Eyes of the Heart", NAATCO will sponsor "Cambodia: Women, Refugees and America", a panel discussion co-sponsored by Asia Society, immediately following the matinee on Saturday, Oct. 23; and post-performance discussions regarding the Cambodian immigrant experience on Wednesday, Oct. 13 and Thursday, Oct. 14. For tickets, call 212-244-0447 or visit www.naatco.org.
Mia Katigbak (DOGEATERS at The Public Theater and NYTW's LIGHT RAISE THE ROOF) leads the ensemble as Thida San. The cast also includes Nadia Bowers, Alexis Camins, James Saito, Virginia Wing and Eunice Wong. "Eyes of the Heart" features set design by Mimi Lien, lighting design by Clifton Taylor, costume design by Suttirat Larlarb, and sound design by Dave Morreale. Cambodian-American rapper Prach Ly and his colleague Silong Chhun have composed original music for "Eyes of the Heart".
Kay Matschullat directs Catherine Filloux's new drama about Thida San, a Cambodian woman suffering from psychosomatic blindness, a devastating condition that afflicts a segment of middle-aged, female Cambodian refugees who witnessed atrocities of the Khmer Rouge. Based on oral histories that Ms. Filloux compiled over five years of working with Cambodian refugee women at St. Rita's Refugee Center in Bronx, New York, "Eyes of the Heart" follows one woman's search for healing -- and peace of mind -- as she reunites with relatives in America and develops a unique relationship with her American doctor. Kay Matschullat has directed world-premiere works by Ariel Dorfman and Derek Walcott. Her work has been supported by Theater Communications Group, NEA, and Samuel Rubin Foundation. She was the recipient of the Rudolf Arnheim Award from Harvard College.
Catherine Filloux's other plays about Cambodia include SILENCE OF GOD (Contemporary American Theater Festival, New Play Commission, 2002 Season) and PHOTOGRAPHS FROM S-21, a short play, which has been performed around the world. Other projects include: an opera commission from Cambodian Living Arts with Cambodian composer Him Sophy; Fulbright Senior Specialist at Royal University of Fine Arts, Cambodia (2003); Asian Cultural Council Artist's Residency Grant, Cambodia (2001); Oral History Project: A CIRCLE OF GRACE with Cambodian Women's Group at St. Rita's Refugee Center, Bronx, NY; and articles about her theater work in Cambodia in Manoa: In the Shadow of Angkor and The Drama Review. She has just returned from Cambodia, where she taught playwriting at the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh, and organized a 26-short-play festival for her students, which was presented in December 2003.
Richard Eng and Artistic/Producing director Mia Katigbak founded NAATCO in 1989. Now in its 14th season, it is one of the country's leading theatre companies providing a stage for the talents of Asian-American theatre artists. Specifically, NAATCO presents classical and contemporary works with all Asian-American casts. Notable productions since 1990 include OTHELLO, William Finn's FALSETTOLAND, LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT, THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA, OUR TOWN, YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU, Archibald MacLeish's AIR RAID, Joseph Conrad's TALES OF UNREST, and most recently ANTIGONE.
(l. to r.) Chiori Miyagawa, Karen Hartman and Lynn Nottage are three of the playwrights who collaborated to create ANTIGONE PROJECT. Photo by Kate Raudenbush.
ANTIGONE PROJECT: The Women’s Project and Productions, in association with Crossing Jamaica Avenue, presents "Antigone Project", a collaboration of 5 award-winning writers-- Tanya Barfield (The Houini Act), Karen Hartman (Gum), Chiori Miyagawa (Broken Morning), Lynn Nottage (Intimate Apparel) and Caridad Svich (The Booth Variations). Performances will run from Wednesday, Oct. 13 through Sunday, Nov. 7 at The Julia Miles Theater, recently re-named in honor of the founder of the Women’s Project. Conceived by Chiori Miyagawa and Sabrina Peck, "Antigone Project" is a groundbreaking collaboration that marks the inaugural season of Loretta Greco as the Producing Artistic Director of Women’s Project & Productions. Five playwrights, Tanya Barfield, Karen Hartman, Chiori Miyagawa, Lynn Nottage and Caridad Svich, will contribute their own contemporary take on Sophocles’ classic tale in this 70 minute play. From an imagined Antigone Museum, to a princess of privilege courted by a surfer, these playwrights take on the state of our world from the perspective of an individual woman confronting authority. For tickets, call Telecharge at 212-239-6200 or visit www.Telecharge.com.
The directors for the Antigone Project are: Annie Dorsen, Dana Iris Harrel, Anna Kauffman, Barbara Rubin and Liesl Tommy. The cast of Antigone Project is: Joey Collins, Angel Desai, Jeanine Serralles, DeSean Terry, April Yvette Thompson and Tracie Thoms.
Chiori Miyagawa is a playwright, , Co-Artistic Director of Crossing Jamaica Avenue, Associate Professor of Theater at Bard College under the renowned director JoAnne Akalaitis and an Artistic Associate of New York Theatre Workshop where she managed the fellowship program for emerging artists of color. Her plays include Woman Killer ( Crossing Jamaica Avenue in co-production with HERE, published in Plays and Playwrights 2002), Awakening ( Performance Space 122 in co-presentation by dance Theatre Workshop and Crossing Jamaica Avenue), American Dreaming (directed by Michael Mayer, music by Tan Dun, produced by Music Theatre Group and Vineyard Theater) Nothing Forever and Yesterday’s Window (both at New York Theatre Workshop, Nothing at HERE by New Georges, Yesterday published in TAKE TEN ) , Jamaica Avenue (New York International Fringe Festival, published in Tokens? The NYC Asian American Experiences On Stage), FireDance (Voice & Vision Theatre), Broken Morning (Workshop at Dallas Theater Company), Remembering America (commissioned by New York Theatre Workshop, presented at Just Add Water Festival) and Stargazers (commissioned by The Public Theater, presented at New Works Now Festival, translated into Japanese and presented in the 2001 Asian Women and Theater
Conference in Tokyo). She is currently working on two new plays, Comet Hunter, about the first female astronomer and Leaving Eden, a commission for SMU based on the life and works of Anton Chekhov.
TENDULKAR FESTIVAL: The Indo American Arts Council will present "Tendulkar Festival" celebrating the life and work of India’s most acclaimed playwright, Vijay Tendulkar through the month of October. Leading Indian contemporary playwright, screen and television writer, literary journalist, humanist and social commentator, Tendulkar has been the most influential dramatist in India for the past decade. IAAC’s passionate mission to build an awareness of Indian artists and their work is given ample berth by Mr. Tendulkar's work. The Tendulkar Festival has attracted partners both South Asian as well as American: The Play Company, Queens Museum of Art, Martin Segal Theatre CUNY Graduate Center, Alter Ego Productions, Desipina Theatre Co, Lark Theatre Co, Rasa Theatre Group, Salaam Theatre Group, PanAsian Rep and The Players Club. Through October, IAAC in collaboration with all major South Asian Theatre companies will present the most comprehensive collection of Tendulkars plays and films ever to be held in the United States. Play readings, seminars, discussions, film screenings as well as a full length production his play "Sakharam Binder" is scheduled as a part of the Festival. The Lark Play Development Center will present the first public reading of his new play "His Fifth Woman". For tickets or information, call Indo-American Arts Council, Inc. at 212-529-2347 or visit www.iaac.is.
Vijay Tendulkar is a leading contemporary Indian playwright, screen and television writer, literary essayist, political journalist, and social commentator. For the past four decades he has been the most influential dramatist and theater personality in Marathi, the principal language of the state of Maharashtra, which has had a continuous literary history since the end of the classical period in India and has nearly seventy-five million speakers today. For more about Vijay Tendulkar go to: http://www.wisc.edu/southasia.
The recent opening night program at The Players and Indian Consulate included the introduction to Vijay Tendulkar with Collection of Vignettes from Vijay Tendulkar’s life and works, a discussion with Tendulkar and Roy Schneider, and Alter Ego’s presentation of "Who’s Afraid of Vijay Tendulkar?", a dramatic collage conceived, written and adapted by Anuvab Pal and Shourin Roy. Alter Ego, formed completely by South Asian Professionals in New York, the company has gone on to become on the hottest names in theatre production and were chosen by renowned British playwright Tom Stoppard to produce the debut of his play in New York Indian Ink – which ran to packed houses in New York in October 2003. The Festival schedule is listed below:
"Kamala" (from "Collected Plays in Translation"), a reading by SALAAM Theatre, directed by Geeta Citygirl, Talkback with Vijay Tendulkar (October 8), at The Medicine Show &Salaam Theatre Group, 549 W 52nd Street, 3rd Floor, NYC, 8PM , October 8 – 9. For tickets, call 212- 330-8097 or visit www.salaamtheatre.org. SALAAM Theatre (South Asian League of Artists in AMerica) is a not-for-profit professional multidisciplinary theatre company celebrating South Asian American artistic excellence through creative risk-taking and experimentation that challenges all boundaries, connects all peoples and links all forms of creative _expression in the spirit of progressive solidarity. Geeta Citygirl is Artistic Director and Founder of SALAAM Theatre. In addition, check out SALAAM 3rd Mondays, Time Keeps Ticking, reflecting on changing seasons and celebrating its 4-YEAR ANNIVERSARY on Monday, October 18, 7:00 PM, featuring theatre, dance, music, film, comedy and activism.
"Mitrachi Goshta", reading by RASA Theatre Group at the Queens Museum of Art, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY, with discussion with VijayTendulkar, Uzma Rizvi, Una Chaudhuri, 5PM, October 10. FREE with museum admission. For more info, call 718-592-9700 or visit, www.rasatheatre.org or www.queensmuseum.org.
"Ghashiram Kotwal", reading by Lark Theatre and Pan Asian Repertory, at West End Theatre, 226W 86th Street, NYC, 7PM, October 25. For tickets, call 212-868-4030 or visit www.larktheatre.org. The Lark was established in 1994 with one distinct purpose: to discover and develop new voices for the American theatre. Founded by a trio of artists, including a director, a designer and a writer, whose careers had begun in regional theatres, the company initially presented plays in full production at a variety of New York venues including Theatre Row and the Manhattan Class Company before finding a home at the Chelsea Playhouse with a consortium of three other nonprofits. Producing Director John Clinton Eisner was a co-founder and continues to serve as the organization’s leader.
"Tendulkar’s Women", Workshop Presentation by Desipna Theatre Group, Excerpted &adapted from Tendulkar's work by Ashok Sinha, directed by Ashok Sinha, with Talkback with Vijay Tendulkar (October 9), at Shelter Studio #204, 939 Eighth Avenue, NYC, 8PM, October 8 – 10. For tickets, call 212-805-6586 or visit www.desipina.org. Desipina Productions exists to: Acknowledge the unique differences that exist within the Asian-American communities, which in itself is divided by race, religion, social and economic status. We wish to use these differences to promote understanding and to blur the self-imposed boundaries placed upon the vastly diverse minority group that makes up a growing percentage of the current US population. Through the use of self-definition, we wish to nurture the works of underrepresented multi-ethnic individuals, as well as empower female artists to tell their stories. "Desipina" is defined as a slang term describing a person of South Asian (desi) and Filipina (pina) descent; (n.) a group that embraces multiracial identities and fusion lifestyles; (v.) to check outside the box. Rehana Mirza is Artistic Director while Rohi MIrza is Producing Director.
Conference & Evening With Vijay Tendulkar, with Vijay Tendulkar and The Play Company, at Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, The Graduate Center CUNY, 365 Fifth Avenue, NYC (Code4909/4910), 1 - 5PM & 6:30 - 8PM October 6. For tickets, call 212-817-8215 or visit www.gc.cuny.edu/mestc.
Films with screenplays by Vijay Tendulkar to be shown include: "Arth", 2PM Sunday, October 10, Starring: Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil, Directed by: Mahesh Bhatt. "Ardhya Satya", 2PM Sunday, October 17, Starring: Om Puri, Smita Patil, Naseeruddin Shah,
Directed by: Govind Nihilani. "Nishant", 2PM Sunday, October 24, Starring: Shabana Azmi, Smita Patel, Amrish Puri, Naseeruddin Shah, Directed by: Shyam Benegal. At the Queens Museum of Art (QMA), Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY. FREE with museum admission. For more info, call 718-592-9700 or visit www.larktheatre.org.
Aroon Shivdasani, Ronald Rand (publisher of Soul of the American Actor), Vijay Tendulkar
"Fifth Woman", Public Reading of Vijay Tendulkar’s new play at Lark Play Development Theatre, Suite 301, 939 Eighth Avenue, NYC, directed by Sturgis Warner.
Post-performance conversation hosted by Aroon Shivdasani, 7 - 9PM, October 14. For tickets, call 212-246-2676 ext. 22 or visit www.larktheatre.org.
"Sakharam Binder", Festival Production of a play by Vijay Tendulkar, directed by Maria Mileaf, presented by The Play Company at 59E 59 Street Theatre, NYC, 8PM, October 21 - November 21 (Previews: October 21 - 29), Opening Night: October 30. For Tickets, call 212-279-4200 or visit www.theplayco.org or www.ticketcentral.com.
PERFORMING ETHNICITY CONFERENCE & ARTS FEST:
The "Performing Ethnicity" Conference and Arts Festival, jointly organized by Ma-Yi Theater Company, The University of the Philippines System, The City College of New York, and Philippine Forum, will be from Oct. 10-31. The "Performing Ethnicity" Conference and Arts Festival seeks to introspect on the legacy of the St. Louis World's Fair by providing a venue for articulating race and ethnicity as represented in the Fair, and how they have become integral and nominal building blocks in America's bid to build a colonial empire. The St. Louis World's Fair of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904 showcased the grandeur of Empire. To commemorate the Louisiana Purchase that consolidated the American nation, and to highlight America's new role as a colonial power, the St. Louis World's Fair was conceived not only to be the most expensive, but also the biggest and most majestic since the first world's fair took place in London in 1851. For more info call 212-971-4862 or visit www.ma-yitheatre.org.
The pageant, however, was conceived at the expense of racial and ethnic groups who were "housed" in various sections of the fairgrounds. Thousands of Igorots, Moros and Visayans from the Philippines; Eskimos, Cocopa, Sioux, Klaokwaht, Cheyennes, Maricopa, and Prima Indians, Batwa from the Congo, Patagonian Giants, Ainus from Japan - were paraded and displayed in specially constructed pavilions made to look like their natural habitats. The displays proved wildly popular with fairgoers and became a mainstay for future world fairs. The Philippine Pavilion, the largest of the "ethnic" houses, showed Igorot natives slaughtering and eating dogs. Natives were made to perform sacred rituals for a paying public duly mortified by such "acts of barbarism." Audiences were then ushered to sausage stands, where the term "hot dog" was first coined to play on the gruesome dining habits of the Filipino "dogeater."
At the Conference, Plenary Lectures begin on Friday, Oct. 15, David Lloyd of the University of Southern California with "Races Under Erasure". "The Native as Other: Notions of Display and Spectacle" is slated on Saturday, Oct. 16. Bienvenido Lumbera of University of the Philippines will present "Strategies of Resistance: Postcolonial Discourse in the ‘Third World’" on Sunday, Oct. 17.
Some of the interesting topics at panel discussions or lectures include: "Displaying the White Man’s Burden: Filipino Artists and the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition," "The Igorot Village: A Deconstruction and a Reconstruction," "Los Angeles Chinatown and Cultural Consumerism," "Performing Ifugao/Igorot Identity Through the Hudhud," "From the ‘Primitive to Grand Opera’: Filipino in the Mid-western Chautauqua Circuit: 1917 to 1924," "70 Years of ‘Filipino Baby’" "Ugly Ducklings Growing Plastic Wings: Falling in Love with the Cyborgian Self in front of The Swan’s Magic Mirror," "Mestizo Rage and Revenge: On the Colonial Origins of Abject Masculinity in Filipino American Cultural Production, "The ‘Yellow Peril’ and the ‘Dog-eaters’: Orientalizing the Chinese and Indigenous Peoples of the Philippines, "Imperial Relationships: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Filipino Mail-Order Bride Industry," "Pimping Cultural Diversity in New York City," "America in the Narratives of Filipino Women," Batang Katutubo: Portraying Filipino Ethnicity in Filipino Children’s Literature, "The Flight of the Japanese Butterfly: Orientalism, Nationalism and the Performance of Japanese Womanhood," and "Pilipinos are Punny, En/Gendering Anticolonial Humor in Filipino-American Performance,
Orlando Pabotoy, Sophia Skiles and Piter Marek (l-r) in Savage Acts. Photo by Redrick deLeon
"Savage Acts" begins October 9 at Ohio Theatre at 66 Wooster Street in New York City. Presented as part of "Performing Ethnicity," the play is a new, Off-Broadway collaboration by noted playwrights Kia Corthron (LIGHT RAISE THE ROOF), Jorge Cortiñas (BLIND MOUTH SINGING), Han Ong (MIDDLE FINGER) and Sung Rno (wAve). Presented by Ma-Yi Theatre Company and directed by Ralph Peña, "Savage Acts" examines how the perceptions and representations of ethnicity have changed over the past 100 years. For tickets, call 212-352-3101 or visit www.TheaterMania.com.
The ensemble of "Savage Acts" includes Jeanine Abrams, Jesse Bernstein, Ron Domingo, Piter Marek, Orlando Pabotoy, Sophia Skiles and Aaron Yoo. Director Ralph Peña is a founding member and the current Artistic Director of Ma-Yi Theater Company, for which he has previously directed DEAD MAN'S SOCKS, THIS END UP (A USER'S MANUAL FOR LOVERS OF ASIANS), and FLIPZOIDS. He will also direct Ma-Yi's upcoming production of Nicky Paraiso's solo work HOUSE/BOY.
Ma-Yi Theater Company won eight Village Voice Obie Awards for its highly praised premiere of Lonnie Carter's THE ROMANCE OF MAGNO RUBIO, which has since toured the Philippines and California. Other recent productions of note include THE SQUARE, Han Ong's MIDDLE FINGER, WATCHER, Alice Tuan's LAST OF THE SUNS, Sung Rno's WAVE, and SAVAGE ACTS -- a collaborative Off-Broadway play by Kia Corthron, Jorge Ignacio Cortinas, Han Ong and Sung Rno at the Ohio Theatre. Ma-Yi Theater Company, now in its fifteenth season, is devoted to plays of the Asian-American experience cross-cultural and intercultural collaborations. It has been regularly featured in productions of The Club at La MaMa.
"Body Work" by playwright Claudia Alick uses theatrical hip-hop and poetry to treat nagging questions of female self-image and be presented Oct. 14-17 at The Club at La MaMa. "Body Work" is based on a variety of ideas on how black women are portrayed. These include the impressions born of film and the media and W.E.B. du Bois' idea of "double consciousness" - that black women are pressured to think about how they present themselves to Society as women, and also how they present themselves as black women. There are three characters: a woman of color (20's-30's), a man dressed as a woman (not meant be a drag queen), who represents "the outer voice of the woman," and a voice, representing the inner voice of the woman. A principal part of the sound track is Sir Mix-A-Lot's "baby got back," a paean to the black female posterior. For tickets, call 212-475-7710 or visit, www.lamama.org. For more info, visit www.smokinword.com
Claudia Alick (author, www.claudiaalick.com) is a playwright, poet, actress, Executive Producer and Artistic Director of Smokin Word. She is the author of the chap-books "The Haiku Scam", and "Disingenious", reviews of hip-hop literature in BUST magazine, and plays that have been staged at The Kennedy Center, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, 45 Bleeker, Chashama Experimental Theatre, New Perspectives Theatre, and PS 122 in the 2002 and 2003 NYC Hip Hop Theatre Festivals. Her play "6 Hits" was a winner of the audience award in the Downtown Urban Theatre Festival. She has won poetry slams at Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Hottest Poets, Urbana Slam at The Bowery Poetry Bar, and A Little Bit Louder at Bar 13 where she qualified as a finalist for their national slam teams. Other performance credits include HBO's Def Poetry Jam, the film "TerrorMarketers", and features in the documentaries "WordJunky" (dir. Audrey Colcannon) and "Ladies on the Mic - Women in Hip-Hop" (dir. Jessica Matluck). She has guest lectured at NYU, taught at Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, Bell Multi-Cultural Highschool with Arena Stage, The Shakespeare Theatre's South East Project, P.A.L. After-school centers, and most recently at Riker's Island with Community Word Project. During the day she works as Production Coordinator in charge of casting at Talking Book Productions recording studios.
"Mural Creation" will feature five outstanding contemporary artists: Edgar Heap of Birds (Native American), Shinique Smith (African American), Hidenori Ishii (Japanese), Francisco Alvardo-Juarez (Honduran), and Eliseo Art Silva (Filipino) will perform live from Oct. 15-17 at the City College of New York's Academic Center, 138th Street and Convent Avenue. Theses five artists will respond to questions of race, ethnicities in contemporary art, and the 1904 St. Louis World Fair pm a 7 by 28 FEET canvas. Come watch the creation of a significant collaborative mural between five outstanding artists investigating the representations of ethnicity in contemporary American art.
"Death of Nations: The Trailer" by International WOW Company will have 2 performances on Oct. 16, 3PM and 8PM at Teatro Heckscher of El Museo del Barrio at
1230 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street. The play features an international cast from nine countries on four continents. Beginning as a lecture on global economics by a panel of international economists that goes awry, the play leaps into the global sphere, erupting into an imaginistic world-spanning narrative. Conceived and directed by International WOW Company Producing Artistic Director Josh Fox, "Death of Nations: The Trailer" begins as a lecture on worldwide economics by a panel of international economists that goes awry. The production leaps into the global sphere, erupting into a thought-provoking, world-spanning examination of current issues of war and peace. For tickets, call 212-352-3101 or visit www.Theatermania.com. For more info, visit www.internationalwow.org .
International WOW Company is an ensemble theatre company, based in the US and Thailand, that creates large-scale political works with artists from around the world, through collaboration and exchange, utilizing performance traditions of the East and West. Founded in 1996, International WOW has created over 40 new works for the theatre, consistently recognized as challenging, inventive, entertaining and visually stunning. Previous productions include HYPERREAL AMERICA, THE BOMB, and SOON MY WORK. With annual residences and workshops with artists around the world, International WOW has established itself as a pioneer of international theatre exchange. For more info, visit www.internationalwow.org.
"Broke" by Sri Lankan-American playwright Vishakan Jeyakumar, a workshop staging by Desipina & Co. will be presented Oct. 18-24 at La Mama at 74A East Fourth Street. Directed by Abigail Marateck, this drama explores day to day life in a Queens auto shop run by two African American brothers, Derrick and Kevin, and their employee Neelan, a Sri Lankan refugee. When temperamental and elusive Vince, an Italian-American employee, joins the team, it becomes difficult to tell what needs fixing more - the cars or the mechanics. The cast features Paul Coughlan, Ian Eaton, Amol Shah, Sekou Campbell. Set Design is by Tania Bijlani. For tickets, call 212-475-7710 or visit, www.lamama.org.
Desipina & Co. (www.desipina.org) is a South Asian and Asian American theatre and film company dedicated to promoting cross-pollination and artistic, political, and cultural dialogues. The mission is to acknowledge the unique differences that exist within Asian American communities, which in itself is divided by race, religion, social and economic status. The company is led by Rehana Mirza (Artistic Director); Rohi Mirza (Producing Director) and Ashok Sinha (Associate Artistic Director).
"Hip Hop’s Unspoken Words" will run Oct. 20-24 at the Ohio Theater at 66 Wooster Street between Spring and Broome Streets, Wednesday-Thursday 8 PM, Friday-Saturday 10 PM, Sunday 7 PM. A night of improvisational theatre and hip hop with one of New York's premiere hip hop theater groups, Playback NYC, pushing the boundaries of Ethnicity, Race, Gender, Class, Sexual Orientation and "The Other." Playback NYC will be joined every night by SPECIAL GUESTS from the New York Hip Hop and Spoken Word Underground. For tickets, call 212-352-3101 or visit www.TheaterMania.com. For more info, visit www.playbacknyc.org
Also at the Ohio Theater, "Pavilions", staged readings of new works by Carla Ching, Qui Nguyen, Sung Rno, and Lloyd Suh , will be presented Oct. 25-26, 7PM at the Ohio Theater, 66 Wooster Street. "Will We Not Return" is a preview of Part 2 of "Death of Nations", International WOW Company's four part play cycle. To be presented Oct. 28-31 at the Ohio Theater, each chapter explores a particular country (USA, Thailand, Argentina, and Iraq) and its relationship to cultural and economic globalization. For tickets, call 212-352-3101 or visit www.TheaterMania.com. For more info on WOW, www.internationalwow.org.
"House/Boy" returns Nov. 4-21 to La Mama. "House/Boy," Nicky Paraiso's third autobiographical evening-length solo work with music and multimedia, dealing with identity, sexuality and the enduring theme of what "home" means to Filipino Americans. Directed by Ralph Peña, who is Artistic Director of Ma-Yi Theater Company. "In the earlier parts of his Asian Boys trilogy, Nicky Paraiso explored with a ruminative yet passionate voice his growing up queer and Filipino, with a strong-willed mother, in a Queens landscape of loss and ambivalent belonging. In House/Boy, the third installment, he sings of his father, who has previously remained mostly in the background as the strong silent male-in a xenophobic society the imposed role for immigrant men of color, valued for their hard work but resented for their bravado and flamboyance….With a piano and some well-chosen songs, Paraiso has shepherded expertly and movingly the different parts of his tale under one well-wrought roof." (Luis Francia, Village Voice)
Sayaka Shoji. photo by Kishim Shinoyama
SAYAKA SHOJI DEBUT: Violinist Sayaka Shoji will make her Philharmonic debut with Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 1 with the New York Philharmonic, Lorin Maazel conducting Oct. 7-9 at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center. The program also includes Prokofiev’s selections from Romeo and Juliet; and the Symphony No. 5. For tickets, call 212-875-5656 or visit newyorkphilharmonic.org.
Sayaka Shoji started violin lessons at the age of five. She went on to win numerous international competitions, including the eighth Mozart Junior Competition in Vienna in 1995, the seventh Wieniawski International Competition for Young Violinists in Poland in 1997, and the Viotti Valsesia International Competition in 1999. Also in 1999, at the age of 16, she won first prize at the Paganini International Violin Competition in Italy, making her its youngest ever — and first Japanese — winner. In 2001 Ms. Shoji gave her recital debut in Paris at the Auditorium de Louvre, and her United Kingdom debut concerts, in Glasgow and London, with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Yuri Temirkanov conducting. In March 2002 she appeared at the Salzburg Easter Festival with the Berlin Philharmonic and Mariss Jansons, and in January 2003 made her U.S. debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta.
Ms. Shoji has performed with many of the world’s leading conductors, and has appeared with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Bavarian State Orchestra, London and Berlin Symphony Orchestras, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, WDR Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano "Giuseppe Verdi," Orchestra Sinfonica dell’Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. In the month following her debut with the New York Philharmonic she will travel with the Orchestra to Japan, performing Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in Fukui and Tokyo. Sayaka Shoji made her first Deutsche Grammophon recording with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic in October 2000. Her second is a solo disc recorded at her 2001 Paris recital debut. Most recently she recorded the Prokofiev sonatas and the Shostakovich preludes with pianist Itamar Golan. She resides in Cologne, where she studies with Professor Zakhar Bron at the Hochschule für Musik Köln. She performs on the "Joachim" Stradivarius (1715) generously provided by the Nippon Music Foundation.
Kwangchul Youn sings at the Met
YOUN DEBUTS AT THE MET: Bass singer Kwangchul Youn debuts as Sarastro in Mozart’s "Die Zauberfloute" at the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center beginning Oct. 8 through the season. Sarastro protects Pamina in his Temple from her mother, the evil Queen of the Night. Prince Tamino is charged by the Queen to rescue the royal princess who eventually joins forces with Sarastro to ward off the attack of the Temple. The people praise Isis and Osiris and the triumph of courage, virtue and wisdom. He is also scheduled to perform Ramfis in "Aida" and Hermann in "Tannhäuser". The Korean bass was recently heard as Titurel in Parsifal and Hermann at the Bayreuth Festival and in the title role of Attila in Ludwigsburg. He has also performed numerous roles with Berlin’s Deutsche Staatsoper including Rocco in Fidelio, Oroveso in Norma, the Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlo, Pogner in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Banquo in Macbeth, Arkel in Pelléas et Mélisande, and Sarastro. Upcoming performances include Leporello in Don Giovanni with the Vienna State Opera, King Henry in Lohengrin with Madrid’s Teatro Real, Sarastro with the Washington National Opera, and King Philip in Don Carlo and Hermann with the Berlin State Opera. For tickets, call 212-362-6000 or visit www.metopera.org.
Meanwhile, Hei-Kyung Hong continues to sing Micaela, the good woman, in Bizet’s "Carmen" with Olga Borodina sings Carmen, with Neil Shicoff as Don Jose and Ildar Abdrazakov as Escamillo with James Levine conducting. "Carmen" runs through Nov. 12. Also at the Met, "Madama Butterfly" opens this September Sept. 22 with Emmauel Villaume conducting featuring Kallen Esperian/Cynthia Lawrence, Roberto Aronica/Marco Berti, Vassily GerelloCharles Edwin Taylor. Puccini’s opera will be performed through Feb. 26. For tickets, call 212-362-6000 or visit www.metopera.org.
PIANIST FREDERIC CHIU: Pianist Frederic Chin will join the wind ensemble Windscape to perform at the Metropolitan Museum on Fifth Avenue Thursday, Oct. 14, 8PM. Windscape members are flutist Tara Helen O’Connor, oboist Randall Wolfgang, clarinetist Alan Kay, bassoonist Frank Morelli and hornist David Jolley. The program includes Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in G Minor, Mozart’s Quintet in E flat Major for Piano and Winds, Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite and Beethoven’s Quintet in E flat Major for Piano and Winds. For tickets, call 212-570-3949 or visit www.metmuseum.org.
Frederic Chiu’s piano playing and teaching spring from a diverse set of experiences and interest: his Asian American European background, his musical training and an early and ongoing exploration of artificial intelligence and human psychology, especially, in his words, "the body mind heart connection." With over 20 highly acclaimed recordings in print, the complete piano works of Prokofiev in 10 volumes is now available, a recording of Chopin’s Etudes, will be released in the Fall 2005. His repertoire includes the complete work of Prokofiev as well as popular classics of Chopin and Liszt, with a special place for the piano transcription. Chiu’s musical partners include Joshua Bell, Pierre Amoyal, Gary Hoffman, and the St. Lawrence and Shanghai string quartets. He was the recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Petscheck Award of the Juilliard School, and was a fellow of the American Pianist Association. He was also the "non-winner" of the 1993 Van Cliburn Competition, where his elimination from the finals cause an uproar in the press. Chiu is also committed to expanding the role of classical music; he has created unusual collaborations with non-musicians, such as the Shakespearean actor Brian Bedford and psychologist/writer/clown Howard Buten. He does extensive work with children through concert/lectures for schools and has brought classical music to places where it is rarely heard.
AT 92ND STREET Y: The Tokyo String Quartet plays on Saturday, Oct. 23, 8PM at 92nd Street Y Tisch Center for the Arts. The program, Immigrant Composers Series, features Eisler’s String Quartet, Op. 75, Haydn’s String Quartet No. 2 in F Major and Schoenberg’s Verklarte Nacht, Op. 4. The Tokyo Quartet itself is an ensemble of immigrants and world travelers: violinist Kikuei Ikeda and violist Kazuhide Isomura are Japanese, violinist Martin Beaver is Canadian and cellist Clive Greensmith is British. Guests artists Phillip Ying, viola, and David Ying, cello, will also perform. On Oct. 26 and Oct. 27, 8PM, violinist Jennifer Koh will perform with pianist Leon Fleisher, violinist Jaime Laredo and Ida Kavafian and cellist Sharon Robinson at 92nd St. Y. The program will feature Korngold’s Suite, Op. 23, Brahms’s Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34, Prokofiev’s Sonata in C Major for Two Violins, Op. 56. The Romantic Generation lecture – concert series kicks off Oct. 10 at 92nd St. Y. Presented by Charles Rose, pianist, scholar, lecturer, teach and author, this combination talk (:30PM) and (3PM) performance provides an opportunity for audiences to experience the music of four Romantic masters: Chopin, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms. The series continues Oct. 24 and Nov. 7. For tickets to all events, call 212-415-5500 or visit www.92Y.org.
ON CARNEGIE HALL STAGE: Pianist Fou Ts’Ong celebrates his 70th Birthday on Saturday, Oct. 9, 8PM, in recital with works by Haydn, Soong Fu Yuan, Schubert and Chopin at the Stern Auditorium. On Oct. 16, 5:30PM Rufus Choi will perform on the piano at the Weill Recital Hall. The International Sejong Soloists will hold a Benefit Concert featuring works by Britten, Handel, Vivaldi and Bach on Oct. 17, 7:30PM at Zankel Auditorium with Paula Zahn as host and cellist and guest artist pianist Vladimir Feltsman. Yuuko Shiokawa, violinist, will play with pianist Andras Schiff and Cellist Miklos Perenyi on Oct. 18 at the Zankel with works by Dvorak, Janacek and Smetana. At the Weill, Hyun Suk Kim, viola will perform on Oct. 23, 2PM. On Oct. 24, 3PM, pianist ChiaoYing Chang will perform at the Zanel. Nam Yun Kim will conduct the New Jersey Philharmonic on Oct. 31, 7PM, at the Stern. On clarinet, Tae Yeon Kim will perform at the Weill on Oct. 31 5:30PM. For tickets, call CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or visit www.carnegiehall.org.
PACIFIC CROSSING: As its first music offering of the new season, Japan Society presents Yosuke Yamashita New York Trio: Pacific Crossing. Tradition meets modern when world-renowned jazz pianist Yosuke Yamashita, bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Pheerooan akLaff perform Yamashita’s original jazz adaptations of Japanese folksongs, with guest traditional Japanese instrumentalists. Performances are Wednesday & Thursday, Oct. 13 & 14 at 7:30PM at Japan Society at 333 East 47th Street. Within its virtuosic jazz exploration of Japanese folksongs, Pacific Crossing reflects a deep and rich range of influences from ancient shamisen melody lines to the rhythms of obon dances. To flesh out the repertoire's native color, the Yosuke Yamashita New York Trio has enlisted special Japanese masters of indigenous instruments, including Kiyohiko Semba on traditional drum and Meisho Tosha on traditional flute. As a special prelude, William Minor, author of Jazz Journeys to Japan, offers a pre-performance lecture one hour before show times. For tickets, call 212-752-3015 or visit www.japansociety.org.
Internationally renowned pianist Yosuke Yamashita has released over 50 albums. Born Feb 26, 1942 in Tokyo, Japan, Yamashita has toured continuously throughout the world since 1974 and has made annual appearances New York's jazz scene since 1988. Along with frequent solo piano concerts, he has performed with various international artists including Kodo, Samul-Nori, EitetsuHayashi, Bill Laswell, Lester Bowie, Elvin Jones, Mal Waldron, and Max Roach among many others. He was awarded the celebrated Japan Jazzist Award by Swing Journal magazine in1981 and 1993, the Fumio Nanri Award in 1990, and was conferred the Purple Ribbon Medal from the Japanese government for his contributions to the arts and academics in 2003. Career highlights include an appearance with Toronto Symphony conducted by Michiyoshi Inoue and with the Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux conducted by Erich Kunzel, a performance at the 50th Anniversary concert of Verve Records held at Carnegie Hall, and his presentation of a celebration concert for the King of Thailand. Yamashita composed the acclaimed film score for Shohei Imamura’s Kanzo Sensei (Dr. Akagi) as well as the score for Kihachi Okamoto’s Vengeance is Such a Great Business. Yamashita is a popular essayist with more than 20 published books to his name. In 1988, Yamashita formed the Yosuke Yamashita New York Trio with bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Pheeroan akLaff. With frequent guest appearances by the Down Beat awarded saxophonist Joe Lovano and Ravi Coltrane, the trio has been touring all over the world. Available worldwide, their albums on Kitty/Universal and Verve Universal include Crescendo, Plays Gershwin, Sakura, Sakura Live, Kurdish Dance, Dazzling Days, Ways of Time, Spider, Canvas in Vigor, Wind of Age, and Fragments 1999.
Kiyohiko Semba, took up Japanese traditional percussions (tsuzumi, taiko, etc.) under his father’s instruction at the age of three. He made his debut on the kabuki stage at the age of ten and has been pursuing his career as a musician ever since. Besides his solo performances, he has collaborated with artists such as Akiko Yano, Wahaha and Ryuichi Sakamoto, and formed numerous performance groups from large-scale orchestral groups to smaller trios with whom he has released several albums and toured worldwide to great acclaim, including Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Egypt, France and Germany.
Meisho Tosha was born into a long line of traditional musicians and is a leading performer and versatile player of authentic Fue [Japanese flute] music. He has collaborated with not only with musicians of Japanese traditional music, but also with performers of Western classical music, jazz players, and rock musicians, and many folk musicians. He gives regular solo performances all over Japan and around the world, to distinguished audiences, including Pope John Paul II, in the Vatican. Meisho has a series of recordings on the SONY and DENON label. John Rockwell of the New York Times (12/19/03) wrote "[Mr. Tosha’s] performance summed up Japan, past and present… The music was the aural image of the passions and intensity of Japanese drama… Mr. Tosha’s flute playing suggests that maybe the best way to bridge gaps between cultures, and probably gaps between individuals, too, is to be true to yourself."
Japan Society invites audiences to celebrate the Pacific around town with their panel discussion, Pacific Overtures: An Evening with Amon Miyamoto, Stephen Sondheim & John Weidman on Monday, November 1 at 6:30pm. Amon Miyamoto, one of the most popular and leading directors of musicals in Japan, discusses his landmark adaptation of Pacific Overtures with creators Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman. The evening, featuring a sampling of music from the production, is presented in collaboration with Gorgeous Entertainment, Inc. and Roundabout Theatre Company. Tickets are $15 / $12 Japan Society members, seniors, Pacific Overtures ticket holders & students. Purchasers of Yosuke Yamashita New York Trio: Pacific Crossing tickets are eligible for a 25% discount to Pacific Overtures, which begins previews November 12th.
Japan Society, America’s leading resource on Japan, is a private, nonprofit institution founded in New York in 1907. The Society promotes understanding and cooperation between the U.S. and Japan through a full range of programs in Global Affairs, Arts & Culture and Education. Society programming creates rich encounters and exchanges that increasingly reflect the broader Asian and global context of the U.S.-Japan relationship.
USTAD HISHAT KHAN
SITAR VIRUOSO USTAD HISHAT KHAN: The Miller Theatre of Columbia University will present Ustad Nishat Khan in a rare New York appearance Oct. 16, 8PPM. Recognized as one of the foremost sitarists in the world today, ferociously gifted sitar virtuoso Ustad Nishat Khan integrates te discipline and technique of his ancestors with his own distinctive musical approach. Able to collaborate across many musical cultures, Khan has worked with some of the world’s leading performers and composers, including John McLaughlin, Philip Glass, Paco Pena, Paco DeLucia and Evelyn Glennie. He recently appeared in Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festival where he performed alongside Santana and BB King, and he has also made a successful collaboration of Gregorian Chant with sitar. On the Miller stage, Ustad Nishat Khan will be joined by tabla player Abhiman Kaushal. For tickets, Call 212-854-7799 or visit www.millertheatre.com.
WORLD MUSIC INSTITUTE: The World Music Institute will present Masters of Indian Music, Amjad Ali Khan with Zakir Hussain on Saturday, Oct. 9, 8PM at Town Hall, 123 West 43 Street. Amjad Ali Khan is one of India’s most celebrated classical musicians, renowned for his exquisite tone and lyricism. Heir to a long musical tradition, he is the son and disciple of the legendary Hafiz Ali Khan and the top sarod (lute) player of the Gwalior gharana (school). He has performed for over 50 years and is the recipient of India’s highest awards. He will be joined by the inimitable tabla (drums) player Zakir Hussain, the favorite accompanist to India’s major classical musicians and dancers. For tickets, call 212-840-2824. On Oct. 23, 3PM and 8PM, at Symphony Space on Broadway and 95 Street, Yoshida Brothers, veritable rock stars in Japan, play what is sometimes referred to as Japanese bluegrass on the shaisen, a banjo like lute from the Tsugaru region of northern Japan. Performing with the fevor of Jimi Hendrix, they incorporate jazz like improvisation, pop rock sensibilities and global music idioms into their innovative renditions of this ancient music. For tickets, call 212-864-4500. For more info, visit www.worldmusicinstitute.org.
E J-YONG's UNTOLD SCANDAL: UNTOLD SCANDAL, directed by South Korea's E J-Yong and starring Korean superstar Bae Yong-jun. Kino International Corporation will be release UNTOLD SCANDAL in New York on Friday, October 13.
Set at the dusk of the Chosun dynasty in the late 18th century, UNTOLD SCANDAL translates all characters from Choderlos de Laclos' Les Liaisons Dangereuses into Korean archetypes of an unspoken but highly regulated social fabric. The cold and perverse male lead is played by Korean sex icon Bae Yong-jun, the commanding Lee Mi-Suk re-defines psychological manipulation as his stunning royal cousin (a role played by Glenn Close in Stephen Frears' Dangerous Liaisons) and Jeon Do-yeon evokes the romantic equation of goodness and decorum as the young widow who falls victim to their destructive scheming.
By turning de Laclos¹ controversial tale of conquest, love and betrayal into an exquisite Korean tragedy of manners, director E J-Yong infuses UNTOLD SCANDAL with the perfect blend of cultural specificity, Machiavellian eroticism and human poignancy. Upper class debauchery never looked this sharp.
FILMS FROM HONG KONG: Beginning October 18, directly following the New York Film Festival’s tribute to the films of Hong Kong’s legendary Shaw Studios and the screening of the complete "Infernal Affairs" trilogy, the Walter Reade Theater will present "Recent Films from Hong Kong", a dynamic 15-film series celebrating the re-emergence of Hong Kong cinema as a major international force. "Recent Films from Hong Kong" features a focus on the work of Johnnie To, surely one of the most remarkable talents working anywhere today. A first-rate craftsman whose films keep moving in new and unpredictable directions, To is the only director in the world to have had different works featured this year at Berlin (Running on Karma), Cannes (Breaking News, recently bought by Palm Pictures) and Venice (Throw Down). Tickets for this series are available by phone 212-496-3809 or visit www.filmlinc.com. For more information, call 212-875-5600.
Some of the films to be screened include: Breaking News / Dai Si Gein, Johnnie To, Hong Kong. When the embarrassing defeat of a police battalion is broadcast live on TV, the credibility of the police department drops to an all-time low. But when the whereabouts of the robbers is discovered, Police Inspector Rebecca comes up with a strategy to reverse her department’s bad publicity by sending policemen into the building outfitted with wireless cameras so the public can see real justice being served. But the robbers aren’t to be so easily outdone.... Quick— paced and ever surprising, Breaking News is vintage Johnnie To. At the film’s premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the audience burst into applause at the end of a tour-de-force gun battle with a constantly moving camera that lasts over seven minutes. Mon Oct 18: 2:15 & 6:30; Sat Oct 23: 5:45 & 9:45
Running on Karma / Da Zhi La, Johnnie To & Wai Ka Fai, Hong Kong. Decked out in a bodysuit, Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau plays "Biggie," a male exotic dancer whose act sometimes goes too far. One time when it does, a policewoman, Yee, is in the audience, and she arrests him; Biggie flees the scene of the crime, inadvertently allowing a murderer to go free. After clearing Biggie of the charges against him, Yee decides to find out more about this exotic dancer. The mystery of Biggie grows deeper still when he reveals an uncanny ability to read people’s karma. A change of pace for Johnnie To, here sharing the direction with screenwriter Wai Ka Fai, Running on Karma is more introspective than To’s other recent films. After the flash opening in the strip club, it transforms into a portrait of two people trying to come to terms with forces they know they can’t control. Tue Oct 19: 2 & 6:15
Throw Down / Yau Doh Lung Fu Bong, Johnnie To, Hong Kong, Recently presented in Venice, Throw Down is a kind of homage to Akira Kurosawa’s judo epic Sanshiro Sugata. The film opens with young buck Tony arriving at a nightclub to challenge the owner, Sze-to, to a fight. Sze-to was once a judo champion of some renown, but for reasons unknown has since given up the sport. Now he spends his nights liquored up and his days stealing from a deranged gangster in an effort to keep his club doors open. Sze-to has neither the time nor the inclination to give Tony the fight the younger man wants. Perhaps never before has Johnnie To explored a relationship between two men with greater depth, as the power dynamics between them keep shifting and being redefined. Throw Down also features the same velvety, nocturnal cinematography that so distinguished To’s PTU. Sun Oct 24: 9; Thurs Oct 28: 2 & 9
PTU, Johnnie To, Hong Kong, "One of the few personal filmmakers still at work in the commercial Hong Kong cinema, Johnnie To specializes in street-level cop films, shot with a no-nonsense authority that recalls the work of Don Siegel and Phil Karlson. PTU— the initials stand for "police tactical unit"— is To's variation on a classic film noir theme, the corrupt cop who finds he must finally take a stand. Played by the marvelous character actor Lam Suet, Lo is a tubby, chain-smoking sergeant who loses his gun in a fight with a street gang and goes to extraordinary lengths to get it back. To's natural environment is Hong Kong at night— a city of eerily deserted streets, glowing neon signs, echoing pools of darkness and a constant sense of unseen menace. To populates his world with a range of marvelously drawn types, from sadistic petty hoods to imposing senior officers— such as the upright captain played by Hong Kong favorite Simon Yam. — Dave Kehr, 41st New York Film Festival. Tue Oct 26: 3 & 9; Wed Oct 27: 1
Infernal Affairs 2 / Wu Jian Dao II, Andrew Lau & Alan Mak, Hong Kong, There are few sequels— or in this case, prequels— that can really stand comparison to their highly successful originals, but IA2 is one of that rare breed, a film that deepens the themes and evolves the visual style that made the first Infernal Affairs such a hit with audiences and critics alike. The story begins in the early 90s: The assassination of triad kingpin Kwun threatens to unleash a bloody power struggle. Up— and— coming crime boss Sam (Eric Tsang) is cautiously planning his next move, when suddenly everyone is surprised by the sudden takeover of the triads by Hau, Kwun’s supposedly mild-mannered accountant son, who reveals an astonishing ruthlessness. Meanwhile, Police Inspector Wong (Anthony Wong) plants Yan, a recruit fresh from the academy, in Hau’s organization; Sam, suspicious of Inspector Wong, plants his own mole, Ming, inside Wong’s unit. As Hong Kong heads toward the 1997 handover to China, each player in this hidden drama of power, corruption, and loyalty will gradually reveal his hand, trying to make his opponents blink. Voted Best Film of 2003 by the Hong Kong Critics Association, IA2 features newcomers Edison Chen and Shawn Yue in the Ming and Yan roles created by Andy Lau and Tony Leung in the first film. Mon Oct 18: 4:15 & 8:30
Infernal Affairs 3/Wu Jian Dao II, Andrew Lau & Alan Mak, Hong Kong, If Infernal Affairs was the present and IA2 was the past, IA3 is an astonishing combination of the two, with interweaving narratives that move the story back and forth in time while it heads to its thrilling conclusion. Police detective Ming (Andy Lau), who’s actually a mole for the triads, is once again in good standing after a few questionable killings. All seems fine, except for the emergence of the energetic Security Inspector Yeung (Leon Lai), who Ming suspects might be another triad mole sent to finish him off. Meanwhile, in a separate storyline, Yan (Tony Leung) is now crime boss Sam’s right hand, although he’s actually a police mole. Fearing that he’s out of control, his police handler, Inspector Wong, sends him to psychological counseling, during which all kinds of secrets begin to emerge. A brilliant ending to the series that both sums up and comments on the permeability of good and evil that has figured so prominently in all three films. Tue Oct 19: 4 & 8:10
The Eye, Danny & Oxide Pang, Hong Kong/Thailand, Twin brothers from Thailand who worked their way up through the Hong Kong industry, the Pang brothers scored a great international success with The Eye. Mun, a blind violinist, undergoes a cornea transplant; the operation’s a success, and soon she’s beginning to see shapes, objects, and colors. But that’s not all that she can see; shadowy, hardly distinct figures circulate all around her, seemingly unnoticed by those around her. As her sight improves and these become more and more real to her, Mun decides to track down her cornea’s donor, to discover who this person is and why he or she had access to this unknown realm. An extraordinary sense of dread hangs over The Eye, as each new moment seems to promise an even more frightening revelation. Thurs Oct 21: 1; Fri Oct 22: 9:15
Darkness Bride / You Gou, William Kwok, Hong Kong/Taiwan, Darkness Bride is an eerie tale that begins in a remote village in northern China. Here, local custom holds that the corpses of dead virgins can be exhumed and sold to unmarried men, so that they might have spouses in the afterlife. A young woman, Qing Hua, lives with her shepherd husband while carrying on with their friend, Chun Sheng; when their affair might be revealed, they dig up the body of a famous local virgin, sell it and head to the city, but that’s when their problems really begin. A bar hostess starts to come between them, a woman who bears a striking resemblance to that famous dead virgin...Fri Oct 22: 2; Sun Oct 24: 4; Mon Oct 25: 1
Golden Chicken / Gam Ga, Samson Chiu, Hong Kong, Graced with a riotous performance by the delightful Sandra Ng, Golden Chicken is a hilariously revealing if occasionally raunchy guide to Hong Kong from the point of view of an especially hardworking working girl— a "golden chicken." One night while trying to make a withdrawal from an ATM, Kum finds herself in the middle of an inept robbery carried out by Bong. Trapped inside with Bong after the robbery is discovered, Kum starts to recount to him her life story, detailing her outrageous sexual journeys and odd encounters with all strata of Hong Kong society. Director Samson Chiu keeps the pace brisk, carefully upping the ante as each successive escapade described by Kum grows just a little bit wilder. With cameo appearances by many of Hong Kong cinema’s top stars. Fri Oct 22: 4; Sat Oct 23: 1:30; Mon Oct 25: 3
Lan Yu, Stanley Kwan, Hong Kong, Set in Beijing right before the events that led to the tragedy of Tiananmen Square, Lan Yu looks at the world of Chen Handong, a successful businessman with a secret but active gay life. One night he sees a striking young man in a bar; he is Lan Yu, a student from the countryside who’s been hired for the bar’s gay owner. Instead, Lan Yu goes home with Handong; their tryst soon transforms into a passionate love, and Handong starts to plan his life around being with Lan Yu. "To call Lan Yu a ‘gay film’— its two protagonists are decidedly homosexual and are onscreen throughout the entire film— would be sadly limiting. Its ultimate themes are at once universal and local and have little to do with what men do in bed. This is a film about the fragility and ultimate necessity of love, even under the shadow of great events." — Noah Cowan, 2001 Toronto International Film Festival Sun Oct 24: 2; Tue Oct 26: 1 & 7:10
July Rhapsody / Laam Yan Sei Sap, Ann Hui, Hong Kong, Lam Yiu-kwok is a high school teacher, an introverted, bookish man approaching middle age. But everything changes when a student, Choi-nam, falls in love with him. The beautiful teen reminds him of his wife when she was young. Meanwhile, back at home, his wife, Man-ching (Anita Mui), receives a visit from her old teacher, Mr. Seng, who’s now terminally ill. Seng’s unexpected appearance makes Man-ching realize that she still has unresolved feelings for him. One of Hong Kong’s most versatile actors, Jacky Cheung, creates a rich, complex portrait of a man desperately trying to understand his own emotions. As his wife, Mui is equally fine, but tragically, July Rhapsody was her final performance, as she succumbed to cancer late last year. Tue Oct 26: 5; Wed Oct 27: 2:45 & 6:45
NIBROLL’S DRY FLOWER: Nibroll, the Tokyo-based interdisciplinary
art collective, makes its debut November 3-6 at The Kitchen 512 West 19th Street
with the U.S. premiere of "Dry Flower". Founded in 1997 by choreographer Mikuni Yanaihara, the company draws equally from the talents of Yanaihara, composer Yuki Kato, videographer Keisuke Takahashi, lighting designer Kai Takinoiri and fashion
designer Mitsushi Yanaihara to produce lavish, visually spectacular, multi-layered works rooted in the social contradictions of Japan’s raging youth culture. With "Dry Flower", Yanaihara and Nibroll bring the world of media and movement to a whole new level, blending superb video work, keen-edged dance, a pop-infused score, white-hot lighting, and fantastical costumes. In this visionary world, straight from the street, spiky dances rife with abrupt humiliations and collapsing partnerships share the stage with drifting
petals and stampeding gazelles. Movements are condensed, incidents rapidly processed- "they do not carry anything mental and do not create any story as if it’s an endlessly meaningless making up of times" (Ballet, Ongakunotomo Press, Japan). For tickets, call 212-255-5793 x11 or visit www.thekitchen.org.
Created in 1997 by choreographer Mikuni Yanaihara, Nibroll was first invited to perform the first part of The Town Series titled Let's Go to Hayashi's House at the Avignon Performing Arts Festival, OFF. In March 2000, Nibroll premiered the second installment of the series, Tokyo Municipal Pool #1, followed by No Parking in November 2000. No Parking was subsequently performed at the Le Centre Choréographique Internationale de la Seine Saint Denis (France), and was awarded the National Conference Participant Award. In 2001, Nibroll embarked on their first U.S. tour after an invitation from the Oregon Dance Festival and San Francisco Butoh Festival. February 2002 brought the premiere of Coffee, which later toured to Berlin, Paris, New York, New Delhi and Bangkok. In the latter half of 2002, the group began presenting its 'Note' concept in three different styles: as a fashion show (Hinomaru Note), theater piece (Note Behind) and dance (Note). In addition to their stage work, Nibroll has produced various films, their own fashion brand ("Nibroll About Street"), and their own music label ("Nibroll
THE SOUP COMES LAST: Kitchen Theater Company of Ithaca, NY in association with Michael Carson will present to the New York Premiere of Rachel Lampert’s one-woman show "The Soup Comes Last" at 59E59 Theaters at 59 East 59th Street through Oct. 24. They were invited to China to mount a musical about two people caught in the middle of a culture clash and ended up in the middle of one themselves. It’s 1997 and intrepid choreographer Rachel Lampert, along with South African director Joanne Gordon, are off to the People’s Republic of China’s Jing-yi Academy of Performing Arts to stage the first musical theatre production in China of the quintessential American icon West Side Story… in Chinese. If the world seems upside-down, it is! And "The Soup Comes Last" tells it all. In this humorous and heart-warming solo performance, Rachel Lampert plays 11 characters including her Chinese interpreters, the Academy’s well-intentioned artistic directors, her hard-working all-Chinese cast and many more, as she recounts her real-life adventures of friendship, culture clash, backstage drama and hope against all odds. Karen Azenberg directs. For tickets, call 212-279-4200 or visit www.ticketcentral.com. For more information, visit www.kitchentheatre.org, and http://www.59e59.org.
Brooklyn born and raised writer/performer Rachel Lampert is most known in NYC as a choreographer, but now lives in Ithaca, NY as Artistic Producing Director of the Kitchen Theatre Company. She started Rachel Lampert & Dancers in 1975 which toured extensively throughout the US and in Europe for fifteen years. They appeared at Jacob’s Pillow, Delacourte Festival, Riverside Church, and the Public Theatre. She is a 4-time recipient of NEA Choreography Fellowships. Karen Azenberg (Director) choreographed the Roundabout Theatre’s The Dazzle by Richard Greenberg, directed the cult hit Prom Queens Unchained, and Blocks by Jonathan Larson. She received the Dramalogue Award for outstanding choreography for West Side Story (Opera Pacific) and a Joseph Jefferson Award nomination for Hello Dolly at Chicago's Marriott Lincolnshire.
LOTUS DANCERS: On Saturday, Oct. 9, 2PM, Nadia Moussa & Company will give a demonstration and performance, a glistening mosaic of music and dance from the Middle East, at the Joyce Soho, 155 Mercer Street. Manipuri dance will be discussed and demonstrated by Bimbavati Devi and Company at the Lotus Studios on Saturday, Oct. 16, 4PM at 109 West 27 Street, 8 Floor, NYC. For tickets call 212-627-1076 or visit www.lotusarts.com.
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