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ASIANS and AMAZONS BY MARILYN ABALOS
inside news about Asians and women on stage
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Ma-Yi Theater Company's "Sides." Photo by B. Barenio.
SIDES: THE FEAR IS REAL Obie Award-winning Ma-Yi Theater Company, one of the nation's leading troupes dedicated to portraying the Asian-American experience, will present Mr. Miyagi's Theatre Company in the critically acclaimed play SIDES: THE FEAR IS REAL , winner of the New York International Fringe Festival's Best Ensemble Award in 2003, directed by Anne Kauffman. Previews begin April 7th prior to an official Off-Broadway opening on April 9th at PS122, 150 First Avenue (at 10th Street) in Manhattan. For tickets and information, call 212-352-3101 or online at www.theatermania.com. For additional information about Ma-Yi Theater Company, visit www.ma-yitheatre.org.
"Sides: The Fear is Real", a comic parade of actors' audition horrors -- including nervous performers, bizarre casting directors and every manner of mishap -- was written collectively by the company from their own experiences. It has been called "Whip-smart comedy -- a bull's eye (Wall Street Journal)," "High speed, chokingly funny (Washington Post)," "Smart, current and unapologetic -if you enjoy laughing out loud, go see it (NYtheater.com)," "Delightful! Although Asian American, these players amusingly, aptly and artfully represent young actors of any origin (Curtainup.com)," "A very exciting, talented and funny ensemble of actors (actor and playwright Charles Busch)," and "Hilarious fun (playwright David Henry Hwang)."
Mr. Miyagi's Theatre Company -- Sekiya Billman, Cindy Cheung, Paul H. Juhn, Peter Kim, Hoon Lee and Rodney To -- formed in 2001 for their production of HOT STUFF HIGH!, a tribute to the John Hughes films of the '80s. They have performed their show SIDES: THE FEAR IS REAL in Los Angeles and New York.
Director Anne Kauffman's credits include THE LOYAL OPPOSITION by Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas, New York Theater Workshop; HANG TEN by Karen Hartman, Women's Project & Productions; WEATHER by Sung Rno with Sanctuary Theatre; and Brecht's FEAR AND MISERY OF THE THIRD REICH at CSC Repertory. Sekiya Billman appeared on Broadway in MISS SAIGON and Off-Broadway in Charles Busch's SHANGHAI MOON. Cindy Cheung was featured in THE KARAOKE SHOW and ANTIGONE (National Asian-American Theatre Company); Paul H. Juhn has performed in WHITE CHOCOLATE (The Culture Project), Ma-Yi Theater's WAVE and DESTINATION AMERICA with Second Stage; Peter Kim was recently seen in Broadway's THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE and THE LONG SEASON at The Public Theater; Hoon Lee's credits include Broadway's PACIFIC OVERTURES, URINETOWN and FLOWER DRUM SONG; Rodney To has performed at Ma-Yi and The Public Theater, and in the Los Angeles production of DOGEATERS.
Ma-Yi Theater Company, now celebrating its 16th season, won 8 Obie Awards for its production of THE ROMANCE OF MAGNO RUBIO, called "One of the best plays of the New York theater season" by The New York Times, Theatermania and other press. Of last season's WAVE, Margo Jefferson wrote "A first-rate company and a generously inventive play." The company was founded to develop new plays and performances about the Asian-American experience; challenging the prescriptions of what culturally specific theater should be by producing forward-thinking plays by today's emerging new crop of playwrights. Their last presentation, SAVAGE ACTS, was the centerpiece of the company's PERFORMING ETHNICITY INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE AND ARTS FESTIVAL in 2004, an exploration of perceptions of ethnicity by Ma-Yi and other theater companies throughout Manhattan. Other recent productions of note by Ma-Yi include THE SQUARE, Han Ong's MIDDLE FINGER, WATCHER and Alice Tuan's LAST OF THE SUNS. Ma-Yi Theater Company is under the guidance of Ralph Pena, Artistic Director, and Jorge Z. Ortoll, Executive Director. For additional information about Ma-Yi Theater Company, visit www.ma-yitheatre.org.
Sekiya Billman has appeared in Charles Busch's Shanghai Moon with the Drama Dept., on Broadway in Miss Saigon (Yvette, Gigi, Ellen u/s), as well as on the First National Tour. Off-Broadway and regional credits include Weather (Sanctuary: Playwrights Theatre), Karaoke Stories (Imua Theater Co.), Sayonara
(Fumiko), and the 80's film tribute Hot Stuff High! (Bennie). Sekiya served as Drama Director at Nyack High School for 2 years, where she won a Helen Hayes
Award for Best Director of a Musical (Into the Woods). She has studied with Wynn Handman and Randall Duk Kim.
Cindy Cheung's theater credits include Sonnets For An Old Century (Velocity @ H.E.R.E.), Antigone (NAATCO), Karaoke Stories (Imua!), The Karaoke Show (Project 400/2G), Masha No Home (E.S.T.), Wit (Florida Studio Theatre), Hot Stuff High! (Miyagi), Soup or Salad (Clemente Soto Velez), Making Tracks (2G), Loose Ends (Looking Glass), The Winter's Tale and Plug (Rude Mechanicals). Film: Social Grace, Robot Stories, Spider-Man 2, Red Doors and Speed for Thespians. TV: Jonny Zero, Sex and the City, Sesame Street, Cosby and Seinfeld. She holds an MFA in Acting from A.C.T. where she has performed in the mainstage productions of The First Picture Show and A Christmas Carol. www.cheungcin.com
Credits OF Paul H. Juhn include the Off-Broadway comedy White Chocolate, produced by The Culture Project; wAve by Sung Rno with the Ma-Yi Theater Company; SIDES: The Fear is Real with Mr. Miyagi's Theatre Company; Destination America with Second Stage; Fuenteovejuna with NAATCO; League of Nations with Mixed Blood Theatre; The Importance of Being Ernest at La Jolla Playhouse; Mother Courage at the Guthrie Theater; Asian American All-Star and Yellow Fever at Theater MU. T.V. credits include Law & Order: Criminal Intent, As the World Turns. MFA in Acting from UCSD. Paul is a founding member of both Mr. Miyagi's Theatre Company and the Mellow Yellow Theatre Company.
Peter Kim recently appeared as Bun Foo in the Broadway production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. Other theatre credits include The Long Season (The Public/New Works Now), The Boy in the Bubble (NYTW), Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella (Yale Rep.), Karaoke Stories (IMUA!), Hair (Actor's Theater of Louisville), Missionaries (BAM/NYS&F), He Who Says Yes/He Who Says No (NAATCO), New York Rock (WPA Theatre). Peter recently guest starred on Law & Order: Criminal Intent as Parker Chun. Other Film and TV credits include Hackers and CityKids. Peter holds a BFA from NYU and is a graduate of The Yale School of Drama.
Hoon Lee's Broadway credits include Pacific Overtures, Urinetown and Flower Drum Song where he originated the role of Chao. Film and TV: Saving Face (soon to be released by Sony Pictures), Sex and the City. Other credits include: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, The King and I (Papermill Playhouse), Back from the Front (2004 Fringe), Karaoke Stories (Imua! Theatre Company), and the rock musical Making Tracks (2G Productions). He is a graduate of Harvard University.
Rodney To's recent stage appearance include Dogeaters (2004 Best Supporting Actor nomination - LA Ticket Holder Theater Awards), title role in the Romance of Magno Rubio at Chicago's Victory Gardens Theater (2004 Jeff Award Nominations - Best Ensemble, Best Play). Regional and NY: the Mark Taper Forum, La Jolla Playhouse, Steppenwolf, Northlight, Lifeline, the Boston Symphony, the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, NYTW, the Public Theater, Ma-Yi, IMUA! and 2G. TV/Film: the Chris Rock Show, ER, and the Uncertainty Principle. To Cindy, Hoon, Sek, Paul, and Peter: we did it! Love and thanks to Mom, bros, family and friends for the support. For Anthony.
PAN ASIAN'S CHINA DOLL: Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, will celebrate Anna May Wong's 100th birthday with the world premiere of "China Doll" by Elizabeth Wong, directed by Tisa Chang, the company's Artistic Producing Director. "China Doll" is the multi-layered re-imagining of Anna May Wong, Hollywood's first Asian American international film star. Beginning in the 20's until her death in 1961, "China Doll" interweaves Anna May's relationships with legendary icons such as Marlene Dietrich, Douglas Fairbanks, Irving Thalberg and others to triumph in a casting system of limited access for Asian actors against a backdrop of her most popular films: Daughter of the Dragon, Shanghai Express, Thief of Baghdad. "China Doll" runs through April 24 at the West End Theatre on West 86th Street. For tickets, call Ticket Central at 212-279-4200 or visit www.TheatreMania.com. For more info, visit www.panasianrep.org.
Starring Pan Asian Rep's talented discovery, Rosanne Ma, who has had distinguished roles in THE JOY LUCK CLUB, RASHOMON, and KWATZ! THE TIBETAN PROJECT. Rosanne now essays the most challenging role of her life in the character of Anna May Wong, which is both complex and larger-than-life.
Elizabeth Wong's first play, LETTERS TO A STUDENT REVOLUTIONARY, about Tiananmen Square, premiered at Pan Asian Rep in 1992. Other plays include KIMCHEE & CHITLINS, DATING & MATING IN MODERN TIMES, THE LOVE LIFE OF A EUNUCH, as well as an opera libretto for Oscar Wilde's THE HAPPY PRINCE. She was a recipient of the Disney Writing Fellowship and a staff writer for ABC's ALL AMERICAN GIRL starring Margaret Cho. Ms. Wong's plays are published by Dramatic Publishing Company.
Tisa Chang is the founding artistic director and has led Pan Asian Rep successfully for 27 years. Directing highlights include the music-theatre creation, CAMBODIA AGONISTES about Pol Pot, which also toured to Cairo and Johnnesburg; RASHOMON, which also toured to Havana Theatre Festival; and last spring's KWATZ! THE TIBETAN PROJECT, a swirling Zen-like journey that focused attention on Tibet's recent cultural and political history.
DOROTHY DANDRIDGE STORY: "Yesterday Came Too Soon The Dorothy Dandridge Story" will premiere at the National Black Theatre on 125 Street and Fifth Avenue. Leslie Lewis Sword stars in the one woman show which runs April 14-17. This award winning musical drama is the saga of Dorothy Dandridge, the bombshell who grabbed the Hollywood brass ring in the 1950s with the title role in Fox's all black megamusical "Carmen Jones." "Yesterday Came Too Soon" is set backstage at the faded Dandridge's final engagement the day before she was found dead from an antidepressant overdose. Her story of triumph and tragedy thrills audiences. For tickets, call 212-722-3800.
Dorothy Dandridge, a fragile boned beauty with skin often described as "cafe au lait", was sadly a victim of her own circumstances. She rose to the top of her profession with her first starring role and became the first black woman to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for the title role in "Carmen Jones." She starred in the film version of George Gershwin's musical Porgy and Bess with Sidney Poitier and Sammy Davis, Jr. and won a Golden Globe Award for her performance. She was the first black woman to perform at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. But, just as fast as her success was achieved, so did it begin to fade. She knew it was hard, close to impossible, for a black actress to maintain a long running career in Hollywood because the roles were simply not there. She once said, "If I were white, I could capture the world". Dorothy had the drive and the talent to make it but the color of her skin held her back and her life soon began a downward spiral which in the end turned tragic.
Filipino-African-American actress Leslie Lewis Sword has studied under Harold Guskin in New York, whose student rooster includes Glenn Close, Kevin Kline and James Gandolfini, among many others. She holds an MFA in Acting from UCLA (MFA in Acting). She holds a BA degree from Harvard. She is a poet and photographer. Her most recent publication is Naked Heart. She is an artist-in-residence at the National Black Theatre.
Founded in 1968 by cultural visionary Dr. Barbara Ann Teer, this 12 million dollar theater complex houses two theaters; one 250 seats, the other 100 seats. It has been functioning as a financially independent organization since 1983, generating revenue to support and improve its home on 125th Street. It is the only black theater in America to realize such goals.
Adishakti Theatre. Courtesy of Adishakti Theatre Company.
BRHANNALA AT ASIA SOCIETY: From one of the most exciting and innovative theater companies in India today, Adishakti Theatre Company, comes a physically intense and experimental theatre work, Brhannala, based on an age-old parable from the epic Mahabharata at Asia Society from April 15-17 located at 725 Park Avenue in New York City. Drawing on the episode in which the exiled hero Arjuna spends one year in the guise of a woman, Brhannala explores androgyny and polarities of time and space, reason and emotion, human and animal, self and other. The production, featuring the extraordinary solo performance by actor Vinay Kumar accompanied by 4 musicians, engages all the senses. It seamlessly weaves together traditional Indian theater and dance forms, such as Chau tribal dance, Kathakali masked dance drama and the ancient martial art of Kalaripayat, set against contemporary text, music, staging and movement. For tickets and information, call 212-517-ASIA or visit www.AsiaSociety.org.
"Pondicherry's Adishakti Theatre Company represents the extraordinary creativity of the contemporary performing arts in India today," says Asia Society's Director of Cultural Programs and Performing Arts Rachel Cooper. "Brhannala redefines what it means to be Indian, through a contemporary theatrical expression that is rooted in some of the oldest forms of living theatre."
Asia Society is an international organization dedicated to strengthening relationships and deepening understanding among the peoples of Asia and the United States. A nonprofit, nonpartisan educational institution, the Asia Society presents a wide range of programs including major art exhibitions, performances, media programs, international conferences and lectures, and initiatives to improve elementary and secondary education about Asia. The Asia Society is headquartered in New York City, with regional centers in Washington, D.C., Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Manila, Shanghai and Melbourne, Australia.
GOD, SEX & BLUE WATER: Linda Faigao's play "God, Sex & Blue Water" will be read at The New Group and Immigrant Theatre Project at the special reading series on immigrant themes, entitled "Dis-location & Re-discovery," at the Martin E. Segal Theatre, CUNY Graduate Center located at 365 5th Ave. between 34th & 35th Street
Thursday, April 14, 6:30 PM. Each reading will be followed by a discussion with the playwright and director. Admission is free, but reservations STRONGLY suggested. Call 212-817-8215 and use Reservation Code 5802.
Directed by Marcy Arlin, the reading will feature Ching Valdes-Aran, Andrew Eisenman, Michi Barall, Aaron Yoo. This unconventional serio-comic drama on religion and erotic love is about a profoundly religious Filipino woman who is a devotee of a Lenten ritual called the pasyon, a passion play still practiced in the Philippines today that involves actual crucifixion. The only problem is she just moved to the U.S. and she wants to crucify herself - in Hoboken. More complications arise when her daughter, Clarita, a healer with a secret, falls in love with Brian, a Wall Street broker, a "master of the universe" type badly in need of salvation.
SNAKE IN FRIDGE: The Themantics Group presents the New York Premiere of "Snake in Fridge" by Brad Fraser from April 14-May 8 at The 14th Street Y Theater located at 344 E. 14th St. "Snake in Fridge" examines the sordid lives of a group of young misfits living in a creepy Victorian house. To purchase tickets, call Smarttix at 212-868-4444 or online at www.Smarttix.com. For more information, visit www.themantics.org.
Directed by Blake Lawrence, the cast features Angela Ai (Avenue Q), Susan O'Connor (Never Swim Alone, St. Scarlet), Mimi Bilinski (Pearl Theater's The Cherry Orchard) Sarah K. Lippman, Kevin Hogan Matthew J. Nichols, Patrick Fellows, Gabriel Grilli, and Christian Michael Felix.
The misfits' combined income barely covers club-going and drugs, so overdue rent is mounting. Daydreams of fame and fortune are constantly interrupted by the insidious lure of the porn industry. When one of the housemates accepts a snake to cover a debt, the snake disappears and bizarre things begin to happen. Eventually, they begin to wonder if it is the snake or the spirit of the house that is haunting them. Things come to a head when the group -- an internet porn performer, a busboy who longs to be a waiter, a nude dancer, her mentally-challenged sister and a male stripper -- discover that one of their own may be a murderer.
The Themantics Group is a new company of theater professionals dedicated to producing a season of projects around a particular theme. It was founded in 2002 by Producing Director Jay Aubrey and Artistic Director Blake Lawrence after the success of their revival of Mark Ravenhill's Shopping and Fucking. The theme for their 2004-2005 season is Money! or Morals?, which began in October with a developmental production of Hazard County by Allison Moore, chosen for Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival.
Deborah S. Craig in "The 25thAnnual Putnam County Spelling Bee."
ASIANS STAR IN SPELLING BEE: Jose Llana and Deborah S. Craig are now on Broadway in "The 25thAnnual Putnam County Spelling Bee". The new musical begins performances on Friday, April 15 at Broadway's Circle in the Square Theatre located on 50th St., between Broadway and 8th. The new musical, with music and lyrics by William Finn, with a book by Rachel Sheinkin, conceived by Rebecca Feldman and directed by James Lapine, follows a critically acclaimed, sold-out run at Off-Broadway's Second Stage Theatre. Tickets for the Broadway engagement will be available through Telecharge at 212-239-6200 or visit www.telecharge.com.
In "The 25thAnnual Putnam County Spelling Bee", six young people in the throes of puberty, overseen by grown-ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves, learn that winning isn't everything and that losing doesn't necessarily make you a loser.
Jose Llana plays Chip Tolentino and Deborah S. Craig as Marcy Park with Derrick Baskin as Mitch Mahoney, Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Leaf Coneybear, Dan Fogler as William Barfee, Lisa Howard as Rona Lisa Peretti, Celia Keenan-Bolger as Olive Ostrovsky, Jay Reiss as Douglas Panch, and Sarah Saltzberg as Logainne Schwarzandgrubenierre.
Jose Llana's credits include on Broadway: Flower Drum Song (Ta), Rent (Angel), Streetcorner Symphony (Jessie-Lee), The King and I (Lun Tha). Off-Broadway: On the Town (Gabey, NYSF), Saturn Returns (Public). Regional: Martin Guerre (Guillaume, U.S. premiere tour, Guthrie Theater), Ballad of Little Jo (Tin Man, Steppenwolf Theatre), Candide (Candide, Prince Music Theater). Television: "Sex & the City." Albums: Cast recordings and self titled solo album under the VIVA Philippines label. Current film: Hitch starring Will Smith.
Korean American Deborah S. Craig's credits include Off-Broadway: WaVe (Ma-Yi), Pericles (Culture Project), Fuenteovejuna (NAATCO), The Karaoke Show (Project 400 & 2G). Regional/Europe: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Barrington Stage Co.), Love's Labours Lost (American Stage), Dance With Me (Byrdcliffe), Falco (Ronacher Theatre, Vienna). Film: Board to Death (KMSG), Big Daddy, Third on a Match (Crystal Reel Award, Best Actress).
Reviewing the show at Second Stage, Charles Isherwood of the New York Times called The 25thAnnual Putnam County Spelling Bee "irresistible and entirely lovable," praising William Finn's "nimble, upbeat score," Rachel Sheinkin's "riotously funny" book and James Lapine's "impeccable" direction. Terry Teachout in the Wall Street Journal called the show "the best in town - that rarity of rarities, a super-smart show that is also a bona fide crowd-pleaser." David Rooney of Variety stated that, "this winning new musical is so generously warm-heated, only the most bitter misanthrope could resist its charms." Michael Sommers of the Star-Ledger called it "a nifty musical gift," and Linda Winer of Newsday deemed it "endearingly deranged." Michael Kuchwara of the Associated Press simply asked, "How do you spell h-i-t?"
The 25thAnnual Putnam County Spelling Bee cast, called "delightful discoveries" by Jacques le Sourd of the Journal News, features Derrick Baskin as Mitch Mahoney, Deborah S. Craig as Marcy Park, Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Leaf Coneybear, Dan Fogler as William Barfee, Lisa Howard as Rona Lisa Peretti, Celia Keenan-Bolger as Olive Ostrovsky, Jose Llana as Chip Tolentino, Jay Reiss as Douglas Panch, and Sarah Saltzberg as Logainne Schwarzandgrubenierre.
DESIPINA & CO: Desipina & Co. and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum theater present "SEVEN.11.2005" at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, 97 Orchard Street through April 1-18. "SEVEN.11.2005" features seven writers' new 11 minute plays. Asian American playwrights include: Anuvab Pal's PARIS, is a play about an 11 minute conversation without consequence on a lazy Paris afternoon. Celena Cipriaso's SALESGIRL in which two strangers, at different points in their romantic relationship, examine the nature of love. Rishi Chowdhary's COLOR ME DESI is about a liquor-run to the convenience store before the big desi party uncovers that there are more shades of brown than there are colors to Holi. J.P. Chan's BECKONING CAT is waiting for the lucky numbers at a convenience store can prove to be an unlucky business. In Debargo Sanyal's S.A.M.O.S.A, students Ho, Cho, and Mo get down and dirty with student club politics and deli snacks. Rachel Astarte Piccione's INTIMATE WITH THE LOCALS tells of a malaria pill-induced paranoia, Evie, an insomniac writer, recounts her recent heartbreak in Bombay to Mohit, the store clerk who truly deserves her heart. Samrat Chakrabarti/Sanjiv Jhaveri's new musical SOONDERELLA is a fairy tale of a different colour. Dramaturgs: Rehana Mirza, Jon Kern, Elizabeth Emmons are dramaturgs.
Directed by G.R. Johnson, with Musical Director Samrat Chakrabarti, the cast includes Jackie Chung, Andrew Guilarte, Kavi Ladnier, Jackson Loo, Lethia Nall, Debargo Sanyal, John Wu. For reservations, Call 1-800-965.4827 or visit www.ticketweb.com
For more information, visit www.desipina.org.
Desipina & Co. is a fusion arts company focusing in film and theatre and is dedicated to promoting cross-pollinations of artistic, political, and cultural dialogues. Desipina & Co. exists to acknowledge the unique differences that exist within the Asian-American communities, which in itself are divided by race, religion, social and economic status. The company wishes 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. Desipina (day-see-pee-nah) is a slang term describing a person of South Asian (desi) and Filipina (pina) descent or a group that embraces multiracial identities and fusion lifestyles; and as a verb to check outside the box.
Susie Ibarra in "Shangri La.". Photo by Jean-Francois Laberine.
SHANGRI LA: The Kitchen presents "Shangri La", a new chamber opera work-in-progress featuring voice, strings, percussion, and electronics. This first collaboration between the groundbreaking composer/percussionist, Susie Ibarra, and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Yusef Komunyakaa, who wrote the libretto, explores contemporary, socially relevant issues through music, poetry, visual art, and movement. "Shangri La" addresses the complex social phenomenon of the sex trade industry in Southeast Asia and the resultant AIDS epidemic. There will be residency performances Friday, April 15 & Saturday, April 16 at 8pm, each followed by an informal question and answer session, at The Kitchen (512 West 19th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues). For tickets, call 212-255-5793 x11 or visit www.thekitchen.org.
"Shangri La" presents the tragic exploits of the character John Wong, "The Metaphysical Detective" who is hired to investigate an embezzlement scheme in modern-day Bangkok. There, he encounters three foreign businessmen who patronize the city's sex trade, and three Thai prostitutes who become their lovers.
A fusion of cultural influences, the opera integrates jazz, improvisation, American Blues, Thai classical and folk music, and experimental techniques to capture the contradictions of contemporary issues in a beautiful ancient city. The 21-piece ensemble will include nine vocalists, Khen mouthreed, flute, trombone, string quartet, contrabass, percussionists and electronics. "Shangri La" will be conducted by Tania Leon, choreographed and staged by Mariah Maloney, and present visual art by Makoto Fujimura. The work is partially commissioned by The Kitchen.
Susie Ibarra, percussionist and composer of experimental and avant garde music, is currently living in New York City. She received a music diploma, Mannes College of Music, and a B.A., Goddard College. She has performed Philippine Kulintang gong music, Southeast Asian gong music, jazz and avant garde jazz, performed solo, and improvised music with the New York downtown scene. She can be heard on various recordings performing with, among others, John Zorn, Pauline Oliveros, Sylvie Courvoisier, Dave Douglas, John Lindberg, Thurston Moore, Cibbo Matto, Yo La Tengo, and Yuka Honda. She currently performs with Susie Ibarra Trio, Mephista, Mark Dresser and Susie Ibarra Duo, Mundo Ninos, and Electric Kulintang. Her discography includes more than 22 recordings, and she has performed in locales as diverse as, and among others: Detroit Institute of the Arts; the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis); the Beijing Wall; Yerba Buena Art Center (San Francisco); Smithsonian Institution (Washington D.C.); Slovenic Philharmonic, Ljubljana; Sarajevo Jazz Festival; Umea Jazz Festival, Sweden; Tonic, New York City; and the Barcelona Festival. She was nominated for "Best Drummer" in the Village Voice, Downbeat, The Wire, and "New Talent of the Year - 1997" in Jazziz Magazine.
Yusef Komunyakaa is a Professor in The Council of Humanities and Creative Writing Program at Princeton University. He has written 14 books of poetry, including Thieves of Paradise (1998), Neon Vernacular: New & Selected Poems 1977-1989 (1993), and Lost in the Bonewheel Factory (1979). He also published a book of essays, Blue Notes: Essays, Interviews, and Commentaries - Poets on Poetry (2000) and has edited a co-edited five additional books and journals. Among many prizes, awards, and honors, he received a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship (1982), the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1994), Kingsley Tufts Award for Poetry (1994), and the Morton Zabel Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters (1998).
Saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa. Photo by Jerome Godgrand
INDIAN FUSION AT ASIA SOCIETY: Asia Society Presents World Premiere of Kinsmen/Svajanam with Saxaphonists Kadri Gopalnath and Rudresh Mahanthappa
Thursday, Friday, Sunday, May 5-8, 8PM at Asia Society and Museum on
725 Park Avenue at 70th Street in New York City. Two masters of the alto saxophone-one a living legend of South Indian Carnatic music and the other a fiercely innovative Indian American jazz musician-present a world premiere performance suite commissioned by the Asia Society. For tickets and information, call (212) 517-ASIA or visit www.AsiaSociety.org.
A recognized innovator, Kadri Gopalnath has introduced and adapted a relatively new western instrument to the traditions of Indian Carnatic music. Rudresh Mahanthappa fuses a myriad of contemporary and traditional influences, drawing on his Indian ancestry and using American jazz as his foundation, into his highly improvisational work. The distinction between their respective influences, training and idiom is both complicated and enhanced by their shared South Indian heritage as well as their common vehicle of the alto saxophone. The two are joined by their co-led Dakshina Ensemble including Kanya Kumari (violin), Rez Abassi (guitar/sitar-guitar), Carlo de Rosa (acoustic bass), Gautam Siram (mrdangam or barrel drum) and Eliot Humberto Kavee (drums).
"This exciting work takes listeners to a new place where jazz and classical Indian music come together," says Rachel Cooper, Director of Cultural Programs and Performing Arts at Asia Society. "Their collaboration bridges differing traditions, influences, generations and cultures, taking listeners on a ground-breaking artistic journey that is timeless, transnational and represents India today."
Kadri Gopalnath has been a true phenomenon in the world of Indian classical music. In 1975 Gopalnath went to Madras where he was tutored the saxophone by the renowned musician, T. V. Gopalakrishnan. In 1977, he gave his first concert in Madras. His fame soon spread throughout India where he has frequently been the highlight of festivals and concerts. He grew in stature as a figure of immense popularity not only in India, but throughout the world. His achievement is especially laudatory, as Gopalnath had to make certain improvisations to the conventional saxophone instrument in order to play the culturally unique Carnatic music of South India Gopalnath has had the opportunity to participate in major festivals and presentations around the world, including the Music Halle Festival in France, the International Cervatino Festival in Mexico, the Berlin Jazz Festival, and the World Music Institute in New York. He has played with many leading jazz musicians including the saxophonist, John Handy. He was the first South Indian classical musician to be invited to perform in the BBC Promenade concert in 1994. He has also toured the USA, Europe, Australia and South East Asia extensively. He has been awarded many important titles including 'Saxophone Chakravarthy' - The Emperor of Saxophone. His performances often receive audience and critical acclaim.
Named a Rising Star of the alto saxophone by the 2003 and 2004 Downbeat International Critics Poll, Rudresh Mahanthappa is one of the most innovative young musicians in jazz today. By incorporating the culture of his Indian ancestry, Rudresh has fused myriad influences to create a truly groundbreaking artistic vision. As a performer, he leads/co-leads five groups to critical acclaim. His most recent quartet recording Mother Tongue on Pi Recordings has been named one of Top Ten Jazz CDs of 2004 by the Chicago Tribune, All About Jazz, and Jazzmatazz to name a few and also received 4 stars in DOWNBEAT. This CD reached #8 on US jazz radio charts and remained at #1 on Canadian jazz radio charts for over a month. As a performer, Mahanthappa has achieved international recognition performing regularly at jazz festivals and clubs worldwide. He has also worked as a sideman with such jazz luminaries as David Murray, Steve Coleman, Jack DeJohnette, Samir Chatterjee, Von Freeman, Tim Hagans, Fareed Haque, Vijay Iyer, Howard Levy, David Liebman, Greg Osby, and Dr. Lonnie Smith. As a composer, Rudresh has received commission grants from the Rockefeller Foundation MAP Fund, American Composers Forum, and the New York State Council on the Arts to develop new work. Mahanthappa has his Bachelors of Music Degree in jazz performance from Berklee College of Music and his Masters of Music degree in jazz composition from Chicago's DePaul University. He now teaches at The New School University. Rudresh Mahanthappa currently lives in New York where he is clearly regarded as an important and influential voice in the jazz world.
Asia Society is an international organization dedicated to strengthening relationships and deepening understanding among the peoples of Asia and the United States. A nonprofit, nonpartisan educational institution, the Asia Society presents a wide range of programs including major art exhibitions, performances, media programs, international conferences and lectures, and initiatives to improve elementary and secondary education about Asia. The Asia Society is headquartered in New York City, with regional centers in Washington, D.C., Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Manila, Shanghai and Melbourne, Australia.
JENNIFER KOH AT THE MET MUSEUM: Violinist Jennifer Koh's only New York recital of the season will be at the Metropolitan Museum on Thursday, April 28, 8PM. The program features sonatas by Schumann and Ravel, Schubert's Fantasie. Salonen's Lachen verlernt, and Adams's Road Movies. For tickets and reservations, call 212-570-3949 or visit www.metmuseum.org.
Since her triumph at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1994, Jennifer Koh has impressed audiences with her ability to fuse intensity of temperament with a classical poise and elegance. In the words of the New York Times, she is a "fearless soloist," who has a formidable capacity for "living through" the music she performs on stage. Ms. Koh is committed to exploring connections between the pieces she plays; accordingly, her programs often present revealing juxtaposition, offering works by composers as divergent as Mozart an Ornette Coleman, Schubert and Wuorinen. In addition to receiving a performance diploma in music from the Oberlin Conservatory, Ms. Koh also earned a bachelors in English literature, and maintains an interest in writing and literature. Ms Koh began the 2004-2005 season as featured guest soloist with a number of important festivals including the Grant Park Festival under Carlos Kalmar performing Szmanowski's First Violin Concerto, the Bravo! Vail Valley Festival, the Vancouver Chamber Music Festival and the Santa Fe Chamber Music festival. Other highlights this season include a tour with the New World Symphony playing Beethoven's Violin Concerto, the Nielsen Violin Concerto with the San Diego Symphony and Jahja Ling, Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Singapore Symphony and Gerard Schwarz, and a return to New York City's Miller Theatre for Bernstein's "Serenade."
Born in Chicago of Korean parents, Ms Koh graduated from Oberlin, and work extensively with Jaime Laredo at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, and counts Feliz Galimir, also of the Curtis Institute, as a mentor. Since the 1994-95 season, when she won the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, the Concert Artists Guild Competition and the Avery Fisher Career Grant, ms. Koh has been heard with leading orchestras and conductors around the world. A committed educator, Ms Koh has also won high praise for her performances in classrooms around the country under her innovative Music Messenger outreach program, now in its third year.
DEADLY SHE-WOLF ASSASSIN: Fred Ho's "Work-In-Progress Deadly She-Wolf Assassin at Armageddon!" will be presented at Japan Society on East 47 Street on Friday and Saturday, April 29-30 , 8PM. Music & concept by Fred Ho, written by Fred Ho & Ruth Margraff the piece is a homage to the 1970s samurai manga & movie series Lone Wolf and Cub (Kozure Ookami). With unique multi-martial arts choreography and a glorious score fusing traditional Japanese music and soul-jazz, composer-creator Fred Ho joins forces with playwright Ruth Margraff to create his latest theatrical event blending live music, sword fights, state-of-the-art visual design and marital arts performance. Director Sonoko Kawahara and martial arts choreographer Tsuyoshi Kaseda collaborate on this story of deception, revenge, double crossing and death, following a violent and beautiful assassin, like a deadly she-wolf, the last of her kind. This work-in-progress pays homage to the 1970s raging cult hit Japanese manga series Lone Wolf and Cub (Kozure Ookami), which has inspired many other adaptations and works in comic books and film over the past few decades. This event features excerpted performances and an in-depth discussion with the artists. For tickets, call 212-752-3015 or visit www.japansociety.org.
Fred Ho is a one-of-a-kind revolutionary Chinese American baritone saxophonist, composer, writer, producer, political activist and leader of the Afro Asian Music Ensemble and the Monkey Orchestra. Ho is a prodigious composer, having written over a half dozen operas, music/theater epics, cutting edge multimedia performance works, martial arts ballet, and oratorios. In the mid-1980s, Ho created the Asian Pacific American performance art trilogy, Bamboo that Snaps Back, presented at the Whitney Museum, and for which the music/spoken word score was released on Finnadar/WEA records. Ho wrote the first contemporary Chinese American opera, A Chinaman's Chance, staged at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, featuring a bilingual libretto (Chinese and English) and which signaled his ground-breaking combination of traditional Chinese and western instrumentation. In 1988 he conceived and composed the music/theater epic A Song for Manong as a tribute to Filipino workers.
He composed and created a multimedia bilingual (Spanish and English) oratorio, Turn Pain Into Power! His music/theater/opera/dance-ballet epic Journey Beyond the West: The New Adventures of Monkey presented at the Brooklyn Academy of Music 1997 Next Wave Festival. Joining with librettist Ann T. Greene, Ho created the opera Warrior Sisters: The New Adventures of African and Asian Womyn Warriors, premiered at The Kitchen in NYC. The opera was released as a double CD by Koch Jazz. In collaboration with librettist Ruth Margraff, Fred Ho created Night Vision: A Third to First World Vampyre Opera, was presented at Cooper Union and the HERE Arts Center in NYC. Ho's blockbuster Once Upon a Time in Chinese America A Martial Arts Ballet and Music/Theater Epic was presented at the Guggenheim Museum, the JVC Jazz Festival, the Seattle International Children's Festival and the Brooklyn Academy of Music 2001 Next Wave Festival. In 2003-04, Fred Ho to compose and conceive the sequel to this highly successful show, Voice of the Dragon 2: Shaolin Secret Stories, which premiered in January 2004 at the world famous Apollo Theater. The Walker Art Center commissioned in 1999 All Power to the People! The In 2005, Ho will premiere his newest opera, Mr. Mystery: The Return of Sun Ra to Planet Earth.
Fred Ho has received numerous awards, including the: McKnight Foundation Composer/ Residency award; four Rockefeller Foundation Multi-Arts Project grants (1999, 1998, 1991, 2002) two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships (Opera/Musical Theater, 1994 and Jazz Composition, 1993) two New York Foundation for the Arts Music Composition fellowships (1994 and 1989) a 1988 Duke Ellington Distinguished Artist Lifetime Achievement Award from the Black Musicians Conference (the first Asian American to ever receive this) the 1987 Harvard University Peter Ivers Visiting Artist award, and many others. He has been a Master Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, an Artist Fellow at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program; resident artist at the Civitelli Ranieri center in Umbria, Italy and resident scholar and visiting artist at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy.
92 ST Y - SOOVIN KIM, JOYCE YANG, NY PHIL SOLOISTS, TOKYO STRING, JENNIFER KOH: Violinist Michelle Kim with the NY Philharmonic, pianist Joyce Yang, violinist Soovin Kim, the Tokyo String Quartet and violinist Jennifer Koh will perform at the 92nd Street Y. For tickets and information, call 212-415-5500 or visit www.92Y.org. On Sunday, April 10, 3PM, soloists of the New York Philharmonic will perform the NY Philharmonic Chamber Music at the Y with special guest tenor Paul Groves and guest pianist Jeremy Denk. Joining Groves and Denk are Michelle Kim and Marc Ginsberg, violins; Irene Breslaw, viola; Carter Brey, cello, and Philip Myers, horn. The program will feature works by Duparc, Gounod, Vaughan Williams, Britten, Schumann and Schubert.
A prolific young performer, Michelle Mi-Kyung Kim joined the New York Philharmonic as Assistant Concertmaster in 2001. Her previous appointments include Concertmaster with the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra, 20th Century Unlimited Chamber Orchestra, Fresno Philharmonic, Riverside Philharmonic, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, and Asia America Symphony Orchestra, among other ensembles. As a soloist, Ms. Kim has appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, and New Jersey Symphony, and in 1999, she was invited to become first violinist of the Rossetti String Quartet. Upcoming engagements include performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, under Esa-Pekka Salonen, and the 20th Century Unlimited Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Kim is also an active chamber musician and has performed in the Santa Barbara Chamber Music Series, with Christopher O'Riley, Gary Hoffman, and Cho-Liang Lin; the Aeolian and Palos Verdes chamber music series; and La Jolla Chamber and Santa Fe music festivals. A student of Robert Lipsett, Ms. Kim attended the University of Southern California/Thornton School of Music as a Starling Foundation scholarship recipient. She received additional coaching and master class training from such master musicians as Dorothy DeLay, Yehudi Menuhin, Michael Tree, Cho-Liang Lin, Joseph Gingold, Pinchas Zukerman, Lynn Harrell, and the Orion Quartet. In 1991, Ms. Kim was named a Presidential Scholar and performed in recital at the Kennedy Center. Since 1996, Ms. Kim has served on the faculties of the University of Southern California and the R.D. Colburn School of Performing Arts, both based in Los Angeles.
On Wednesday, April 13, 8PM, Pianist Jeffrey Siegel holds Keyboard Conversations, the intimate concerts with commentary for novices and connoisseurs alike. Pianist Joyce Yang is the special guest. The concert, "Three Contrasting Russians: Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky," the Romanticism of Tchaikovsky squares off against Rachmaninoff's lyrical expressivity and Stravinsky's heady neo-Classicism.
Eighteen year old Joyce Yang received her first piano lessons at age 4 from her aunt. She quickly took to the instrument, which she received as a birthday present, and within the next few years, she had won several national competitions in Korea. Ms. Yang came to the United States at age 10 and began studies with Yoheved Kaplinsky at The Juilliard School. During her seven years at Juilliard in the Pre-College program, she won its concerto competitions and was invited to perform at a benefit concert with the Juilliard orchestra, conducted by Leonard Slatkin. In 1998 at age 13, Miss Yang won the Philadelphia Orchestra's Albert m. Greenfield Student Competition, which led to the performance of the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Ms. Yang has performed with orchestras around the country including the National Symphony Orchestra, and with the Korea Symphony Orchestra in Korea. During the 2003-2004 season, she gave a pair of recitals in the Rising Star Series at the Ravinia Festival, Chicago and the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, Kalamazoo. As a chamber musician, she has appeared regularly at the Bridgehampton chamber Music Festival on Long Island.
From April 19-20, 8PM, "Chamber Music at the Y" will feature The Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, Soovin Kim, violin and Kirsten Johnson, viola in the New York premiere of Katherine Hoover's "El Andalus." Under the direction of violinist Jaime Laredo, the program features "El Andalus", an 11 minute piece for piano and cello that was written for Sharon Robinson and inspired by the flourishing culture in the Spanish region of Andalusia during the Middle Ages. The program also features works by Turina, Mendelssohn and Schumann.
Soovin Kim has received many awards and honors including first prize at the Paganini International Violin Competition in 1996 and an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1998. Mr. Kim's musical activities include programs as diverse as the complete 24 Paganini Caprices, which he performed on an 11 concert tour across Italy, and Bach's 6 Sonatas and partitas for solo violin for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. He has performed as concert soloist with major orchestras and as recitalist in the US, Europe and Asia. Recent appearances include the Salle Pleyel in Paris with the Orhcestre Pasdeloup and Carnegie Hall with Jaime Laredo conducting the new York String Seminar Orchestra. As a recitalist, Mr. Kim has performed in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Herbst Theater in San Francisco and Casals Hall in Tokyo, as well as at Ravinia; he recently made his Korean recital debut at the Seoul Arts Center. Mr. Kim tours with the Johannes Quartet and with violist Michael Tree of the Guarneri quartet and cellist Margo Tatgenhorst of the American quartet, is a founding member of the string trio Divertimento. He frequently participates in the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont and on tour, and as a guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Soovin Kim was given a violin at the age of four and at 15, he was invited to study with David Cerone and Donald Weilerstein at the Cleveland Institute. He continued studies with victor Danchenko and Jaime Laredo at the Curtis Institute, where he received his Bachelor of Music degree in 1999. Mr. Kim plays a Joseph Guarneri del Gesu violin of 1735, the "ex-Sennhauser" generously made available to him by the Stradivari Society of Chicago.
On May 7, 8PM, the Tokyo String Quartet will perform with guest artists Amy Burton, soprano, and Reiko Uchida, piano. The program includes works by Mahler, Haydn and Schoenberg. On May 8, 3PM, the Family Concerts Program will feature Jennifer Koh's Music Messenger for Kid. The highly acclaimed violinist Jennifer Koh, winner of the 1994 Tchaikovsky Competition, performs music for children 6-10 from a variety of repertoire and demonstrates the extraordinary range of the violin.
CARNEGIE HALL - YO-YO MA SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE, MYUNG SHUN CHUNG, DENIS SUNG HO, MITSUKO UCHIDA, AND MORE: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, Conductor Myung-Whun Chung, Denis Sung-Ho on guitar, pianist Mitsuko Uchida as well as the Seoul-Mannheim Philharmonic Orchestra, pianist Che Hyun Kang, cellist Seojin Yang, pianist Hiroko Sasaki, and the Nippon Club 100th Anniversary Concert will be performing at various stages in Carnegie Hall. For tickets and info, call CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or visit www.carnegiehall.org.
On Sunday, April 10, Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble will perform at a 3PM Family Concert and 8PM in the Stern Auditorium. The program for the 8PM performance includes works by Kayhan Kalhor, Zhao Jiping, Zhao Lin, Sandeep Das, Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Music of the Roma, and Perapsaskero. The Silk Road Ensemble members include Yo-Yo Ma, Artistic Director and Cellist, Jeffrey Beecher, Bass, Nicholas Cords, Viola, Gevorg Dabaghyan, Duduk, Sandeep Das, Tabla, Jonathan Gandelsman, Violin, Joseph Gramley, Percussion, Rauf Islamov, Kamancheh, Colin Jacobsen, Violin, Malik Mansurov, Tar, Alim Qasimov, Vocal and Daf, Shane Shanahan, Percussion, Mark Suter, Percussion, and Wu Man, Pipa.
Founded in 1998 by Artistic Director Yo-Yo Ma, the Silk Road Project acts as an umbrella organization for a number of artistic, cultural, and educational programs. The Silk Road Project strives to bring new ideas, talent and energy into the world of classical music, and at the same time, nurture musical creativity drawing on wonderfully diverse and distinguished sources of cultural heritage around the world. The Project promotes collaboration and a sense of community among artists, audiences and institutions who share a fascination with the kind of transcultural artistic imagination symbolized by the legendary Silk Road. The Silk Road Project derived its name from the trade routes that, for centuries, crisscrossed Eurasia. Travel along the historic Silk Road resulted in a complex web of interconnections between cultures that resulted in new technological and scientific inventions as well as artistic exchange. During the course of the Silk Road Project, composers from Armenia, Azerbaijan, China, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan have been commissioned to create music that evokes this intersection of cultures. These works are sampled on the project's first recording, Silk Road Journeys: When Strangers Meet (Sony Classical, 2001) and the new recording, Silk Road Journeys: Beyond the Horizon (Sony Classical, 2005).
On April 13, 8PM, Myung-Whun Chung will conduct the Dresden Staatskapelle with pianist Emanuel Ax as guest artist in an all Brahms program at the Stern Auditorium and on April 14, Mr. Chung will conduct the Dresden Staatskapelle in an all Beethoven program.
Mr. Chung began his musical career as a pianist, making his debut with the Seoul Philharmonic at the age of seven. In 1974 he won second prize at the Tchaikovsky piano competition in Moscow. After his musical studies at the Mannes School and at The Juilliard School in New York, he became Carlo Maria Giulini's assistant in 1979 at the Los Angeles Philharmonic and two years later was named associate conductor. He was music director of the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1984 to 1990, principal guest conductor of the Teatro Comunale of Florence from 1987 to 1992, and music director of the Opéra de Paris-Bastille from 1989 to 1994. The year 2000 marked his return to Paris as music director of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.
He has conducted virtually all the world's leading orchestras, including the Berlin and Vienna philharmonic, the Concertgebouw, all the major London and Parisian orchestras, La Scala, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Dresden Staatskapelle, Boston and Chicago symphonies, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and the Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras. Deeply sensitive to humanitarian and ecological problems of our age, Myung-Whun Chung has devoted an important part of his life to these causes. In 1994 he launched a series of musical and environmental projects in Korea. He served as ambassador for the Drug Control Program at the United Nations (UNDCP); in 1995, UNESCO named him "Man of the Year." In 1996, he received the Kumkuan, the Korean Government's highest cultural award for his contribution to Korean musical life. Chung now serves as Honorary Cultural Ambassador for Korea, the first in the Korean government's history.
On Friday, April 22, 7:30PM, Denis Sung-Ho, guitar, will perform at the Weill Recital Hall. The program includes works by Manuel Ponce, Benjamin Britten, William Walton, Heitor Villa-:Lobos, Astor Piazzolla, Sergio Assad, and Alberto Ginastera.
Denis Sung-Hô was born in Seoul, South Korea. At the age of 14 he won the first prize of the Jeunes talents Belgian competition, and at 19 he entered the class of Alberto Ponce at the Paris École Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot. It is, however, to Odair Assad-with whom he studied for four years-that he owes his major training. He received a degree in the Mons Conservatoire Royal with Odair, as well as an advanced degree in chamber music under the guidance of Guy Van Waas. In addition, he has participated in classes with Sérgio Assad at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. Denis Sung-Hô's international career has brought him to stages around the world, with engagements in Germany, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, United States, and elsewhere. In Belgium he has performed at the Flagey and the Palais des Beaux-Arts, given a live recital on the Belgian classical music radio station Musique 3, recorded Leo Brouwer's Concierto Elégiaco for Musique 3, and appeared on Belgian television's RTBF. In addition to his work as a soloist, he has appeared in chamber recitals. He has recorded three compact discs: one with duo partner Boris Gaquere, featuring works by Astor Piazzolla, Boris Gaquere, and Sérgio Assad; one featuring virtuoso solo works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Manuel María Ponce, Alberto Ginastera, Joaquin Turina, and Sérgio Assad; and a third for EMI as a guest artist with the Soledad Quintet. A laureate of the Foundation Belge de la Vocation, Mr. Sung-Hô has been invited by the Tokyo and Cologne conservatories to give international master classes. A champion of both modern works and standard repertoire, he has collaborated with young composers who have dedicated guitar works to him, including Jean- Michel Gillard and Santiago Abadia. Denis Sung-Hô was chosen as a Rising Star by the Brussels Palais des Beaux- Arts for the 2004-05 season. This season, he gives recitals at Carnegie Hall, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Vienna Musikverein, Salzburg Mozarteum, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Stockholm Konserthuset, Athens Megaron, Brussels Palais des Beaux-Arts, Paris Cité de la Musique, and Cologne Kölner Philharmonie among others, and will appear as soloist with the Deutsches Kammerorchester at the Berlin Philharmonie.
AMITABH BACHCHAN RETROSPECTIVE: A recent BBC survey recently confirmed what millions of fans worldwide already knew: Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan is the most popular film star in the world, the most recognized face, the biggest box-office draw. From April 8-19, the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater will present "Amitabh Bachchan: The Biggest Film Star in the World!," a comparatively short (Bachchan has made scores of films) but heartfelt tribute to this icon of Indian and world cinema. In conjunction with this series, the Film Society, in association with the Indo-American Arts Council, will present Amitabh Bachchan in a special live event onstage in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on Friday, April 15 at 7:30 pm. The legendary actor will appear in person to talk at length in conversation with the Film Society's program director Richard Pena about his career. A short selection of clips from a few of Bachchan's best-loved performances will be included. The Walter Reade Theater is located at 165 W. 65th St., Plaza level. For tickets, call 212-875-5050 or visit, www.filmlinc.com or visit the box office. For general information, call (212) 875-5600.
Born in 1942, the son of noted Hindi poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan, AB (as his fans often call him) moved to Bombay in his twenties to try his luck as an actor after a brief stint as a business executive. The first few years were tough. Considered at first too tall (he's 6'3"), he began to land significant roles only in the early 70s, but thanks to a series of features directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, (Anand, Abhimaan, Namak Haram) Bachchan finally came to be noticed. The persona he was developing - somewhat sullen, holding back, poised to explode - found perfect expression in Zanjeer, directed by Prakash Mehra, in which the true dimensions of Bachchan's rebellious "anti-hero" persona were perhaps first fully revealed.
Soon afterwards, it began to seem as if Bachchan was the Bollywood film industry. Appearing in blockbuster after blockbuster - many of the best of which were scripted by the Salim-Javed team - he seemed uncannily capable of moving from comedy to dark drama, from action hero to suave dancer. Yet no matter what kind of film he appeared in, he was always recognizably AB, fully engaged in each role but with an ever-present touch of self-awareness and even irony. The little part of him that he seemed to hold back in each role was the part that he seemed to reserve for the audience, a kind of personal link to those who had made him such a superstar, as if to confirm that no matter what the film, he was still their AB.
In the 80s, Bachchan tried his hand at politics, and was elected to the Indian Parliament for the Congress Party. When he returned to the screen a few years later, it seemed to take him a while to get up to speed; although there were major hits such as Agneepath, his dominance of Bollywood had been challenged by a new generation. He continued to work, usually successfully, but it was really with his stint as host of India's version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? that Bachchan again became a superstar. By then, too, he had begun to take on roles that accentuated his maturity; if no longer the dashing anti-hero, he could now be very effective as a world-weary police veteran in Govind Nihalani's powerful Dev.
"Amitabh Bachchan: The Biggest Film Star in the World!," was organized by Uma da Cunha and the Film Society's Richard Peña, with the generous support of AB Corporation (Mumbai). Special thanks to the Indo-American Arts Council, the South Asian International Film Festival and the South Asian Networking Association, Ismail Merchant, and Mrs. Jaya Bachchan.
Prakash Mehra, 1973; 145m
This film was a turning point in the career of superstar Amitabh Bachchan and even a turning point in the history of Hindi cinema. It was with Zanjeer that Bachchan created the new "angry young man" that would define this portion of his career. The villain Teja kills the parents of young Vijay (AB). The only thing he remembers is that the murderer was wearing a chain (zanjeer). Years later, Vijay has become a police inspector known for his hot temper. He continues to search for Teja, the murderer of his parents, who has changed his name and become a respectable citizen. At long last Vijay's investigations lead him to Teja, and the hour of revenge arrives. Movie stalwarts Ajit, Om Prakash, and Pran give unforgettable performances, and Jaya Bhaduri is also impressive.
Fri April 8: 1; Sun, April 10: 7:30; Mon, April 11: 1; Fri April 15: 9:10
Amar Akbar Anthony
Manmohan Desai, 1977; 184m - screening on DVD
One of Amitabh Bachchan's best-loved performances, and a popular favorite. Kishanlal (Pran), happily married and the father of three sons, works as a driver for Robert (Jeevan). One day, Robert kills a person in a car accident. He asks Kishanlal to take the blame and assures him that he will take care of his family and support them financially. Kishanlal agrees and goes to jail, but soon Robert forgets his promise. Cracking under financial and physical hardship, Kishanlal's family eventually splits up. His three sons grow up to become Amar (Vinod Khanna), a Hindu police inspector; Akbar (Rishi Kapoor), a Muslim tailor's son; and Anthony (Amitabh Bachchan), an outlaw Christian brought up by a priest. Through a series of gloriously unlikely events the three brothers meet each other again, without knowing their real connection. That discovery will come only later, and after the reunion with their real father and mother, the deadly trio takes revenge on Robert.
Fri April 8: 4; Sat April 16: 4:30
Govind Nihalani, 2004; 172m
Dev stars Amitabh Bachchan as Joint Commissioner of Police Dev Pratap Singh, a righteous and dedicated officer whose high ideals often run up against a corrupt system. Dev's friend, Special Commissioner Tejinder Khosla (Om Puri), is more pragmatic; he believes in maintaining a balance between Dev's idealism and the political interests of the state's Chief Minister, Bhandarker (Amrish Puri). A major subplot concerns Farhaan (Fardeen Khan), a young man tormented by the brutal murder of his father, a man who had always taught him the ideals of patriotism and non-violence. Believing that certain officials, including Dev, are responsible for his father's death, Farhaan sets off on a path of terror and violence that eventually engulfs the entire city. Tejinder decides that the only way to stop the killing is to ignore the established limits of police power. A rift appears in the bond of two dedicated cops, both with different senses of what their real duties must be.
Fri April 8: 7:45; Tues April 12: 3:20; Fri April 15: 1
Rakesh Mehra, 2001; 183m
Hazy bells in a church in Budapest herald, in the opening scene, a gun being pointed from a distance towards a cavalcade of cars. A minister makes his way to obtain a floppy disc, which details plans for the assassination of the Indian Prime Minister. Manu Verma (Amitabh Bachchan) is in charge of his security. Minutes later, we see him turn a gun on the minister while stealing the floppy. And then again, minutes later, we see another Bachchan walk into the office. The original one tears his mask off to reveal the evil Rajvan (Manoj Bajpai). Moving the action to India, Manu Verma is now with the crime branch and is asked to investigate a local murder where he recognizes the trademark of Rajvan, a small mask on a chain. Determined to catch him this time, he moves his family to Delhi and begins to track down Raghu. A cat and mouse game ensues that will eventually unleash forces - both natural and supernatural - beyond the control of any of the players.
Sat April 9: 5; Wed April 13: 8; Sun April 17: 4:30
Rajkumar Santoshi, 2004; 174m
What began as a routine mission of transferring a terrorist, Iqbal Ansari (Atul Kulkarni), from Chandangadh to Mumbai ends as a nightmare. Ambushed, most of Ansari's police escorts are killed, but thanks to the bravery of one officer he remains in custody. Now another team must be assembled to finish the job; this crucial assignment is given to Officer Anant (Amitabh Bachchan) -long considered a failure by his colleagues. Finally, a chance to prove himself. To help with this assignment, Anant selects Officer Shekhar (Akshay Kumar), street-smart, brave but rotten to the core; and Officer Ashwin (Tusshar Kapoor), a rookie on his first serious assignment who is going to find out the hard way about the reality of the harsh, corrupt and violent world. Accompanied by two constables, these three escort the dreaded terrorist from Chandangadh to Mumbai. But someone - a nameless, faceless enemy - has vowed that they will never get there alive.
Sat April 9: 8:30; Thurs April 14: 2:30
Sanjay Leela Bhansali, 2005; 122m
Born to an Anglo-Indian family, Michelle McNally (Rani Mukerji) has been deaf and blind since falling ill as an infant. A bright, intelligent girl who lives in a world of silence with no way of reaching out, Michelle longs to communicate. Just when things seem most hopeless, destiny reveals another hand. Debraj Sahai (Amitabh Bachchan) is seen by everyone as an eccentric with a real drinking problem; he's also someone absolutely consumed by his profession of being a teacher to the deaf-blind, something he considers a mission rather than simply a job. After being fired from one school due to his drinking and his own failing eyesight, the McNally family hires him to work with 8-year-old Michelle. Debrai's methods are immediately questioned by the family; he's rough, even brutal at times, yet slowly he seems to get results. But Debrai knows that he's racing against the illness that's taking over his body, which drives him even harder to help Michelle. A work of extraordinary emotional power, it's a tribute to Amitabh Bachchan that he would take on such problematic, largely unsympathetic role. The rapport between AB and child actor Rani Mukherjee is incredible.
Sun April 10: 5; Mon April 11: 9:30; Fri April 15: 4:15
Prakash Mehra, 1982; 165m - screening on DVD
Savitri (Waheeda Rehman) gave up her son, Arjun (Amitabh Bachchan), to keep a promise to her dying husband. Savitri brings up Raja (Shashi Kapoor), while Arjun is raised by his grandfather (Om Prakash). In order to make a man out of him, he sends him to the city, where Arjun finds a job in a hotel owned by Raja. At the hotel Arjun meets and falls in love with a co-worker, Poonam (the wonderful Smita Patil). Raja has grown up believing Savitri is his mother, but when attempts are made on his life, he is led to believe that she is the person behind the attacks. A heartbroken Raja returns to the hotel where he meets Arjun and soon they become friends. When another attempt is made on Raja's life at the hotel, Arjun decides to find out who is behind the attacks against his friend. Is it Savitri who is trying to kill Raja, so she can inherit everything? Or is it Nisha (Parveen Babi), Raja's love interest and cabaret dancer who will do anything for money?
Thurs April 14: 8:30
Hrishikesh Mukherjee, 1973; 122m
This hugely successful early Bachchan drama, in which he plays opposite his wife, Jaya Bhaduri, is a loose re-telling of A Star Is Born. Subeer Kumar (Amitabh Bachchan) is a star singer who commands the top of the music charts. A reserved man, his closest friendship is with his assistant, Asrani. On a visit to his aunt Durga in a faraway village, Subeer gets introduced to Uma (Jaya Bhaduri), a woman endowed with a natural singing talent. He falls in love with her talent and eventually with her. They get married in the village and later come back to the city. Soon Subeer and Uma are cutting records together, and her popularity begins to grow - so much so that soon Subeer finds his position as number one seriously challenged. His competitiveness and jealousy cause their marriage to break up, and Uma heads back to her village. But Subeer is already on a downward spiral from which he seems unable to escape.
Mon April 11: 4:15; Thurs April 14: 6
Suhendu Roy, 1973; 150m
Another offbeat role for Bachchan, made before his screen persona fully took shape. Moti (AB), a palm tree taper, falls in love with a cute young woman, but in order to marry her he must raise an unattainable sum of money as dowry. He then marries Mahjubi, a rich widow, but once he's been able to abscond with enough of her money he divorces her, accusing her of infidelity. Soon after he marries his sweetheart - but can any kind of true love ever emerge from such poisoned soil?
Mon April 11: 6:40; Sat April 16: 4:30; Tue April 19: 1
Hrishikesh Mukherjee, 1970; 122m
This film is a provocative tale about a man, Anand (Rajesh Khanna), who is dying of a dreaded disease but who nevertheless chooses to live every moment of his life to the fullest. He entertains others and brings happiness to their life. In contrast, Amitabh Bachchan is Bhaskar Banerjee, a young doctor who, despite his education and success, is bitter and frustrated. Anand feels pity for this troubled spirit and befriends him; for a while, things seem to go well between them. Bhaskar tries hard to cure Anand but all his efforts are finally in vain; ultimately Anand dies, but not before leaving a message of love and happiness. Anand was the first movie in which Amitabh Bachchan was seriously noticed by Bollywood, holding his own against reigning superstar Rajesh Khanna. The film is a wonderful example of Bachchan's versatility as an actor, and is a must-see for both his fans and those of Rajeesh Khanna.
Tue April 12: 1; Fri April 15: 6:40
Mukul Anand, 1990; 174m
After having been framed for a scandal, Vijay's father is lynched by the villagers on the instigation of Kancha Cheena. Forced to take care of his mother and sister, Vijay eventually drifts into a life of crime, moving up the ranks of underworld hierarchy. However, his quest to avenge his parents never ends and eventually he has his day of reckoning with Kancha Cheena. Rather than kill him, Vijay turns his vanquished opponent over to the police. After Kancha Cheena is released due to lack of evidence, Vijay realizes that he's the only one who can set matters right. One of Amitabh Bachchan's darker roles, he displays a greater sense of world-weariness, a lifetime of experiences that seem to all well up in his great dark eyes.
Wed April 13: 1:15; Sun April 17: 7:45
Vipul Shan, 2002; 172m
One of Amitabh Bachchan's biggest hits in recent years, Aankhen is the story of Vijay (Amitabh Bachchan), an honest and successful bank manager who commands respect from his employees and a reputation from his clients. When Vijay notices that his employees are cheating the bank, he tells his supervisors. He is rewarded by being fired, as the bank management has also been cheating the bank, and they do not want the information to spread. But Vijay has other plans. Gathering together a small troupe of blind thieves, Vijay uses his bank knowledge to set up the ultimate robbery, thus setting off a dangerous game of cat and mouse with management, who realize that Vijay might just know enough to bring down their whole operation. AB enjoys a role that matches his wits and cunning against a kind of evil empire of greed.
Friday April 8: 4; Wed April 13: 4:30; Sat April 16: 8
IAAC: MASTERS OF INDIAN CINEMA: The Indo-American Arts Council a film festival with a difference -"Masters of Indian Cinema." This festival celebrates alternate Indian films, featuring India's most celebrated Directors : Satyajit Ray, Aparna Sen, Shyam Benegal, Mani Ratnam, Buddhdb Das Gupt, and Mrinal Sen. The Festival will open on April 8th with a screening of Satyajit Ray's "Gopi Gayne Bagha Bayne" at 7 pm. The film will be introduced by celebrated author and Ray fan, Salman Rushdie. Concieved by Aroon Shivdasani, the festival is curated by Suri Gopalan. The Festival is to showcase films that are neither Bollywood nor of the Diaspora - Alternate Indian films. This is the first time a film festival of Indian alternate cinema has been scheduled in North America! The festival will run from April 8-14 at The ImaginAsian, located at 239East 59th Street, New York City. Information and schedules: IAAC 212 529 2347 or www.iaac.us. Tickets are available at the ImaginAsian Box Office, 239East 59th S t(between 2nd & 3rd Ave), New York 10022 or online on www.theimaginasian.com.
Masters of Indian Cinema will open on April 8th with a screening of Satyajit Ray's "Gopi Gayne Bagha Bayne" at 7 pm. The film will be introduced by celebrated author and Ray Fan, Salman Rushdie.
Bollywood films have made their mark in North America - popularizing Indian pop culture and a certain melodramatic Indian formula genre. Filmmakers such as Mira Nair, Deepa Mehta, Gurinder Chadha and Ismail Merchant have ensured a place for films from the Indian Diaspora. North America has not yet been exposed to "alternate Indian cinema" - films that depict India as Indians see it, live and experience it. -"Masters of Indian Cinema." A intends to depict just those films - conceived and directed by filmmakers of vision - steeped in their own culture - completely engrossed in the experiences enveloping them and the world around them.
The Schedule is as follows: Friday, April 8: 7PM Satyajit Ray's Gopi Gayne Bagha Bayne (1968) 132 mins. Bengali. Saturday, April 9: 12noon Shyam Benegal's Junoon (1978) 141 mins. Hindi; 3PM: Aparna Sen's Yugant (1995) 135 mins. Bengali;
6PM: Mani Ratnam's Roja (1992) 137 mins. Tamil; 9PM: Mrinal Sen's Ek Din Achanak (1989) 105 mins. Hindi. Sunday, April 10: 12noon Satyajit Ray's Gopi Gayne; 3PM: Shyam Benegal's Samar (1999) 126 mins. Hindi; 6PM: Aparna Sen's 36 Chowranghee Lane(1981) 122 mins English: 9PM Budhdb's Mondo Meyer Uppakhyan(2002) 90 mins Bengali.
Monday, April 11: 4PM: Mrinal Sen's Antareen (1994) 91 mins. Bengali; 6PM: Mani Ratnam's Roja; 9PM: Shyam Benegal's Junoon. Tuesday, April 12: 3PM: Mani Ratnam's Bombay (1995) 130 mins. Tamil; 6PM: Aparna Sen's Yugant; 9PM: Budhdb's Uttara(2000) 99mins. Bengali. Wednesday April 13: 3PM: Budhdb's Mondo Meyer Uppakhyan(2002); 6PM: Shyam Benegal's Samar; 9PM: Mrinal Sen's Ek Din Achanak.
Thursday April 14: 3PM: Aparna Sen's 36 Chowranghee Lane; 6PM: Mrinal Sen's Antareen; 9PM: Satyajit Ray's Seemabhadha (1971) 110 mins. Bengali.
The Indo-American Arts Council (www.iaac.us) is a registered, not-for-profit, 501(c)3, secular arts organization passionately dedicated to promoting and building an awareness of artists and artistic disciplines (performing arts, visual arts, literary arts) of India. Call 212 529 2347, firstname.lastname@example.org. The IAAC supports all the artistic disciplines in classical, fusion, Folk and innovative forms influenced by the arts of India. We work Cooperatively with colleagues around the United States to broaden our collective audiences and to create a network of shared information, resources and funding. www.iaac.us
The ImaginAsian (www.theimaginasian.com) is New York City's premier Asian American theater solely dedicated to showcasing the exciting world of Asian and Asian American cinema and culture. From international box-office smash hits to critically acclaimed independent films, the theater hosts the best Asian-themed titles hailing from all over Asia and the U.S., with English subtitles provided for all foreign-language films. Moreover, The ImaginAsian's state-of-the-art facilities and Asian café provide a unique home to an exciting series of film festivals and cultural performances. Please call 212-371-6682 for more information about the theater.
ASIAN CINEVISION AND BAM: In conjunction with Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month, BAMcinématek, BAM Rose Cinemas' repertory film program, presents Asian Cinevisions film series from April 29-May 1. The series celebrates the best of recent Asian and Asian American cinema, featuring key emerging directors showcased along with established filmmakers. BAM Rose Cinemas "offers one of the most civilized movie-going experiences in the city," according to The New York Times. Tickets are available at the BAM Rose Cinemas box office, by phone at 718.777.FILM (order by "name of movie" option/same-day sales only), or online at www.bam.org. For more information, call the BAMcinématek hotline at 718.636.4100 or visit www.bam.org. Curated by Asian CineVision (ACV) (www.asiancinevision.org <http://www.asiancinevision.org/>).
Asian Cinevisions is a pioneering series in North America that aims to screen critically acclaimed films from Asia-China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and many more countries-as well as Asian American films that rarely make it to American theaters. The films capture the diversity of the Asian global experience, and reflect the growing importance of Asian films in world cinema.
The Schedule is as follow: Friday, April 29: 6:30, 9:30PM: A Peck on the Cheek (Kannathil Muthamittal) (2002), 136 min, India, directed by Mani Ratnam.
Saturday, April 30: at 2, 6:50PM: The Hunter and the Hunted (Yudan Taiteki) (2003), 110 min, Japan, directed by Izuru Narushima. Saturday, April 30: 4:30, 9:15PM:
Long Life, Happiness & Prosperity (2002), 92 min, Canada, directed by Mina Shum.
Sunday, May 1, 2, 6:50PM: Men Suddenly In Black (Da Zhang Fu) (2003), 93 min, Hong Kong, directed by Edmond Ho-Cheung Pang. Sunday, May 1, 4:30, 9:15PM:
The Ride (2003), 93 min, U.S., directed by Nathan Kurosawa.
TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL: LEE'S RED DOORS: Writer/Director Georgia Lee's feature film "Red Doors" will have its world premiere in the NY, NY Competition at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival, April 19 - May 1. In Lee's feature directorial debut, we meet the Wongs. They are keeping up appearances as the model Chinese-American family living a blissful existence in suburban New York. Upon closer examination we find that Ed Wong (Tzi Ma, The Ladykillers, The Quiet American, Rush Hour), his devoted wife May-Li (Freda Foh Shen, Mulan, A Mighty Wind), and their three overachieving daughters are in fact a bizarrely dysfunctional family living disconnected lives. For tickets and information about the Festival, call 866-941-FEST or visit www.tribecafilmfestival.org.
Samantha (Jacqueline Kim, Charlotte Sometimes, Volcano) is the eldest and most accomplished of the Wong sisters. She's an ambitious businesswoman who is just weeks away from her "dream" wedding with Mark (Jayce Bartok, The Station Agent), an equally successful young man whose main concern is the seating arrangement. The middle sister, Julie (Elaine Kao), is a shy and sheltered medical student whose life is turned upside down when she falls for Mia Scarlett (Mia Riverton), a movie star who is researching a role at the hospital. The youngest daughter, Katie (Kathy Shao-Lin Lee), is a precocious and disaffected high school senior engaged in an elaborate and dangerous war of practical jokes with her neighbor Simon (Sebastian Stan). The sisters bicker over weekly family dinners with their detached father and their overbearing mother.
Eventually the Wongs' façade begins to crumble under the weight of denial, miscommunication, and collective neuroses. Samantha rekindles a relationship with her ex-boyfriend (Rossif Sutherland, Timeline); Julie grapples with the repercussions of her newfound feelings for Mia; Katie risks life and limb to get even with her nemesis; and Ed runs away to a Buddhist monastery to cope with his existential crisis. The ensuing events are at once hilarious and moving. The strong ensemble cast gives the audience a sense of authentic family dynamics. Lee takes a page from '80s director John Hughes and updates the genre with volumes of contemporary family pathos and comedy. RED DOORS touches on some of the most primal, sacred, and universal bonds that connect parents and children, creating an intelligent portrait of a modern American family.
Writer/director Lee's story was inspired by her own family and personal experiences. In fact, the Lee family home was used as a primary location; actual home video footage from her childhood is woven throughout the film; and her youngest sister plays the role of Katie. Lee's producers, Jane Chen and Mia Riverton, are her childhood friends - the trio attended Harvard together and joined forces to form their own production company, Blanc de Chine Entertainment. The film is set to an original score composed by Robert Miller (Why We Fight, Best Documentary 2005 Sundance Film Festival). Lee's next feature film project Forbidden City has been selected to participate in this year's Tribeca All Access Program.
MIYAKO YOSHIDA: International Dance Day was founded in 1982 by the International Dance Committee of the International Theatre Institute (ITI-UNESCO). April 29th celebrate International Dance Day as it commemorates the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810), great reformer of dance. In 1995, in an effort to unite the dance world, the International Dance Committee entered into a collaborative effort for the celebration of International Dance Day with World Dance Alliance. Every year a message from a well known dance personality is circulated throughout the world, with the intention of uniting all dance on this day. It is a day to celebrate the art form and revel in its universality, to cross all political, cultural and ethnic barriers and bring people together in peace and friendship with a common language - Dance. The 2005 message is from Miyako Yoshida, principal dancer with the Royal Ballet. Past years have featured messages from Maurice Bejart, Merce Cunningham, Maguy Marin, Jiri Kylian, Alicia Alonso, and other international figures.
A native of Japan, Ms. Yoshida studied in Tokyo and at the Royal Ballet School after winning the Prix de Lausanne. She rose to the rank of principal dancer with the Birmingham Royal Ballet (formerly Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet), and joined the Royal Ballet in 1995, where her repertoire includes principal roles in Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, Cinderella, Don Quixote, and Coppelia, to name a few. Ms. Yoshida has received numerous prizes and honors, and on July 22, 2004, was named 'UNESCO ARTIST FOR PEACE" by Mr. Koichiro Matsuura, Director General of UNESCO.
Message by Miyako Yoshida - 2005
Dance is exclusive to no one.
It grants joy and elation to all that partake or spectate.
The language of dance knows no boundaries.
It reaches beyond class, education, country and belief.
Its vocabulary is infinite, as human emotion resonates through movement.
Dance enriches the soul and uplifts the spirit.
Dance lives within all that live.
Let all the children dance and peace shall surely follow.
BALINESE MUSIC AND DANCE: Cudamani, Balinese Music and Dance will perform on May 1, 7PM at the Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall on Broadway and 60th Street. This 25 member troupe from Pengosekan, under the direction of I Dewa Putu Berata, captures the magic of Bali with its dazzling dances, glorious costumes and shimmering gamelan orchestra of gong and metallophones. In addition to preserving ancient and rare forms of Balinese music and dance, the ensemble composes and performs new works. The program, Odalan Bali (temple festival ceremony), includes rituals dances, the classic Legong, and Taruna Jay in the keyboard style. For tickets, call 212-721-6500. For more info, visit www.worldmusicinstitute.org.
NAI-NI CHEN DANCE: The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company continues its U.S. tour, which started last September with performances in Michigan, and continued to Florida, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Minnesota, New York, and New Jersey. The Company's New York season, Friday & Saturday, May 6 & 7 at 8 PM at the John Jay Theater, Tenth Avenue & 58th Street, will feature the World Premiere of Ms. Chen's "Landscape over Zero" and a repeat of the visually stunning "Unbroken Thread." Frequent music collaborator, Joan La Barbara, will perform live with the New(x) works. For tickets, call 212-37-8220 or visit www.jjay.cuny.edu/theater. On Nay-Ni Dance Company will also perform at Bergen Community College, "Dance Connection 2005: A Choreography Showcase" in Paramus, NJ on Saturday, May 14, 7:30 PM. For tickets, call 201-447-7428 or visit
The Asian American Writers' Workshop's winners of the 2005-2006 Edward and Sally Van Lier Fellowship, funded by The New York Community Trust: Jennifer Chang, Poetry, Tim Maloney, Fiction, N. Rain Noël, Fiction, and Annapurna Potluri, Fiction.
The fellowship program is designed to assist emerging Asian American writers
in developing their professional careers. Fellows were judged by a committee
consisting of two poets, two prose writers, one editor and one agent. For
more information about the Van Lier Fellowship, check
Jennifer Chang's poetry has been published in Asian American Poetry: The
Next Generation, New England Review, The Asian Pacific American Journal,
Beloit Poetry Journal, Crab Orchard Review and others. She received an
M.F.A. from the University of Virginia and currently teaches literature and
writing at the Pratt Institute and the University of Maryland's online
Tim Mullaney's play "What to Say" was part of the Jane Chambers/Robert
Chesley Playwrights Project and his short performance, "Close Your Eyes,"
was workshopped at StageLeft Theater in Chicago. In 2001 he received the T.
Stephen May Award for Excellence in Scriptwriting.
N. Rain Noe is a freelance writer who has written for AsianAvenue.com, A.
Magazine and was most recently published in Echoes Upon Echoes: New Korean
Annapurna Potluri has been published in Fiction, The Minetta Review, The
Gallatin Review and First Friday Magazine. She received a graduate degree in
linguistics and literature from the University of Cambridge in England. She
is currently working on a novel and a collection of humorous non-fiction
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