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ASIANS and AMAZONS BY MARILYN ABALOS
inside news about Asians and women on stage
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JULIA CHO' S "BFE": Playwrights Horizons will present the New York Premiere of "BFE", a new play by Julia Cho. Directed by Gordon Edelstein, previews will begin Thursday, May 19 with an official opening on Tuesday, May 31 at 7:00 PM. Performances will continue through Sunday, June 12 at Playwrights Horizons' Peter Jdances of lifeay Sharp Theater (416 West 42nd Street). BFE" is presented in association with Long Wharf Theatre. An Asian-American family attempts to escape its stifling Arizonan home life in BFE, which tells the story of Panny (Olivia Oguma), a spunky fourteen year-old; her socially awkward uncle (James Saito); her homebound mom (Kate Rigg), who fantasizes about General MacArthur; and the serial killer (Scott Hudson) that stalks their neighborhood in search of bubbly blondes. A cautionary tale about the devastating effects of an image-obsessed society, BFE calls into question the nature of beauty and desirability in contemporary America.
PAY WHAT YOU CAN NIGHT for "BFE" will be the first preview, Thursday, May 19 at 7:30 PM. A limited number of tickets will be offered on a walk-up, cash-only, first-come, first-served basis, starting one hour before showtime. Audience members are asked to "pay what they can" at the time of admission. Seating is subject to availability. Tickets, limited to 2 per person, will go on sale at 6:30 PM for the 7:30 PM curtain. PAY WHAT YOU CAN NIGHT and HOTtix, two popular Playwrights Horizons initiatives made possible by the Ford Motor Company Fund, allow the theater company to reach out to those who may not be able to afford the cost of a full-price theater ticket. Reflecting PLAYWRIGHTS HORIZONS' ongoing commitment to making its productions more affordable to younger audiences, the theater company also offers HOTtix, $20 rush tickets, subject to availability, starting one hour before showtime to patrons aged 30 and under. Proof of age required. One ticket per person, per purchase. Student Rush tickets will be available for $12 (with valid ID, cash only, day of performance, subject to availability). For subscription and ticket information to all PLAYWRIGHTS HORIZONS productions, call TICKET CENTRAL at (212) 279-4200, Noon to 8:00 PM daily, or purchase online at Playwrights Horizons' website: www.playwrightshorizons.org
The cast of BFE features Jeremy Hollingworth, Scott Hudson, 3-time Obie winner Karen Kandel, Sue Jean Kim, Kel Martin, James McMenamin, Olivia Oguma, Kate Rigg, and James Saito.
Sue Jean Kim (Hae Yoon) has appeared on the New York stage in The Imaginary Invalid at The Pearl and The Seagull with Target Margin Theater. At NYU she's appeared in productions under the direction of Mark Wing-Davey, Michael Greif and Deborah Hecht. She played Margo in Fox's "The Jury" and appeared in Sidney Lumet's Strip Search on HBO. Olivia Oguma (Panny) has appeared in the national tours of Les Misérables and A Christmas Carol. Off-Broadway credits include Sarah Plain and Tall, The Skin of Our Teeth-The Musical, Belongings and Medea, as well as an ABT production of Romeo and Juliet at The Metropolitan Opera. Her TV and film credits include "Law & Order," and the upcoming film version of Strangers with Candy.
Kate Rigg (Isabel) has appeared Off-Broadway in The Vagina Monologues, Dogeaters and The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told and her own Kate's Chink-O-Rama. Regional work includes productions at The Mark Taper Forum, Actors Theatre of Louisville and the Fringe Festival of Toronto. Also a comic, she's performed at many venues across the country, including several comedy festivals. James Saito (Lefty). Broadway and touring credits include Flower Drum Song, The King & I and Golden Child. Off-Broadway he has appeared in Rashomon (Roundabout), Day Standing on Its Head (MTC), The Waiting Room (Vineyard) and Charles Busch's Shanghai Moon (Theatre for a New City). Among many regional, film and TV credits, he's the voices of Roy and Groper in the current Robot Stories.
Julia Cho's plays include The Architecture of Loss, How to Be a Good Son and 99 Histories. She has developed her plays at New York Theatre Workshop, The Sundance Theatre Lab, The Mark Taper Forum and South Coast Repertory. She has been a playwriting fellow at New York Theatre Workshop, a recipient of a New York Foundation for The Arts grant and a playwright-in-residence at The Juilliard School. Her play 99 Histories was given a workshop production as part of The Cherry Lane Alternative's Mentor Series, and was also a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. BFE is the recipient of the 2004 L. Arnold Weissberger Award.
Jeremy Hollingworth (Jack/General) has appeared on Broadway in Sly Fox and Fortune's Fool. Off-Broadway credits include Current Events (MTC), Fuddy Meers (The Minetta Lane) and The New Boy (The Samuel Beckett). Productions at Circle in the Square-Downtown and NYU include The Seagull, Uncle Vanya and Women and Wallace. Scott Hudson (Man) has appeared Off-Broadway in Our Lady of 121st Street (Union Square), Dutch Heart of Man (The Public), The Glory of Living (MCC), Hot Keys (P.S. 122), Wild Echinacea (Primary Stages), Can't Go Nowhere With Ya (Houseman) and Prelude and Liebstod (INTAR). He's been seen regionally in The School for Wives at La Jolla and Burn This at The George Street Playhouse. Karen Kandel (Evvie) recently completed a run of Heiner Mueller's Quartet, directed by JoAnne Akalaitis at Chicago's Court Theatre. She is an Artistic Associate with Mabou Mines and, as a performer, has been awarded three Obies, for Mabou Mines' gender reversed Lear, Peter and Wendy (an adaptation of J.M. Barrie's classic) and an ensemble award for Talk by Carl Hancock Rux. Kel Martin (Nancy) is making her Off-Broadway debut in B.F.E. A 2004 graduate of NYU/Tisch School of the Arts, she has performed in productions of Summer of Swans, Marisol, Dracula, La Ronde and Best Possible World in Dublin. James McMenamin (Hugo) has appeared in numerous productions at Williamstown Theatre Festival, including Austin Pendelton's production of Three Sisters, Ann Reinking's Dinner at 8:30, Louis Zorich's The Cherry Orchard and Peter Hunt's The Threepenny Opera. At the Edinburgh Festival Fringe he was in a production of Joan, which was also seen in New York at The Endurance Theatre.
Gordon Edelstein is Artistic Director of Long Wharf Theatre and was previously Artistic Director of ACT Theatre in Seattle. His New York credits include directing the Broadway production of The Homecoming and many Off-Broadway productions including The Day the Bronx Died, The Last Yankee and Tales of the Lost Formicans. Regional theater credits include productions at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Arena Stage, Westport Country Playhouse and the Berkshire Theatre Festival. His ACT directing credits include the American premiere of Martin McDonagh's A Skull in Connemara (later presented at The Roundabout), the world premiere of Lisette Lecat Ross's Scent of the Roses with Julie Harris, and the world premiere adaptation of God of Vengeance by Donald Margulies. His Long Wharf directing credits include the world premieres of Michael Henry Brown's The Day the Bronx Died, Joyce Carol Oates's How Do You Like Your Meat?, David Wiltse's A Dance Lesson and the Joe Kennan and Brad Ross musical The Times; plus Joe Sutton's Voir Dire and Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie.
NAATCO PRESENTS IVANOV: The Obie Award-Winning National Asian-American Theatre Company (NAATCO) will present an all Asian-American production of Anton Chekhov's classic "Ivanov", translated by Paul Schmidt, starting May at The Baruch Performing Arts Center's Bernie West Theatre (17 Lexington Avenue - at 23rd Street). Scheduled to run through June 8, "Ivanov" features Daniel Dae Kim of the hit TV show "Lost." Directed by Mint Theatre Company Artistic Director Jonathan Bank, "Ivanov" shows the struggles of a man fighting with his own depression as he embarks on an affair with a much younger woman after his wife dies. Ivanov looks to the younger woman to cure him of his emotional crisis, only to find out too late that she cannot save him.For tickets, call 646-312-4085 or visit www.naatco.org.
The all Asian-American ensemble of "Ivanov" features many acclaimed actors who have performed in past NAATCO productions - they include: Joel de la Fuente (as the title character Ivanov), Mia Katigbak, Daniel Dae Kim (series regular of the hit TV show "Lost"), Stephen Park, C.S. Lee, Orville Mendoza, Michi Barall, Mel Gionson, Keiko Green, Deepti Gupta, Rochele Tillman, and Virginia Wing.
NAATCO was founded in 1989 by Richard Eng and the company's Artistic Director Mia Katigbak. Now in its 15th 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, a widely acclaimed revival of William Finn's FALSETTOLAND, LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT, THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA, OUR TOWN, Christopher Fry's A PHOENIX TOO FREQUENT, and YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU. Last season, NAATCO presented the world-premiere of Catherine Filloux's EYES OF THE HEART and a contemporary translation of Sophocles' ANTIGONE.
For the Mint Theatre Jonathan Bank has unearthed and produced more than two dozen worthy but neglected plays including ECHOES OF THE WAR by J.M. Barrie, THE DAUGHTER-IN-LAW by D. H. Lawrence and two plays by Arthur Schnitzler's - FAR AND WIDE and THE LONELY WAY, which he co-translated and directed. Other credits include JOHN BROWN'S BODY, THE DOUBLE BASS and THREE DAYS OF RAIN for the Miniature Theater of Chester and CANDIDA and MR. PIM PASSES BY for the Peterborough Players.
THEATER ARTS JAPAN: Theatre Arts Japan Presents Work in Progress
"Japanese plays from the early 20th century". Theatre Arts Japan will produce 3 short stories written or inspired by Three Japanese Masters in the early 20th century May 6 -22, at the Common Basis Theatre, 750 8th Ave, Room 500, near 46th St. The plays include "Paper Balloon" by Kunio Kishida, "Rashomon" by Fay ad Michael Kanin, and "The Wild Pear" by Kenji Miyazawa. For tickets, call 646-554-6557 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org .
Kunio Kishida wrote "Paper Balloon" in 1925. Kishida, born in 1890 is the playwright who is one of the important playwrights largely contributed to modern Japanese theatre.
Directed by Eriko Ogawa, "Paper Balloon" is Kishida' s most popular play concerning a young couple who have been married jut one year. The play features Motoki Kobayashi, Yuriko Hoshina.
Fay and Michael Kanin' s "Rashomon" was inspired by Ryunosuke Akutagawa' s Rashomon (written in 1915). Directed by Nobuo Inubushi Akutagawa, born in 1892, was one of the first prewar Japanese writers to achieve a wide foreign readership, because of his technical virtuosity. He published his arresting psychological novella "Rashomon", which was to gain international recognition and eventually become a hugely successful film by Kurosawa. Toshi Nakayama, Takeshima Toshiji, Florian Klein, Chino Hara, Nobuo Inubushi star in this production.
"The Wild Pear" was written by Kenji Miyazawa in 1923. Miyazawa, born in 1896. He was only 37 at the time of his death though his literary works received enormous attention after his life. Directed by Yukako Yamazoe, "The Wild Pear" is a short story written as a commentary for 2 slides. Similar to silent films, it is a quiet and gentle story of life under water. The play features Daniella Chiminelli.
Theatre Arts Japan was founded by Eriko Ogawa, new anticipated Japanese director based in NY. Although she has no decades of experience, her determination is already recognized by major Japanese news papers like Asahi Shinbun. She is a "diamond in the rough" (docomo usa namikiteru magazine). Eriko founded the company to seek recognition to her heritage by producing Japanese plays. Also in order to express Japanese humanity and culture fully, she has and will gather creative Japanese directors. She is also a member of woken' glacier theatre company where she recently directed "Seal Sings Its Song".
CLUBBED THUMB' S SUMMERWORKS 2005: Clubbed Thumb' s 10th annual new play festival Summerworks 2005 opens May 9 featuring 3 plays through May 28 at the Ohio Theatre on 66 Wooster Street between Spring and Broome Streets. The plays include "100 Aspects of the Moon" By Ethan Lipton, "Madame Killer" By Honour Kane, and "Dearest Eugenia Haggis" by Ann Marie Healy. For tickets, call SmartTix at 212-868-4444 or visit www.smarttix.com. For more information, visit www.clubbedthumb.org or call 212-802-8007.
Directed by Emma Griffin, Lipton' s "100 Aspects of the Moon" By Ethan Lipton, runs May 9-14, 8PM. The play was inspired by the work of 19th-century woodblock-printmaker Yoshitoshi, "100 Aspects of the Moon" is a very sad comedy about the regularly scheduled failings of humanity. Deep-seeded resentment, lousy communication and misplaced love and violence ensue.
"Madame Killer" By Honour Kane with Diana Kane is directed by Wier Harman. It runs May 16 – 21, 8PM. It is a Gothic noir about Ann Lohman who, upon her death in 1978, was a paradigm of capitalism, worth millions…but she had secrets. This fair doctor owned a black book filled with incriminating evidence about all the women she serviced over the years, striking fear in both rich and poor if this information ever got out!
Melissa Kievman directs "Dearest Eugenia Haggis" by Ann Marie Healy. It is a heartbreaking and extremely funny tale of three misfits scrambling for the scraps of love in the frozen outskirts. The play runs May 23 – 28, 8PM.
Summerworks 2005. takes place at The Ohio Theatre (66 Wooster Street btwn. Spring and Broome) beginning with the festival opening night artstar party on May 4th ay 8 PM and ending this whirligig of a month with their last mainstage production on May 28th. Tickets are $15/ $12 for students for mainstage productions. All other events are FREE! To purchase tickets in advance call SmartTix at 212.868-4444 or go to www.smarttix.com. For more information, go to www.clubbedthumb.org or call 212.802.8007.
Slant: Perry Yung, Rick Ebihara, Wayland Quintero
ARCHIPELAGO! BY SLANT: Asians in America: Metaphors of Change will be presented on Sunday, May 8, 3 - 4PM at the American Museum of Natural History on Central Park West at 79 Street. This theatrical romp is a fun musical tribute to Asian emigrants. The three members of Slant share Filipino family cooking stories, songs of Japanese-American internment camps, and a Chinese great-grandfather's monologue on detainment on Angel Island.
The performance is free with museum admission. For more info, call 212-769-5315 or visit http://www.amnh.org/programs.
In 1995, SLANT premiered "Big Dicks Asian Men" to critical acclaim at New York City' s landmark experimental theater, La MaMa E.T.C. Since then, they have created nine original theatrical productions of high energy performance art. All of SLANT's shows involve live original music written by the three members, Wayland Quintero, Richard Ebihara, and Perry Yung. The shows are a confluence of puppetry, guitars, drums, voice, and bamboo flutes.
Richard Ebihara is a third-and-fourth generation Japanese American from Cleveland, Ohio. After one to many gigs as a spear holder at the Cleveland Opera, he decided to give it a shot as a strap-hanger instead. He has done lots before co-forming SLANT in New York City. Rick is the creator of 42nd Street Hotel, a puppet opera.
Wayland Quintero was born in the Philippines, raised in Hawaii, and has lived in New York City since 1989. He has a Bachelor' s degree in Political Science from the University of Hawaii, a Masters in Fine Arts from New York University' s Tisch School of the Arts, and earned a Certificate in International Affairs completing coursework in the fall of 2004 at New York University. In addition to Slant he has performed with Ping Chong and Company, New York City, in a piece titled "Deshima," at domestic venues and at the Singapore International Festival (1996), as a touring member and residency teacher across the U.S. with HT Chen and Dancers, New York City (1992-94), touring member with Gus Solomons Jr. Dance Company (1991-92), and as a performer with Tandy Beal and Company, Santa Cruz, California (1987-89), as well as several other collaborative projects with independent performing artists in New York City. He is also a recipient of a Van Lier Foundation fellowship in choreography (1993). In the summer of 2004 he assisted in directing a gong, dance, and play production written by Mrs. Mia Abeya, as part of the Igorot Global Organization' s 5th Conference, at the St. Louis Art Museum- July 4, 2004. In addition to teaching residencies with Slant he has taught theatre and movement at the Filipino American Human Services in Queens (FAHSI), New York. He has served as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee and worked as the Projects Manager for the non-profit Asian American Arts Alliance, New York City www.aaartsalliance.org and worked as an administrative assistant for Gere Productions and Foundation and assistant to the Project Director for the Dalai Lama' s 1999 teachings at the Beacon Theatre and Central Park. He has also served on grants panels for the National Endowment for the Arts- Multidisciplinary/Heritage and Preservation (2001) and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council- Theatre (2002), and as a desk reviewer for Dance USA (2001 & 2002). He is a former member of the Kinding Sindaw Co. from 2000-2003 in the roles of production coordinator, and as stage director for works titled "Rajah Mangandiri" (2000) and "Lemlunay" (2003) at the La Mama Annex Theatre as well as works-in-progress and other projects. Since leaving Kinding Sindaw he has researched and written a paper titled- From Belief to Doubt to Revelation: Uncovering Kinding Sindaw and the Misrepresentation of Philippine Indigenous Traditions, first presented at the International Performing Ethnicity Conference on October 17, 2004, New York City, sponsored by the Ford Foundation and organized by Ma-Yi Theatre Co. and the University of the Philippines. For more information on this paper and other inquiries email to email@example.com.
Perry Yung is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area who graduated from San Francisco State University in painting and printmaking. In the Bay Area, he has performed with modern dance and ballet companies, exhibited his mixed media installations, and played lead guitar as an original member of the alternative music group Fibulator. He recently completed a six months journey to Japan to study shakuhachi making and playing. While there, Perry created Umio Umio - a performance piece with Maura Donohue, Yoshito Ohno and Kinya and Laurie Sogawa. In New York City, he found performance art as his primary medium of expression in working with Muna Tseng and Tan Dun in The Pink, Ping Chong' s Deshima, Theodora Skipitares' Under the Knife, Pan Asian Repertory' s Cambodia Agonistes, Fred Ho' s Afro Asian American Art Ensemble, Karole Armitage, and a host of other downtown artists. As a resident artist of La MaMa E.T.C., he has performed the leading roles of Oedipus in Ellen Stewart' s Oedipus the King, and, as Orestes in Andrei Serban and Elizabeth Swado' s Elektra. Perry has been seen on the stages of Athens, Cairo, Istanbul, Belgrade, Spoleto, Milan, Johannesburg, Vienna, Seoul, and most recently, the Republic of China. His filmwork includes Dead Men by Jim Jarmusch, Search and Destroy by David Salle, and Ghost story by Veronica Soul. He has composed film scores for Mike Tang' s Painted Faces, Francisco Aliwales' Window Pains, Nandu Nayak's films and Paul Yung' s Chamber of Dreams.These days, he designs sets for Maura Nguyen Donohue and Inmixedcompany and makes, plays and sells shakuhachi bamboo flutes.
PACIFIKA – NEW YORK HAWAIIAN FILM FESTIVAL: From Friday, May 20 to Sunday, May 22, 2005, in collaboration with Tisch School of the Arts/Graduate Department of Film and Television, the Hawai`i Cultural Foundation (HCF) will exhibit the rich cultural heritage of Hawai`i and the Pacific Islands preserved through film and video in the third annual "Pacifika--New York Hawaiian Film Festival" (NYHFF). Integrating lectures, workshops, theatrical works, live music and dance, this festival presents works that explore questions of history, human rights, and identity of Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. Opening Night Film will be held on Friday, May 20, 2005 – 7PM at Cantor Film Center #200. The festival also will present dance, ukelele, chanting, massage and Hawaiian language workshops. The festival will begin with the New York City Theatrical Premiere of "The Hawaiians – Reflecting Spirit," a film by award-winning filmmaker Edgy Lee on the spiritual origins, cultural history and present-day struggles of the Hawaiian people. This film will be preceded by a short entitled Gravity about the confluence of urban life and the dreamscape of traditional Polynesian ceremony. "The Hawaiians – Reflecting Spirit" will be followed by a Q & A with filmmaker Edgy Lee. A Opening Night Reception will be held on Friday, May 20, 200 - 9:30PM at PostWorks in New York City. The evening will continue with a reception honoring Pacifika filmmakers and will include a live performance by popular Hawaiian entertainers, Kawika Trask & Friends - Ke`ao Costa and Weldon Kekauoha. For tickets, call 212-966 3378 or visit www.hawaiianculturalfoundation.org.
Closing Night Film will be on Sunday, May 22, 2005 – 7:30PM at Cantor Film Center #200. Closing Night Event features "Two Cars One Night,"(Academy Award nominated short film 2005), a film about the story of first love when two Maori children meet in a car park, and the New York City Theatrical Premiere of "Polynesian Power," narrated by WWF and feature film star "The Rock". This film chronicles the ascent of Polynesians in American Football and the cultural grounding that defines these journeys.
The Closing Night Pa`ina will be on Sunday, May 22, 2005--9:30 p.m. at Tisch Common Lounge. The evening will be filled with pupu (appetizers), cash bar, hula, and live music by celebrated Hawaii entertainers, Keahi Conjugacion, Zanuck Kapala Lindsey, and DeShannon Higa. A special guest appearance by contemporary New Zealand musicians, Tama Waipara & Band will close out this marvelous weekend of Pacific Island festivities.
Some films of interest include "33rd Annual Ukulele Festival", 50 min., 2004, Hawai`i , Director / Producer: Kenneth K. Martinez Burgmaier, Saturday, May 21, 2005--1:45 p.m. at Tisch Rm. 108, This film explores the Ukulele Festival held every year on Oahu at the Kapiolani Bandstand in Waikiki. The history and making of the ukulele are featured along with performances by Ohta-San, Ernie Cruz, Raiatea Helm, Ledward Ka'apana, Hapa, Frank DeLima, Bill Tapia, and over 800 ukulele playing children led by Roy Sakuma. (Filmmaker Kenneth K. Martinez Burgmaier will introduce the film and be available for a Q & A afterwards). "Compassionate Exile", 52 min., 2004 (USA), Director: Bob Madey / Producer(s): Larry Thomas, Bob Madey, Saturday, May 21, 2005--11:30 a.m. at Tisch Rm. 109. "Compassionate Exile" is a heartfelt documentary about the people who inhabited the leprosarium at Makogai, Fiji. The film follows the reminiscences of four subjects and their personal stories of Leprosy, while examining the survival of the human spirit in the face of social stigma and unknown adversity.
"Dances of Life", 56 min., 2005, (USA), Director: Catherine Tatge / Producer(s): Dominique Lasseur, Shane Seggar, Carlyn Tani, Saturday, May 21, 2005--4:15 p.m. at Tisch Rm. Lower Theater, Sunday, May 22, 2005--11 a.m. at Tisch Rm. 108. Narrated by Academy Award nominated (Whale Rider) actress Keisha Castle-Hughes, Dances of Life explores the 50,000 year-old dance traditions of the Pacific Islands. Traveling to the island nations of New Zealand, American Samoa, Guam, and Palau, this film celebrates the colorful dances unique to each location using performance footage and interviews with choreographers, historians, and community leaders. Through dance, the story of Pacific Islander's struggles to maintain traditions in the face of colonialism and modernization is earnestly set forth. Recent developments have led to a resurgence of ancient dance forms in many Pacific Island cultures, despite great obstacles.
Workshops include: Hula Workshop with Manu Boyd, Intermediate and Advanced Students Only: Saturday, May 21, 2005: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Sandra Cameron Studios. `Ukulele Workshop with Weldon Kekauoha: Saturday, May 21, 2005--10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at American Indian Community House (8th floor Circle). Hawaiian Language Mini-Workshop with Kahipuanani Brooks-Richards: Sunday, May 22, 2005--10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Tisch Rm. 109. Lomilomi Lecture Demonstration with Noelani Bennett: Sunday, May 22, 2005, 10:30 p.m. to 12:00 p.m. at American Indian Community House (8th floor Circle). Chanting Workshop with Mehanaokala Hind: Sunday, May 22, 2005--12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at American Indian Community House (8th floor Circle).
ACV PRESENTS A PECK ON THE CHEEK: Asian Cinevisions will present Mani Ratnam' s "A Peck on the Cheek" as part of its monthly film series, a national showcase for Asian and Asian American cinemas. The film will play at various venues throughout the NY area for two weeks. In "A Peck on the Cheek" , a precocious Tamil girl is curious to know her biological mother and see her true homeland, so the girl and her adoptive parents search for her mother in war-torn Sri Lanka. In this masterwork, auteur Mani Ratnam (Dil Se, Waves) tackles the bloodcurdling strife between the Sinhalese Buddhist official state government and the Tamil Hindu separatist minority in Sri Lanka. He skillfully fuses popular song-and-dance, melodrama and a political conflict to comment on how the personal is deeply affected by the heavy, violent hand of the political. Applying the rousing music of the brilliant A.R. Rahman to the beauty of Buddhist iconography, Ratnam has painted in lush color landscapes of the heart.
Venues include Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, NY. May 6, Fri, 7:30PM (www.movingimage.us) and Cinema Village, NY, NY, May 11, Wed, 7:30PM (www.cinemavillage.com).
"Amudha, a nine-year-old Sri Lankan child, is told by her Indian parents that she is adopted. As she realizes the significance of this revelation, she experiences a deep angst and innumerable questions arise in her mind. She understands that she belongs to a different set of parents and a different country altogether. This understanding is the beginning of her journey," said Ratnam. "Through Amudha' s eyes we see a ravaged Sri Lanka impacted by 20 years of struggle. An idyllic country that is torn apart by the sudden bursts of violence and terror. The cries of anguish and the agony of a tragedy. "A Peck on the Cheek" is about this adopted refugee child, her angst, her quest, her understanding, and finally her hope."
Asian Cinevisions (http://asiancinevision.org/asian_cinevisions.html) is a pioneering monthly film series that aims to showcase Asian and Asian American films. These compelling films, inexplicably overlooked in the US, capture the diversity and richness of the Asian global experience. The films will make their US theatrical premieres with the series and travel to cities across the country. Asian CineVision, Inc. (ACV) is a not-for-profit national media arts membership organization established in 1976 in New York City. ACV is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Asian and Asian American media expressions through helping to develop and support both emerging and experienced Asian American film and video makers and other media artists working in a range of genres and styles; and helping to ensure that the full spectrum of Asian and Asian Americans media works reach diverse audiences in Asian American communities and beyond.
MUSIC FOR LIFE: An Opera Event benefiting GMHC will take place on May 24, 2005, at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall. Please join honorary co-chairs Beverly Sills, Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman for this celebration of music and life featuring performers Angela M. Brown, Bejun Mehta, Aprile Millo, Jossie Perez, Madame Vera Galupe-Borszkh and The Orchestra of St. Luke's. For tickets or information, please call (212) 367-1472 or visit www.gmhc.org.
Since his debut in New York in 1998, countertenor Bejun Mehta has appeared as Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Metropolitan Opera, Orlando (title role) at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the title role of Giulio Cesare at the Pittsburgh Opera, Tolomeo in Giulio Cesare at the Paris Opera, the San Francisco Opera, and the Los Angeles Opera, Armindo in Partenope at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Farnace in Mitridate at the Thèâtre du Châtelet and the Santa Fe Opera, Masha in Peter Eötvös' Three Sisters at the Thèâtre du Châtelet, Tamerlano (title role) at the Drottningholm Court Theater, Ottone in L'incoronazione di Poppea at the Netherlands Opera, and Armindo, Polinesso in Ariodante and Guido in Flavio at the New York City Opera.
On the concert platform, Mr. Mehta has performed with the Israel Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Les Talons Lyriques, among others. He has been presented at Carnegie Hall and the 92nd Street Y in New York, the Edinburgh Festival, the Verbier Festival, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Wigmore Hall in London, the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, the Thèâtre du Châtelet in Paris, and by the New York Festival of Song and the Marilyn Horne Foundation. Festival appearances include the Sydney Festival and the Saint Denis Festival. This season, Mr. Mehta returned to the Met as Unulfo in Rodelinda, and the New York City Opera as the title role in Orlando. He also performed the title role in Tamerlano with the Lille Opera and on tour with Emmanuelle Haim. This summer he makes his debut at the Salzburg Festival as Farnace, and next season, he returns to the Netherlands Opera as Tamerlano and makes his debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper as Bertarido in Rodelinda. Mr. Mehta has been the subject of a CBS 60 Minutes II profile and featured on A&E's Breakfast with the Arts. He was also recently nominated for an Olivier Award for his portrayal of Orlando at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
KOH AT 92ND ST Y: The highly acclaimed violinist Jennifer Koh, winner of the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1994, performs music for children 6-10 from a variety of repertoire and demonstrates the extraordinary range of the violin on Sunday, May 8, 3PM. On Saturday, May 7, 8PM, the Tokyo String Quartet will perform works by Zemlinsky, Haydn and Eisler with special guests soprano Amy Burton and pianist Reiko Uchida. For tickets, call 212-415-5500 or visit www.92Y.org.
Jennifer Koh was born in Chicago of Korean parents. After graduation from Oberlin, she worked extensively with Jaime Laredo at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and counts Felix Galimir, also of the Curtis Institute, as an important 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 in this country, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Korea, and Great Britain.. A committed educator, Ms. Koh has also won acclaim for her innovative Music Messenger outreach program, which takes her to perform in classrooms throughout the country. She will present the program as part of the Tisch Center' s Family Concerts series on May 8, 2005. Jennifer Koh has numerous recordings available that include works by a diverse list of composers including Bach, Barth, Reger, Menotti, Nielsen, Schubert, Schumann, Schoenberg, and Ornette Coleman.
The Tokyo String Quartet has captivated audiences and critics alike since it was founded more than 30 years ago. Regarded as one of the supreme chamber ensembles of the world, the quartet' s members are violist Kazuhide Isomura, a founding member of the group, second violinist Kikuei Ikeda, cellist Clive Greensmith, and first violinist Martin Beaver. Officially formed in 1969 at the Juilliard School of Music, the quartet traces it origins to the Toho School of Music in Tokyo, where the founding members were profoundly influenced by Professor Hide Saito. Soon after its creation, the quartet won First Prize at the Coleman Competition, the Munich Competition and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions. The Tokyo Quartet has served on the faculty of the Yale School of Music as quartet in residence since 1976. The Tokyo String Quartet performs on "The Paganini Quartet," a group of renowned Stradivarius instruments named for legendary virtuoso Niccolo Paganini, who acquired and played them during the 19th century.
MEET THE COMPOSER: Fred Ho is among the 22 participants who have been commissioned to write a new work by the Meet The Composer' s Commissioning Music USA program. New York based composer/saxophonist Fred Ho will create a work for the Alaska based IIIZ+, an ensemble comprised of musicians trained in three East Asian musical traditions. Ho will combine these tradition with his background in American Jazz to create a unique work for this one of a kind ensemble. The piece will premiere late 2005 and be toured throughout Europe and North American in 2006.
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. He 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 in New York. Ho wrote the first contemporary Chinese American opera, A Chinaman's Chance, staged at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. In 1988 he conceived and composed the music/theater epic A Song for Manong as a tribute to Filipino workers. His multimedia bilingual (Spanish an-d English) oratorio, Turn Pain Into Power! was performed at the Smithsonian Institution. His music/theater/opera/dance-¬ballet epic Journey Beyond the West: The New Adventures of Monkey was commissioned by the Joseph Papp Public Theater, and 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. 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 collaboration with librettist/lyricist 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. The Walker Art Center commissioned in 1999 All Power to the People! The Black Panther Suite with interactive live digital video editing and mixing.
Fred Ho has received numerous awards, including the McKnight Foundation Composer Fellowship and Residency award; three Rockefeller Foundation MultiArts Project grants (1999, 1998, 1991), 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 received 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 8ellagio, Italy.
A long-time activist in the Asian American community, Ho helped to found the East Coast Asian Students Union, the Asian American Resource Workshop, the Asian American Arts Alliance and many other organizations as well as cultural and political projects. He lectures extensively around the world on music and social change, Asian American history, politics and culture and revolutionary political and cultural theory. Ho co-edited with Ron Sakolsky Sounding Off! Music as Subversion/Resistance/ Revolution (Autonomedia) which won the 1996 American Book Award; he edits the popular and best-selling annual Sheroes/Womyn Warriors calendar. He also was lead editor of the anthology Legacy to Liberation: Politics and Culture of Revolutionary Asian Pacific America (AK Press), considered by many to be a milestone work. His newest book projects include: Afro/Asia: Revolutionary Political and Cultural Connections Between African Americans and Asian Americans with William Mullen; and Wicked Theory/Naked Practice: Collected Essays on Radical Cultural and Political Theory and Love by Fred Ho. Fred Ho resides in Brooklyn, New York.
COS AT LINCOLN CENTER: The Children' s Orchestra Society (COS) celebrates its 11th Annual Discovery Concert on May 12, at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center. The concert will feature the COS Young Symphonic Ensemble (YSE), comprised of more than 80 talented young musicians and Senior Discovery Award Winner Pamela Sundelacruz, 17, of New York City. Under the direction of COS Artistic and Music Director-Conductor Michael Dadap, Pamela and the YSE will share the stage with guest artist, Soovin Kim. The concert begins at 7:30PM with a Benefit Reception and Silent Auction immediately following in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse located in the Samuel B. & David Rose Building, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY. For tickets, call 516-869-9696 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
COS' s annual Discovery Concert features performances by theYoung Symphonic Ensemble, including Brahms' Symphony #4 and Shostakovich' s Festive Overture. Pamela, violinist and concertmistress, will be performing Wieniawski' s Violin Concerto #2 in D minor as a soloist and as a member of the Young Symphonic Ensemble, conducted by COS Artistic and Music Director-Conductor Michael Dadap. Featured guest artist Soovin Kim will play Paganini' s Violin Concerto #2 in B minor, "la Campanella".
"This is the crowning event of the year for The Children' s Orchestra Society and we are thrilled to have the children of the YSE share the stage with renowned violinist Soovin Kim," says Dr. Yeou-Cheng Ma, Executive Director. "As the 2005 Senior Discovery winner, Pamela Sundelacruz has earned this wonderful and rare opportunity to perform as a soloist at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center. This is truly a deserving honor for a young musician like Pamela who, as a talented and dedicated student and member of the YSE, has demonstrated excellence in music and exemplary citizenship among her peers and fellow COS members."
Pamela Sundelacruz began studying the violin at the age of four with Ms. Heather Paauwe at the Queens Borough Suzuki Program. A member of the Children' s Orchestra Society' s orchestral and chamber music programs since 1999, Pamela has been YSE' s concertmistress since 2003. She performed in the 2003 NYSSMA All-State String Orchestra and this year has been selected for the All-State Symphony Orchestra. A senior at Stuyvesant High School in New York City, NY, she currently studies violin with Mrs. Nicole DiCecco and piano with Mrs. Noel Yue.
Known for his spectacular virtuosity as well as his probing musicianship, violinist Soovin Kim has received some of the most prestigious honors in the world including the Henryk Szeryng Career Award, the Avery Fisher Career Grant, and first prize in the Paganini International Violin Competition. This year he has been named the recipient of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. In Europe, Mr. Kim has performed with the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra, Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra, Accademia di Santa Cecilia Orchestra, and the Prague Chamber Orchestra. U.S. engagements have included the Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke' s, Florida Philharmonic, and the Syracuse, North Carolina, and Indianapolis symphonies. He plays on a 1709 Antonio Stradivarius violin, the "ex-Kempner."
Michael Dadap is a conductor, composer, and classical guitarist. He has been COS' s Artistic and Music Director-Conductor since 1984. In 1990, he formed the YSE to serve as a bridge to the professional community for COS members as they mature by offering opportunities for them to work and perform with established leaders in the musical world. The Discovery Series was launched in 1994 by Michael and has featured guest artists such as Emanuel Ax, Sarah Chang, Helen Huang, Cecile Licad, Cho-Liang Lin, Yo-Yo Ma, Hai-Ye Ni, Paula Robison, David Shifrin and Richard Stoltzman.
The Young Symphonic Ensemble (YSE) is a unique and dynamic youth symphony orchestra composed of students ranging in age from 10 to 18 years old. The members of the YSE serve as role models for the younger orchestras and are frequently called upon to perform in civic and cultural events. Under the mentorship of Maestro Dadap and his coaching staff, the YSE performs challenging orchestral and concerti repertoires. They toured and performed in the Philippines and Taiwan, as well as in major cities of North America. They will be performing in London, and participate in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland in the summer of 2005.
FIDDLE FEAST: Opus 118 Harlem School of Music will hold is Fiddle Feast, a benefit concert, will be held on Wednesday, May 18, 7:30PM. It will be an evening of musical and epicurean delights with violinist Mark O'Connor's Hot Swing Trio with Frank Vignola (guitar) and Jon Burr (bass),violinist Cho-Liang Lin with pianist Nadejda Vlaeva, , jazz vocalist Patti Austihn and Roberta Guaspari and students from Opus 118 in the spectacular Allen Room at the new Jazz @ Lincoln Center, overlooking Columbus Circle and Central Park! For reservations, call 212-254-6677 or visit www.opus118.org.
Opus 118 Harlem School of Music provides quality music instruction and teacher development in an environment that nurtures excellence and creativity. In 1991, 150 kids in three East Harlem public elementary schools were about to lose their cherished violin program as a result of budget cuts. Working with parents, other teachers and volunteers, their violin teacher, Roberta Guaspari, founded Opus 118 Harlem School of Music, a private, nonprofit organization, to save the program and to continue to serve public school students in low-income areas. Violinist Arnold Steinhardt, impressed by what he witnessed in these Harlem music classes, engaged colleagues Itzhak Perlman and Isaac Stern to organize Fiddlefest, a benefit concert at Carnegie Hall to keep the violin program alive. Not only did this first concert shine a bright light on Opus 118, it became the first in a series of Fiddlefests with acclaimed musicians such as Joshua Bell, Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, Bobby McFerrin, and Mark O'Connor joining the Harlem students in performance.
Roberta Guaspari' s passionate struggle to keep music instruction alive in Harlem's public schools has inspired two films: Small Wonders, a 1996 documentary produced by Allan Miller, and Miramax' s 1999 feature film, Music of the Heart, starring Meryl Streep; both films received Academy Award nominations. The New York City Schools Chancellor restored funds for Ms. Guaspari and for two more Opus violin teachers. Today, Opus serves in six New York public schools.
Taiwanese-American violinist Cho-Liang Lin is lauded the world over for the eloquence of his playing and for the superb musicianship that marks his performances. During the current season, Mr. Lin appears as soloist with the BBC Symphony, Copenhagen Philharmonic, China Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Orchestra of St. Luke's, and Fort Worth Symphony. His engagements include a 15-city tour across the United States playing with the Moscow Philharmonic conducted by Yuri Simonov. As an Artist Member of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, he will give the world premiere of Lalo Schifrin's Letters from Argentina. Last summer, Cho-Liang Lin served his fourth year as artistic director of La Jolla SummerFest in San Diego. He also performed at the BBC Proms, Hollywood Bowl, Aspen Music Festival and Minnesota Orchestra's Sommerfest. Renowned for appearances as a soloist with major orchestras, he is also frequently heard in recital and in chamber music. Musical America named Mr. Lin its Instrumentalist of the Year in 2000. Mr. Lin has recorded for Sony Classical, Decca, Ondine, and BIS. Some of his albums have won such awards as Gramophone's Record of the Year, as well as two Grammy Award nominations. He has been a member of the Juilliard faculty since 1991 and resides in New York with his wife and daughter. His violin is the 1734 Guarneri del Gesù "The Duke of Camposelice."
INOUYE CONDUCTS TOSCA: Derrick Inouye conducts Puccini' s "Tosca" at the Metropolitan Opera on Thursday, May 19 and Saturday, May 21. Tosca is based on a play by Sardou, which was written for the famous actress Sarah Bernhardt. Full of action, sex, love, lust, politics, art and religion, Aprile Millo, Sylvie Valayre, Marcello Giordani, and James Morris sing. For tickets, call 212-362-6000 or visit www.metopera.org.
Conductor Derrick Inouye has a uniquely impressive international background combining a wealth of experience on the orchestral podium with an array of increasingly important operatic debuts to tremendous critical and public acclaim. He has recently conducted such prominent orchestras and opera companies as the Philharmonia of London, the Orchestra of St. Lukes in New York, the New Japan Philharmonic, the Monte Carlo Philharmonic, the New York City Opera (The Magic Flute, Figaro, and a national tour of La Traviata) and the Hungarian State Opera (Don Pasquale). He has also been a frequent guest conductor with the Stuttgart Opera (Carmen, La Bohème, and Un Ballo in Maschera), Music Director of the Regina Symphony in Canada and Principal Guest Conductor of the Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock in Germany. This past season, Mr. Inouye assisted Maestro James Levine for a world tour sponsored by Disney with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London with which he subsequently made his Los Angeles debut on New Year's Eve of 1999. He also assisted Maestro Levine at the Metropolitan Opera for their Ring Cycle production of Die Walküre conducting both orchestra and stage rehearsals for Maestro Levine. In addition, Mr. Inouye made his debut with the orchestras of Nurnberg, Osaka, Hiroshima, and New Zealand and conducted Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro with the Nurnberg Opera. Also, during the summer of 1999, he was invited by Maestro Ozawa to conduct for the Saito Kinen Festival in Matsumoto, Japan. A recording of his live performance of Stravinsky's L'histoire du Soldat from the festival will be released on CD by Phillips/Decca.
In the previous season, Mr. Inouye had his Carnegie Hall debut leading a world-class roster of performers and ensembles including Yo-Yo Ma, Pamela Frank, Paul Winter, Sam Waterston, the Orchestra of St. Lukes and the Choral Associates. The evening, hosted by Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado of Japan, featured the world premiere of a composition by Jeffrey Stock using film, full orchestra and chorus, three soloists and narration. The CD of the live performance has been released by Sony Classical. Also that season, Mr. Inouye returned to the New York City Opera for the third year in a row to conduct eight acclaimed performances of Kurt Weill's Seven Deadly Sins and a new production of Gluck's Orfeo and Euridice. Other recent engagements include performances with the Halle Philharmonic in Germany, the Winnipeg Symphony and the New Japan Philharmonic who have subsequently invited him for the fourth time to conduct two subscription programs in November 2000. In addition, he has conducted the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra, the Leipzig Radio Orchestra, the Nurnberger Symphoniker, the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the Toronto Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, the Quebec Symphony and is in his fifth season conducting the Florida Philharmonic.
Canadian-born, Derrick Inouye completed early conducting studies at the Toho Gakuen Music School in Japan with Seiji Ozawa, Kazuyoshi Akiyama, and Tadaaki Otaka. In 1985, he won the prestigious Vittorio Gui conducting competition in Florence following three summers working closely with the internationally celebrated Maestro Franco Ferrara at the Academia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy. In 1982, he was a fellowship conductor at Tanglewood under Seiji Ozawa and Erich Leinsdorf.
Na iNi Chen
NAI-NI CHEN DANCE CELEBRATES: The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company will celebrate its 16th Season, May 6 and 7, 8PM at the John Jay Theater at 899 10th Avenue (at 58th Street), with the World Premiere of Ms. Chen's "Landscape Over Zero," with music by Joan La Barbara, performed live by the composer and Ne(x)tworks. The season will also see Ms. Chen's "Unbroken Thread," which features a spectacular webbed set by Myung Hee Cho that hangs from the ceiling and supports the full company. Each performance will be followed by a reception & Q&A session. In addition, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company will also perform selections from this program May 14 at Bergen Community College in Paramus, N.J. and May 19 at Hostos Community College in the Bronx, NY. For reservations and information, call 1-800-650-0246 or www.nainichen.org.
Dancers include Yoon Jeong Jin, Gabriel Hernan, Tai Zhang, Heather MacNeill, Michele Chung, Kelly Hamlin, Brandon Tyler, Noibis Licea, Daniella Bloch, Roger Wagner, Snezana Adjanski, Terry Miller, and Alexandra Gherchman.
In the new "Landscape Over Zero," Nai-Ni Chen continues her relationship with set designer Myung Hee Cho, composer/performer Joan La Barbara, and Nobel Prize Nominated poet Bei Dao, whose poem of the same name provided the inspiration for "Landscape Over Zero." Commissioned by the American Music Center and the Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, the work will also feature the music group Ne(x)tworks in a live performance of Ms. La Barbara's composition.
For this season, the Company will re-mount its 2003 "Unbroken Thread," originally inspired by the ancient art of knot making. Chen's exploration of the fascinating world of knots and its practical and symbolic significance has resulted in a work that is captivating and visually stunning. Star-Ledger critic Robert Johnson cited "Unbroken Thread" in his Top 10 of 2003 list. Distinguished composer Jason Kao Hwang, whose credits include the score for the Martin Scorcese film "Kundun," composed the music, and Myung Hee Cho created the spectacular set.
H.T. CHEN & DANCERS: H.T. Chen & Dancers will present the World Premiere of Mr. Chen's "Heart of Grace," May 19-22 (5 performances) at Dance Theater Workshop, 219 West 19th Street. In "Heart of Grace" choreographer H.T. Chen moves beyond the outward appearance of the traditional Chinese lion to its core of courage and grace. The Shanghai-born choreographer uses the lion dance as a tool to decipher both human relationships and the relationship between tradition and society. Dancers include Renouard Gee, Sarah Godbehere, Lynn Huang, Antoine Gadpaille, Kayan Lam, LunShan Liao, Li-Ann Lim, Despina Stamos, Dito Sudito, and Philip Cruse. The commissioned music score by Cao Bao-An will be performed live. Now in its 26th year, H.T. Chen & Dancers has brought to New York audiences "a fresh and arresting style," according to Dance Magazine. Following a preview of "Heart of Grace" on tour in Dallas, Texas, the Dallas Morning News found the work "Ambitious and raw...bursting with heritage." H.T. (Hseuh-Tung), also founder/director of the popular Mulberry Street Theater, has been called "a choreographer with the instincts of a sociologist" by the Chicago Sun-Times, and The New York Times noted that he has "...long been one of New York dance's most persuasive story-tellers." For tickets, call 212/924-0077 or visit www.dtw.org .
ASIA SOCIETY DANCE: On Friday, May 10, 7PM, young performers representing different dance and movement styles face-off for the first ever "Asia Society Junior Dance Master Competition." Asian and Asian American freestyle to special guest DJs in front of a live audience and three celebrity judges. In sudden death elimination style, the dancer left standing will be honored with the title Asia Society Junior Dance Master.
On Thursday and Friday, May 19 and 20, 8PM, four excerpts from a work-in-progress by Rajika Puri' s "Union Severd" will be presented. Through dance, music, text and visual imagery, the piece juxtaposes the love of the Hindu god Krishna and his consort Radha with Kali, the malicious manifestation of devi (goddess) and other dangerous forms of devi as expressed in the epic Gita Govinda. Choreographer/dancer Rajika Puri is joined by singer Nora York and other artists. This event is sponsored by Asia Society and World Music Institute. On Saturday and Sunday, May 21 and 22, 8PM, Dana Tai Soon Burgess & Co. performs "Tracings." This mesmerizing modern dance piece captures the experiences of Koreans who immigrated to the U.S. over 100 years ago. Using hauntingly beautiful projections of ancestral images and a series of danced memories, Tracings portrays a Korean American family' s history seen three generations later through the eyes of grandson Dana Tai Soon Burgess. Choreography is by Burgess, lighting design by Jennifer Tipton and music by Jason Kao Hwang and Aaron Leitko. Asia Society and Museum is located at 725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street). For tickets, call 212-517-ASIA or visit www.asiasociety.org,
SOLO/DUO AT JAPAN SOCIETY: As the last entry of the season-wide theme of Cool Japan: Otaku Strikes!, The Japan Society, in association with Dance Theater Workshop, presents SOLO/DUO, an evening of the freshest figures in contemporary Japanese dance choreography. This program of daring solo and duo artists who have found their unique voice in dance by defying conventional dance forms runs Friday and Saturday, May 20 and 21, 7:30PM. There will be a pre-show performance installation by Natsuko Tezuka in the Japan Society lobby beginning at 7:10PM. The Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th St. For tickets, call 212-752-3015 or visit www.japansociety.org to purchase tickets or for more information.
A late spring complement to the revered annual Japanese Contemporary Dance Showcase, which begins each new year at Japan Society, SOLO/DUO selectively showcases choreographers and dancers of the solo and duo discipline--a rising phenomenon in the Japanese contemporary dance scene. Reflecting this recent trend towards smaller work, the showcase features Yukiko Amano, Shigemi Kitamura, Natsuko Tezuka, Osamu Jareo and Misako Terada.
Bridging the ordinary and extraordinary, Amano presents Kompeito (Sugar Candy). With a background in gymnastics, Yukiko Amano joined the celebrated butoh group Biwa-kei in 1999 and has since emerged as the group' s new leader. She has presented her own solo performances since 2000, garnering several Japanese contemporary dance awards including a Toyota Chorographer Award and a Torii Award for her piece Purpele. She was one of the participants in U.S.-Japan Choreographers Exchange Residency II in February 2005, produced by The Society and DTW. She begins her 3-month residency in New York as a recent recipient of a fellowship from the Asian Cultural Council. Shigemi Kitamura presents i.d, a comical piece that exposes the massiveness of the human body and exemplifies her stoic yet highly entertaining performance style. Born in Osaka in 1971, Kitamura learned ballet at the age of 6 from Jun Ishii. She graduated the Laban Centre in London in 1993 with a degree in dance studies and has since actively refined her artistic expressions as a solo artist. i.d. garnered the Torii Award as well as the French Embassy Prize in 2002. Kitamura was also a participant in the in U.S.-Japan Choreographers Exchange Residency II.
Trained in pantomime before finding acclaim in Japan's dance world, Natsuko Tezuka
presents a pre-show performance of A Map of anatomical Experiments in the lobby at 7:10. In the main stage program, Anatomical Experiments II, a piece in which the choreographer/performer focuses on a single part of her body--her hand, her mouth, the face--to create a disturbing, intense and ultimately fascinating experience. Audience members are invited onto the stage and given binoculars to witness this intimate, delicate and unnerving performance up-close. Tezuka is a former member of the acclaimed dance group Nibroll. Osamu Jareo + Misako Terada, this dynamic duo--whose work has been called "delicate" and full of "poetic images" by Dance Magazine (Japan)--presents It Might Be Sunny Tomorrow, incorporating Western dance technique à la Limon and Alexander into the subtle Japanese body. Self-trained Jareo and ballet-trained Terada form an unexpectedly fluid pair, and together they have won numerous awards including the grand prize Torii Award and the Audience Prize and Grand Prix at the 2002 Toyota Choreography Awards.
In 2005, all Japan Society culture and arts spring season programming delves into the Japanese subculture known as otaku. This term now creeping into Western vocabulary was coined in the late 1980s to describe people whose obsessions with something—usually video games, anime or internet chat rooms—have led them to peculiar lifestyles or worldviews. [Abalos]
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