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inside news about Asians and women on stage

  By Marilyn Abalos

Maile Holck and Robert Wu (from "One Day More"). Photo by ChingGonzalez.

NAATCO ON STAGE: The National Asian American Theatre Company (NAATCO) and Fluid Motion Theatre andFilm will present two one act plays based on short stories by the famed English novelist, Joseph Conrad in “Tales of Unrest: Joseph Conrad on Stage,” starting Oct. 3 at Baruch Performing Arts Center at 150 East 25th St. in Manhattan. The two Joseph Conrad's classic short stories adapted for the stage are “Arsat” by Christine Simpson of "The Lagoon," and “One Day More” by Conrad himself of "To-Morrow." For tickets, call 646-312-4085.

“Arsat,” directed by Christine Simpson and choreographed by Michael Johnson, weaves the art of storytelling, traditional Malaysian dance, and live drumming into atheatrical experience about two men whose relationship is at an impasse. A noble warrior must make a choice between his passion for a woman and his loyalty for a brother.These two men must resolve their pasts to move on with their futures. The cast includes Jojo Gonzalez, Kevin Bartlett, Lydia Gaston, and Tim Kang.

“One Day More,” directed by Jonathan Bank, artistic director of the Mint Theatre, tells the story of a woman, held in bondage by a tyrannical father, who finds solace in an imagined romance with her neighbor's prodigal son, only to have her illusions shattered when the son returns and refuses to be bound by familial conventions or matters of the heart. The cast includes Mel Gionson, Jojo Gonzalez, Maile Holck, and Robert Wu.

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) was born in the Polish Ukraine. After moving to England, where he became a British officer in 1878, he discovered a passion for writing. Writing in English, his third language, he went on to become, and still remains, one of the most revered and respected English novelists. A journey to the Congo in 1890 inspired his most famous novel, "Heart of Darkness." Other Conrad titles include "Nostromo," "The Secret Agent," and "Typhoon."

Under artistic director Mia Katigbak, National Asian American Theatre is one of the country's leading theatre companies providing a stage for the talents of Asian-American theatre artists. Specifically, NAATCO has presented Western classics with all Asian-American casts, with such notable productions since 1990 as "Othello", a widely acclaimed revival of "Falsettoland", "Long Day’s Journey Into Night", Chekhov's "Cherry Orchard", "House of Bernarda Alba", "Our Town", "You Can andFilm commissions and produces new works adapted from classic western and non-western dramatic texts, as well as texts not traditionally associated with the theatre to challenge audiences to reconsider the categories with which they identify themselves. Through this reconceptualization of archetypes, Fluid Motion hopes to spark thought and inspire conversation about the connections that bind us in our personal communities, in our countries, and in our world.

""COOKIN'"". Photo by COCO Studio

SEOUL FOOD ON BROADWAY: Iron Chefs watch out! Here come four Korean cooks who turn the culinary arts into a five-star spread of percussion, dance and theater. Hailed as a fast, funny, foot-tapping Benihana gone berserk, "COOKIN'" boils over in culinary chaos when four chefs are ordered to create a seven-course wedding banquet in just one hour. While their frazzled manager tries to keep the preparations on schedule, the gourmet goofballs whip together a blend of martial arts, Samulnori drumming, slapstick comedy and dance into a feast of fun, all topped off with some delicious dishes that audience members are invited to taste. In 1997 "COOKIN'" premiered in Seoul, Korea under the original title of Nanta (which means "to strike recklessly"). Today, it is the country's longest running and most popular show. Making its NYC debut (Through Sunday, Oct. 19) at the opening of The New Victory Theater 209 West 42nd Street. "COOKIN'" is "more fun than anyone should legally be allowed" (Korea Herald). For tickets, call Telecharge at 212-239-6200 or visit www.Telecharge.com.

"COOKIN'" was conceived by Seung Whan Song - an adored soap-opera star, radio-host and winner of the 2000 Korean Award for Best Artist of the Year. Inspired by childhood memories of the sound of his mother working in the family kitchen as well as by the importance of food in Korean culture, Song created a hilarious comedy that reflects "the routine beat of Korean life." Showcasing the traditional rhythms of Samulnori (the polyrhythmic music usually performed with gongs and drums), "COOKIN'" stands out from other percussion shows with its quirky, engaging storyline. As a kitchen clock ticks off the minutes, four fun-loving, competitive and not entirely focused young chefs rush to confect everything from simple dumplings to a multi-tiered cream cake in time for Miss Lee and Mr. Kim's nuptial meal. Although precious minutes are quickly slipping away, the chefs become embroiled in petty squabbles and preposterous love triangles that culminate into more trouble than they can handle. Broomsticks become weapons in a Jackie Chan-style, kung-fu battle; cabbage, onion and cucumber bits swirl into a spewing snowstorm when veggie chopping is pushed to lightning-speed; audience members are pulled up on stage to sample soup and other wedding treats; and every cooking utensil - from a lowly chopstick to the colossal kitchen sink - are incorporated into "COOKIN'"s heart-thumping percussion. Delightfully irreverent and undeniably spellbinding, "COOKIN'" is a feast for the senses that has had international audiences begging for more.

After its debut in 1997, "COOKIN'" (or Nanta, as known in Korea) received the Sports Chosun's "Special Award" at the 4th Korea Musical Awards. This award, along with popular demand for the show, motivated the producers to open "COOKIN'" in two Seoul theaters, where it still plays simultaneously today - with over one million people served. In addition to its national success, "COOKIN'" has taken the world by storm on its half decade, international tour where it dazzled audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as well as in Austria, Australia, China, England, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan and the United States. This September is the show's New York City premiere.

The 2003-04 season will include the expansion of VicTeens - a teens-only (ages 13-18) program that provides pre- and post-show events in addition to workshops and other fun activities - and the debut of a new program called JVT (Junior VicTeens) that offers exclusive events for middle school students (ages 11+). "COOKIN'" is the first of three VicTeens: On the Town events and takes place on Saturday, October 4 at 4:00 pm. For only $30, teens get to enjoy a pre-show, Korean BBQ dinner at Dae Dong Manhattan Restaurant; watch the 7:00 pm show of "COOKIN'" from a teens-only section of The New Victory Theater; and engage in a private, post-show Talk Back with the cast. Other shows participating in this season's VicTeens: On the Town events include Circus Oz and Vivace.

EAT YOUR HEART OUT: Hamylet Theatre Company is proud to present, for the first time in 15 years, the revival of Nick Hall's culinary comedy "Eat Your Heart Out" directed by Nancy S. Chu at The Trilogy Theatre, located at 341 West 44th Street beginning Friday, October 3rd thru Oct. 19. "Eat Your Heart Out" is a bittersweet comedy that chronicles the experience of an out of work New York City actor who waits tables at 6 different restaurants, while waiting for his "big break". We see the world through his relationships with his customers, as the restaurant becomes his stage, one in which sticky relationship are forged and career altering decisions are made. For Tickets, call 212-868-4444 or visit www.smarttix.com.

"We realized that this actor, like so many other actors, is looking for the comfort of adoration more than fame, " says director Nancy S. Chu. "Not just with his career choices, but with his personal life as well."

Nancy S. Chu (Director) most recently directed Death of Frank by Steve Belber (nomination for Best Playwright), and was a Van Lier Directing Fellow at Second Stage Theatre in New York, as well as affiliated with The Women's Project and Productions Directors Forum, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Long Wharf Theatre, and Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab.

Starring in "Eat Your Heart Out" is Marc Diraison (voice of "Guts" in the series Berserk, and the recently released show, Samurai Deeper Kyo. Off-Broadway: On the Razzle at Jean Cocteau Rep, The Twilight Ladies (Spotlight Award: Best Supporting Actor), et al. Recently, in the off-Broadway hit, Maybe Baby, It's You!), Katie Honaker ("The Misfortune of Our Friends" directed by David Esbjornson with Debra Winger), David Brainard, Marlene Hamerling and Jim Kane (The Little Prince, Mad Forest, Balm in Gilead and Museum with Atlantic Theater Co.).

NO MEAT NO IRONY: The 2003 OBIE AWARD-WINNING Soho Think Tank is proud to present the premiere of Robert Lyons's farce "no meat no irony" at the Ohio Theatre located at 66 Wooster St. through October 18th. "no meat no irony" is the comic tale of a one-night stand between a successful vegetarian CEO and a business writer (with a taste for red meat rhetoric) who wants to pen her life story as an inspirational management guide. For tickets, call SmartTix at 212-868-4444 or visit www.smarttix.com.

Over green tea and take-out, red wine and reefer, sex and sunrise, they both wrestle with a series of truths. Does the journalist truly believe in the beauty of the corporate machine or does he simply need the payday? Does the CEO see this as a way to excise guilt pangs or does she yearn for a cathartic exposé? In the end, only one question truly matters: which story is more important?

Writer/ Director Robert Lyons ("Think Ralph Nader channeling Preston Sturges" - David Cote, Time Out NY) is the founding Artistic Director of Soho Think Tank, a downtown theatre company that produces, presents, and programs new work at the Ohio Theater, in Soho. His last play for the company, PR Man, was featured in American Theatre Magazine, and is currently in development at Zephorus One Films in Los Angeles.

This year STT won the Ross Wetzsteon OBIE Award for their critically acclaimed 10th year anniversary of the Ice Factory Festival. Other recent highlights include co-productions of Conor McPherson's Rum and Vodka (professional NY premiere with Voicechair Productions), Cressida Among The Greeks (with Wash & Fold Productions, Drama Desk nomination), and Menopausal Gentlemen (with Dixon Place, OBIE Award winner). Starring in "no meat no irony" is Celia Schaeffer (has performed at Atlantic Theatre Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre, LAByrinth and the Chicago City Limits National Tour) and Jeremy Brisiel (with adobe theatre company: Orpheus and Eurydice, The Eight, Poona the F!@kdog, and Larry and the Werewolf, also Vital Theatre Company's Funny).

PEGGY SHAW: After exciting and critically acclaimed workshop engagements in San Antonio and Austin, Texas, renowned performance artist Peggy Shaw returns to New York city for the World Premiere of her powerful and moving new piece "To My Chagrin." Oct. 2-26 at PS122 on 150 First Avenue. Presented by Dixon Place and PS 122, "To My Chagrin" is the story of how Peggy Shaw learns to communicate with her mixed race grandson. For reservations, call 212-477-5288 or visit www.dixonplace.org.

Along the way she discovers what it means to create family. As she questions how images and information are passed down through the generations, she is forced to confront her own inherited history of racism. The story that emerges is "To My Chagrin" a rock and roll lullaby sung to a mixed race, dual heritage, sweet grandson by a mixed up, second generation, in-bred Irish, white butch grandmother.

More that just a monologue, "To My Chagrin" incorporates music, dance and video to create a unique and compelling narrative. Drummer Vivian Stoll accompanies Peggy with rock and roll rhythms and a junk yard soundscape all from an onstage bed of the pick-up. Peggy spends her time both in and under the beat-up[ truck, occasionally breaking out with choreography by Stormy Brandenberger that suggests the moves to the great R&B artists of the 50s and 60s. "To My Chagrin" is edited and directed by Lois Weaver.

THE COURTESAN TALES: Also at PS 122 will be Nicole Blackman's notorious "The Courtesan Tales" from Oct. 7 - Nov. 7, 6PM - 10PM. The "tales of the senses" are told to one blind-folded and audience member (with hands loosely bound) at a time. Blending fairy tales, lapdances and haunted house stories, the 13 "Courtesan Tales" are romantic, mysterious, erotic, chilling and nostalgic and have left customers from new York to LA to the UK shaken, moved, enlightened, amused and provoked, all without ever seeing the artist herself.

The tales are performed by appointment only, one story per appointment (multiple appointments may be made back-to-back). Stirues are $20 each. You will need to bring photo ID with proof of age to the box office when you arrive. Each tale is five to seven minutes long. Patrons are invited to enjoy the Courtesan's Lounge before or after an appointment, have a drink, and relax a few minutes. For reservations, call 212-477-5288 or visit www.dixonplace.org.

"As an extreme, I challenged myself to perform for one person at a time, and 'The Courtesan Tales' were born," Blackman explains, "I like that they are blindfolded and trusting me to do whatever I like to them. So I find the customers entertain me as much as I entertain them. The fact that I 'do it for money' makes the exchange comfortable for them, as we all seem to be used to paying prostitutes, strippers or masseuses for service. I strive to give an experience that you can't sum up easily, but that moves you deeply in some primal way. Everyone likes to be told a story. Everyone likes to be touched. Everyone likes a mystery. I'll leave it at that. Come up to my room and see me if you want to hear the rest."

BLACKFRIARS REPERTORY THEATRE: Blackfriars Repertory Theatre presents "The Sacrament of Memory," written and directed by Peter John Cameron Oct. 16 - 26 at Dicapo Opera Theatre at 184 East 76th Street in New York City. "The Sacrament of Memory" is a play of courage and conviction about the life of Therese Martin, a 19th Century Carmelite nun known to millions as the Little Flower. Born in France in 1873, Therese should by all accounts have lived an anonymous life, in a convent in an obscure town---not achieving lasting devotion from millions throughout the world. The Sacrament of Memory illustrates the religious and political world, which surrounded Sister Therese. She was transformed from a child of privilege---coming to understand how small, daily acts of love were just as important as great deeds of magnificence, in finding meaning in life. Following her death at age 24 from tuberculosis in 1897, her message of "The Little Way" spread, attracting millions of adherents. For tickets, call 718-921-1348.

Blackfriars Repertory Theatre, operated under the auspices of the Dominican Friars, is committed to producing high quality theatre that promotes the dignity of the human person and our eternal destiny. The company preserves the philosophy of the Blackfriars Guild, founded in 1940. The Blackfriars Guild operated the Blackfriars Theatre at 320 West 57th Street, where such illustrious actors as Geraldine Page, Eileen Heckart, and Patricia Neil, received their first stage roles.

Peter John Cameron, a Dominican priest, is the author of more than a dozen plays. His first play, Full of Grace, received the David Lloyd Kreeger Creativity Award and was performed in showcase as the Kennedy Center in 1988. The Women Who Served was produced at the Catholic Center at New York University in 1994, and again in 1995. It will be performed next month under the auspices of Teatro Degli Scalpellini in Bologna, Italy in an Italian translation. The Living Silence, a Lyric Passion Play, is performed in several locations in the New York area every Easter season.

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING: The gender bending Queen's Company delivers the classical theater you want to see: edgy, hip, sexy and delightful. They are beginning their 4th season with another all female classical production - Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare Oct 4- 26 at Urban Stages at 259 W. 30th Street. Fresh off the fields of War, the men are itching to try their skills on the fields of Love. But our players are just about to find out that Love plays by an unfamiliar set of rules. Are the lovers of Messina ready to meet their match? Is Love ready for them? And could one crabby saboteur manage to throw a wrench into the whole works? Cupid will need all the help he can get in this comedy of wit, deceit, forgiveness, and just plain silliness triumphing over evil. Guaranteed to put Frolic into your Fall! For tickets, call at 212/868-4444 or www.smarttix.com.

"The entire company is refreshing and enormous fun and a great contribution to New York Theatre," says John Heilpern of the NY Observer. The Queen's Company's third season began with Antony and Cleopatra, "The magic of The Queen's Company simply can't be stifled" said Showbusiness Weekly and ended with Behn's The Lucky Chance "The style that director Rebecca Patterson brings is much more edgy than Baz's (Luhrman): A zesty, woman-centric aesthetic that's not afraid of pop culture, camp, lesbian heat or (gasp!) sexiness." - HX Magazine. Other acclaimed productions are The Feign'd Courtesans ("This madly funny production made me laugh so hard I thought I crack'd a rib" - Terry Teachout, The Washington Post), and The Duchess of Malfi [perform ed] with such panache and vigor. Makes quite a case for womanish mankind!" - Time Out NY).

Directing Much Ado is Rebecca Patterson, Fight Direction by DeeAnn Weir. The cast includes Lauren Jill Ahrold, Virginia Baeta, Jacqueline Gregg , Gretchen S.Hall, Zainab Jah, Shanti Elise Prasad, Ami Shukla, Carey Urban, DeeAnn Weir.

TWELFTH NIGHT: The Milk Can Theatre Company's production of "Twelfth Night" by William Shakespeare serves up a bubbling stew at Urban Stages at259 W. 30th St. on Oct. 7 - 22. "In Twelfth Night" socialites and social climbers are playing at love, lust and emotional manipulation. The absurdity of Shakespeare's story is unveiled in the competitive, appearance-driven, label-obsessed world of the Hamptons. No need to get on the Jitney to join in the fun for this one, however. The curtain rises on our heroine, shipwrecked on the coast of Illyria - oh, but wait! Isn't that Lizzie Grubman's SUV? No? Well, it is the road to Nick and Toni's. Director Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's approach to the classics is always fun, fresh and full of fabulous performances: For tickets, call 212.868-4444 or www.smarttix.com.

TWO NOBLE KINSMEN: Directed by Darko Tresjnak, Shakespeare play about two prisoners of war begins Tuesday, Oct. 7, at The Public Theater at 425 Lafayette Street. Two prisoners of war spy the beautiful Emilia through the prison bars. A friendship that should have lasted forever descends into bitter rivalry. Scholars debate the authorship of this rarely produced pay: the poetic riches are Shakespeare, yet many believe that his colleague John Fletcher was the man holding the Pen. Performed by ten actors, this production celebrates the complexity of sexuality and love. For tickets, call Tele-charge at 212-239-6200.

I FOUND HER TIED TO MY BED: At Evergreen Manor Nursing Hoje, the hours are long, the staff is underpaid, and the occupants are easy to kill. Beh, a nurse's aide, cares about new hire Jan as obsessively as she cares about her senior citizens, but the sort of attention Jan requires goes very much against the needs of Evergreen's elderly. As Beth begins to cater to Jan's desires, the two transcend their ordinary lives, at least in the eyes of the other. But how many people need to see you until you become what they see? "I Found Her Tied to My Bed" begins Oct. 23 - Nov. 8 at the Beckman Theatre, American Theater of Actors on 314 West 54 Street in New York. Shannon Kirk and Talia Rubel star in Jeff Tabnick's play with Marc Bertha directing. For tickets, call 212-868-4444 or visit www.smarttix.com.

JANE: The Peccadillo Theater Company presents S.N. Behrman's "Jane," Oct. 2-26 at the Bank Street Theatre 15 155 Bank Street in the West Village. Directed by Peccadillo's Artistic Director Dan Wackerman, "Jane" tells the story of Millicent Tower, an upper class social butterfly whose London townhouse is turned upside down when her unglamorous (and brutally honest) sister-in-law, Jane, comes to visit. Jane is an inveterate meddler who never hesitates to tell a person exactly what she thinks of him. Oddly enough, this habit of plain speaking quickly captivates everyone, including (much to her horror) Millicent's current beau and her estranged husband. This sparkling comedy of manners has not bee since in New York City since the original 1952 Broadway production. The cast features Susan Jefferies, Leila Martin, Richard Benkins, Ronald Johnson, Chris Kiplniak, Kristina Bell and Matthew DeCapua. For reservations, call 212-561-9635.

FOUR BEERS: "Four Beers" maneuvers through the middle-age male psyche at the Rattlestick Theatre at 224 Waverly Place in Greenwich Village through Oct. 19. When the television in their favorite watering hole goes bust, four best friends give into a night of pitcher beer, honest and not so honest conversation. What is discussed is hilariously raucous, quietly sentimental and frighteningly realistic. The charaters' boisterously entertaining banter propels the story to a peak when a fifth man, a recent widower, unexpectedly joins the group. Directed by Roger Danforth, the cast includes Robert luPone, Peter Maloney, Lee Wilkof, Guy Boyd and Michel Cullen. For tickets, call 212-868-4444.

JAPANESE GHOST STORY: "Ho'ichi, the Ear Less", Japanese ghost story play is NY debut for playwright Ryo Onodera and director Kanako Hiyama Oct. 23 - 26 at La MaMa E.T.C. at 74A East Fourth Street. "Ho'ichi, the Ear Less" is a play in English based on a Japanese ghost fable written by Yakumo Koizumi. For tickets call 212-475-7710 or visit www.lamama.org.


Alessandra De Rossi as Melinda with her students in "Small Voice"

BIG VOICE IN "SMALL VOICES": Gil Portes' "Small Voices" opens in New York and nationwide on Oct. 4th. Portes' film speaks loudly amplifying the poverty, frustrations, idealism and fortitude of the Filipino people. It's an extraordinary film, poignant and powerful, provocative and persuasive. It is heartbreaking to see the lack of choices the poor experience. Bravo to the teachers and good souls who tell their stories, who voice their dreams, who would stir the psyche of the Filipino spirit.

"Small Voices" is an intricately observed story about an idealist teacher who challenges the cynicism and strictures of life in a poverty-stricken Philippine village by reaching her young students through music. Inspired by a true story, the film exposes audiences to a culture that has rarely been detailed on film.

"I was moved by my niece's experiences teaching in a rural village," said Portes. "My niece, who is very progressive and idealistic, was shocked by the conditions. She told me about two brothers, gifted singers that were in her classroom. They were never in school at the same time. If one attended class, the other was absent. My niece didn't notice this until she organized a choral group. Naturally, the two boys were asked to participate. During rehearsals, they were never together. When she finally investigated the situation by going to the boys' home, she not only discovered that the family was very poor; the brothers had to share one school uniform. "

These are the words of a child growing up in rural Malawig, the remote, Philippine province where Melinda Santiago (Alessandra de Rossi), arrives to pursue her dream of educating deserving children. Melinda finds a community stripped of hope.

Government graft and run fuel Malawig, like many struggling villages in the Philippine provinces, by cynical functionaries. Poverty has made the townspeople passive, yet some of the men join guerilla-fighting units in the mountains - staking their lives on some kind of change.

Melinda has forsaken her family's desire to repatriate to the United States where life is easier. It is at Malawig Elementary School, where Melinda meets her lively pupils, a group of children eager to learn and grateful to find solace from the rice fields and farm labor.

Melinda continues to encounter barriers that affect her heartfelt attempts to teach. Parents order their boys to absent themselves during planting season. Mothers urge their daughters to give up schooling - girls are thought to be worthy only of marriage and for raising children. Melinda is heartbroken to learn that the reason two brothers - talented vocalists - are never at her chorus practices at the same time is because they can afford only one school uniform.

Despite the townspeople's enormous resistance, Melinda and her pupils enter a regional singing contest. It is Melinda's focus and conviction that keeps the group on course. The children's song kindles a small flame of hope, a daring to dream, and a willingness to fight for it.

Writer/director Gil M. Portes is one of the Philippines' most prominent independent filmmakers. "Small Voices," his 25th feature film, was the official Philippine submission to the 2003 Academy Awards and the Golden Globes. It also premiered at the 2002 Toronto Film Festival.

Because Portes' films often tackle controversial Philippine political matters and taboo subjects, they are widely acknowledged by enthusiastic film festival audiences and have garnered numerous awards. Both of his most recent films, "Saranggola (The Kite)" 1999, and "Gatas…sa Dibdib ng Kaaway (In the Bosom of the Enemy)" 2001, have been the Philippines' official entries to the Academy Awards. "Small Voices" will be Portes' first film to have a national U.S. theatrical release. Hollywood Reporter praises his directing in "Small Voices": "His camera catches de Rossi in sparse, beautifully lit images."

Portes is currently wrapping production on "The Homecoming," a wrenching political film, which also stars De Rossi as a Filipino Overseas Worker in Toronto who, returns home after a five-year stint carrying the SARS virus.

20-year-old Alessandra De Rossi, a rising dramatic actress in the Philippines, was first noticed by the international press for her role in "Azucena" ("Dogfood"), Carlos Siguion-Reyna's controversial film that premiered at the 2000 Toronto Film Festival. She received the Best Supporting Actress award for her performance in HUBOG ("Wretched Lives"), in which she played a slow-witted young woman growing up in the slums. For "Small Voices": Ms. De Rossi was nominated in the Best Actress category at virtually all the film festivals in which the film premiered.

New York Film Festival: An early portrait of Yasujiro Ozu

NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL: The 41st New York Film Festival opening Friday, Oct. 3, will offer an extraordinary selection of 26 features and 15 short films from around the world. In all, some 21 countries are represented in this year's annual 17-day showcase of the best in world cinema, from Scotland to Sri Lanka, from Turkey to Taiwan, from Italy to Iran. All the feature films in the Festival are U.S. premieres. For Festival tickets and info, call the Festival Box Office at 212/875-5050 or visit at www.filmlinc.com. For tickets for the Yasujiro Ozu Retrospective, call 212-496-3809.

The Festival's Opening Night film is "Mystic River," a gripping crime thriller from director Clint Eastwood, adapted from Dennis Lehane's best-selling novel by screenwriter Brian Helgeland. It is the tale of three childhood friends from a working-class Boston neighborhood-Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, and Kevin Bacon-thrown together again as adults. (10/3, ATH; AFH). The Festival's Centerpiece is Errol Morris's "The Fog of War", a dazzling cinematic dialogue with the conscience of Robert S. McNamara-WWII military strategist, auto executive and, most famously, Secretary of Defense during the escalation of the Vietnam War. (10/11, ATH; 10/12, ATH). Closing Night marks the return of director Alejandro González Iñárritu and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga, with their new film, "21 Grams," refers to the amount of weight a body loses at the moment of death. (10/19, AFH)

ASIAN FILMS: In the mid-70s, Cambodia's Khmer Rouge converted the Tuol Sleng High School in Phnom Penh into the notorious S21 detention center. Between 1975 and 1977, roughly 17,000 people passed through its doors. Only seven survived. In "S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine," filmmaker Rithy Panh, who himself spent four years in a Khmer Rouge labor camp, accompanies the detention center's official painter, Vann Nath, on his first visit to S21 in more than 20 years, during which he confronts several of his former captors and tormentors. Panh uses cinema to get the facts on record: the guards re-enact their former routines, victims are remembered and named, and their stories are told. And we learn that torturers and victims felt the terror of the Khmer Rouge alike: for four years, an entire society was held in the grip of murderous terror. (France, 10/15).

Very loosely based on Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, Lester James Peries's "Mansion By the Lake" follows a family of formerly wealthy, expatriate Sri Lankan landowners, now impoverished, as they return from England to the magnificent country estate they left behind. Peries newest film is a deeply

Chen Shiang-Chyi in a scene from "GOODBYE DRAGON INN"

moving study of a caste and a country torn apart by social change, told with a sublime serenity and restraint. Without shock cuts or emotional territory conspicuous camera movements, this lovely film creates a sense of the leisurely unfolding of time against an impassive background of tropical splendor. (Sri Lanka, 10/6, 10/6)

In Taipei, half a dozen lonely souls are watching King Hu's Dragon Inn in a local revival theater. Meanwhile, a silent cleaning woman is slowly prowling the backrooms and hallways, the heavy step of her bum leg echoing down the corridors. "This theater is haunted," someone says. And it is, by these people and their desire to connect in Tsai Ming-liang's Goodbye Dragon Inn." This is the director's most minimal film and cinematically his most eloquent. Rarely ahs the experience of movie going itself been so beautifully rendered. Tsai truly understands the wonder of sitting in the darkness before those flickering images, and he endows the space itself with a ghostly poetic grandeur. Made up entirely of long takes, "Goodbye Dragon Inn" is a daring work and a richly rewarding experience. ( Taiwan, 10/15).

A scence from PTU

"PTU" - the initials stand for "police tactical unit"-is Johnnie To's variation on a classic film noir theme, the corrupt cop who finds he must finally take a stand. Played by the marvelous character actor Lam Suet, Lo is a tubby, chain-smoking sergeant who loses his gun in a fight with a street gang and goes to extraordinary lengths to get it back. To's natural environment is Hong Kong at night, a city of eerily deserted streets, glowing neon signs, echoing pools of darkness and a constant sense of unseen menace. Johnnie To populates his world with a range of marvelously drawn types, from sadistic petty hoods to imposing senior officers. (Hong Kong, 10/16, 10/18).

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth, the Festival will present a retrospective tribute to one of the giants of world cinema, Yasujiro Ozu: A Centennial Celebration, featuring some 36 films. (10/4-11/6, WRT).


Pianist Wu Han.

LINCOLN CENTER: Pianist Wu Han will play Beethoven's "The Tempest" on Monday, Oct. 27, 7:30PM at the Walter Reade Theater as part of Robert Kapilow's "What Makes It Great?" The evening includes commentary, audience discussion and performance, which examines what makes a particular piece of music a masterpiece. For tickets, call CenterCharge at 212-721-6500 or visit www.lincolncenter.org.

Pianist Wu Han's career has taken her to many of the world's most prestigious venues New York's Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Tisch Center for the Arts of the 92nd Street Y, Washington's Kennedy Center and Library of Congress, Boston's Jordan Hall and in major concert series in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Seattle and New Orleans. Her international tours have taken her to Germany, Austria, France, Denmark, Spain, England, Japan and her native Taiwan, and she appears regularly at the summer festivals of Aspen, Santa Fe, Chamber Music Northwest, and Caramoor. Wu Han is a frequent collaborator with many of today's finest musicians and ensembles, including the Borromeo, St. Lawrence and Emerson Quartets.

As duo pianist with cellist David Finckel, Wu Han recently made her third Wigmore Hall appearance, and continues to perform across the United States and Europe. Other recent concerts include duo performances of the complete Beethoven cycle in Tokyo, and at the summer festivals of Aspen, Santa Fe and Chamber Music Northwest, as well as debuts in Germany and at Finland's Kuhmo Festival. Wu Han also maintains an active teaching schedule at the Aspen Music Festival and has been a regular faculty member of the Isaac Stern International Chamber Music Workshops at Carnegie Hall and the Jerusalem Music Center.

Wu Han's wide-ranging musical activities also include the founding of ArtistLed, the first musician-directed and Internet based recording company (www.ArtistLed.com). Wu Han's most recent recording is an all-Russian disc featuring works by Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich, which received the BBC Music Magazine's coveted "Editor's Choice." For three seasons, together with David Finckel, Wu Han served as Artistic Director of the internationally acclaimed chamber music festival, SummerFest La Jolla. This summer they launched Music@Menlo, their new, innovative chamber music festival in Silicon Valley that has attracted widespread attention.

Wu Han began her musical studies at the age of nine, and within a few years took first prizes in all the major competitions in Taiwan. She was a participant for two summers at the Marlboro Music Festival, and her teachers include Raymond Hanson, Rudolf Serkin, Herbert Stessin, Lilian Kallir, and Menahem Pressler.

MET ARTISTS IN CONCERT: The Museum will inaugurate its first resident chamber ensemble with the debut of "Metropolitan Museum Artists in Concert" on Thursday, Oct. 9, 7PM. This group of some of New York's finest young musicians will perform a series of lively hour-long programs featuring a contemporary work mirrored in masterworks of the classical repertoire - in this first season, Mozart's string quartets. The first program features Schubert's Notturno in E-flat Major, Sofia Gubaidulina's String Trio and Mozart's String Quintet in G Minor performed by violinists Colin Jacobsen and Ayano Ninomiya, violists Nicholas Cords and Danielle Farina, cellist Edward Arron, and pianist Andrew Armstrong.
For tickets, call 212-570-3949 or visit www.metmuseum.org.

Each of the three Thursday evening programs will be taped for broadcast on WQXR. Members of the ensemble also include violinist Jennifer and Laura Frautschi, Colin Jacobsen on violin and viola, violists Nicholas Cords, Danielle Farina and Max Mandel, cellists Edward Arron and Alexis Pia Gerlach, and pianists Andrew Armstrong and Jeremy Denk.

Second prize winner of the 2003 Walter W. Naumburg Competition and winner of Astral Artistic Services' 2003 National Auditions, violinist Ayano Ninomiya has appeared extensively as soloist with orchestras across the United States. She made her Boston Pops debut under Keith Lockhart on the opening concert its 1999 season, and most recently she performed with the Indiana University Concert Orchestra, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, and the Northbrook (IL) Symphony Orchestra. She has also been featured with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Harrisburg and Dubuque symphonies, the Mobile and Gulf Port orchestras, the Civic Symphony of Boston, the Boston Philharmonic, and the Port City (AL) Symphony. This fall Astral presents her on the inaugural "Rising Stars" series at Philadelphia's Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. An active solo recitalist, Ms. Ninomiya has appeared on the "Young Artist Showcase" at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, at the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago, and on BankBoston's "Emerging Artist" Series. She gave her Ravinia Festival recital debut on its "Rising Stars" series and toured Japan as part of the JAL Classic Special New Artist Series. She is the recipient of the 2003 Lili Boulanger Award and recorded the complete works for violin by Larry Bell.

Also an avid chamber musician, Ms. Ninomiya performs regularly at the Marlboro, Caramoor, Rockport, and Strings in the Mountains chamber music festivals. She toured with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, for New York City's WQXR radio, and as a member of the Ravinia Festival's "Young Artists from the Steans Institute" series. As a founding member and first violinist of the Amaryllis String Quartet, she won first prize at the 1995 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition in the Junior Division, and has since appeared with the quartet at the Kennedy Center's National Festival of the Arts, the Colorado Music Festival, and the Martha's Vineyard Festival, among others. The Amaryllis Quartet collaborated with both Pamela Frank and Yo-Yo Ma. Ms. Ninomiya is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School with Robert Mann. Her principal teachers have included Miriam Fried, Hyo Kang, Michèle Auclair, and Marylou Churchill. Born in Takamatsu, Japan, she moved the United States at the age of one and began violin studies at seven. The following year she entered the New England Conservatory of Music Preparatory School and made her professional debut with the North Shore (MA) Symphony. Ms. Ninomiya graduated from Harvard College in June 2001 with joint degrees in Music and

CHAMBER MUSIC AT THE Y: Violinist Jennifer Koh and pianist Reiko Uchida join an impressive roster of musicians who will perform music Ned Roem's "The Unquestioned Answer" as well as Mozart, Haydn and Schubert at the 92nd Street Y on October 14-15, 8PM. A play on Ive's "The Unanswered Question, Roem's new piece, commissioned by flutist Marya Martin and the Bridgehamption Chamber Music Festival, is in honor of Roem's 80th birthday. The performing ensemble also features Jaime Laredo, violin, Cynthia Phelps, viola, Sharon Robinson, cello, Marya Martin, flute, Michael Rusinek, clarinet, Nancy Goeres, bassoon, and Gail Williams, horn. For tickets, call 212-415-5500 or visit www.92Y.org.

The Tokyo String Quartet, 92nd Street Y's Quartet-in-Residence for 2003-04, will perform Schubert's Bohemian Roots with Guest Artist Joel Quarrington on Double on Saturday, Oct. 25, 8PM. The program includes Schubert's "String Quartet in A Minor, Rosamunde" as well as Janacek's "String Quartet No. 2, "Intimate Letters" and Dvorak' "String Quintet in G Major. BIO For tickets, call 212-415-5500 or visit www.92Y.org.

Jennifer Koh was born in Chicago of Korean parents. She received a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature from Oberlin College and a Performance Diploma in Music from the Oberlin Conservatory. She has been the recipient of many honors including winning the international Tchaikovsky Competition, the Concert Artists Guild Competition, and receiving the Avery Fisher Career Grant. Koh has performed with many conductors and orchestras around the world, including the symphonies of Chicago, Detroit and Cincinnati, the Kyushu Orchestra of Japan and the Moscow Radio Symphony, as well as orchestras in Germany, Iceland, Finland. She has also performed with the Brandenburg Ensemble in New York and Boston with flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in December 1999 with conductor/violinist Jaime Laredo. Recent recitals include the Kennedy Center and The National Gallery of Art. Her festival appearances have included Marlboro, Mostly Mozart and Ravina. Her recordings include violin concertos by Nielsen and Klami on the Kontrapunkt and BIS labels. She performs on a 1727 Ex Grumiaux Ex General DuPont Stradivari on loan to her.

A native of Los Angeles, Reiko Uchida has appeared as soloist with many orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Santa Fe Symphony. Uchida made her New York solo debut in 2002 at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall. She has performed solo and chamber music in the US, Japan, Europe, Russia, Finland, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. Her festival appearances include Spoleto, Tanglewood, Santa Fe and Marlboro. She is a member of Chamber Music Society Two at Lincoln Center, the Laurel Trio and the Moebius Ensemble, in residence at Columbia University. She has been recital partner for Jennifer Koh, David Shifrin, Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson, with whom she performed the complete works of Beethoven for cello and piano. Uchida began her piano studies at the age of four and made her orchestral debut with the Los Angeles Repertoire Orchestra at age of nine. She received a Bachelor's Degree from The Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Claude Frank and Leon Fleisher, and a Masters Degree from the Mannes College of Music, where her principal teacher was Edward Aldwell. Uchida is an associate faculty member at Columbia University, and continues her studies with Sophia Rosoff.

The members of the Tokyo String Quartet are violist Kazuhide Isomura, a founding member of the group, second violinist Kikuei Ikeda, who joined the ensemble in 1974, cellist Clive Greensmith, who joined in 1999 and first violinist Martin Beaver who joined the ensemble in 2002. In January the quartet will participate in Carnegie Hall's "Making Music: Joan Tower" program at Weill Recital Hall, and in February it appears at Alice Tully Hall on the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's quartet series. It will also perform in numerous cities throughout North America and Europe. The members of the Quartet have served on the faculty of the Yale School of Music since 1976 as quartet-in-residence, devoting a considerable amount of time to teaching young musicians at Yale during the academic year and at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in the summer.

They also regularly participate in master classes throughout North America. The Quartet has more than 30 recordings on BMG/RCA Victor Red Seal, Angel-EMI, CBS Masterworks, Deutsche Grammophon and Vox Cum Laude. Its recordings have earned honors including the Grand Prix du Disque Montreux and "Best Chamber Music Recording of the Year" awards from both Stereo Review and Gramophone magazines, and seven Grammy nominations. Officially formed in 1969 at the Juilliard School of Music, the Tokyo String Quartet traces its origins to the Toho School of Music in Tokyo, where Professor Hideo Saito profoundly influenced the founding members. The original members eventually came to America for further study with Robert Mann, Raphael Hillyer, and Claus Adam.

The quartet's honors include First Prize at the Coleman Competition, the Munich Competition, and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions. The ensemble has been featured on many television programs including Sesame Street, CBS Sunday Morning, PBS's Great Performances, and CNN This Morning, as well as on the soundtrack for the Sidney Lumet film Critical Care. The Quartet performs on "The Paganini Quartet," a group of renowned Stradivarius instruments named for legendary virtuoso Niccolò Paganini, who acquired and played them during the 19th century. The Nippon Music Foundation has loaned the instruments to the ensemble since 1995, when they were purchased from the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington.

AT MERKIN HALL: Performing at Merkin Hall will be "Soundclock", celebrating 100 years of Korean immigration to the US in works by seven Korean composers, Eun-Hkung Kim directing (Thursday, Oct. 2, 8PM). Winners of the 5th International Competition for Young Pianist will get together on Saturday, Oct. 4, 7:30PM to honor the 100th Anniversary of Vladimir Vhorowitz's birth include Cheung Wai Ching Rachel of China, Tsimur Scharbakou from the Ukraine and Belarus' Oleksandr Chugay.

On Tuesday, Oct. 21, 8PM, Concertante with violinists Xiao-Dong Wang and Ittai Shapira, Rachel Shapiro and Ara Gregorian on viola and cellist will play works by Mozart, Zemlimsky and Brahmns. The Korean Chamber Orchestra of New York will perform on Sunday, Oct. 25, 8PM, with Jinhoon Choe conducting. Featured soloists include John Gorman, piano, Cheolwoo Nam, violin and Ukjin Yang, cello. The program consists of works by Rossini, Mozart and Beethoven. Young Concert Artist Award winner, Makoto Nakura will perform on marimba works by Prokofiev, JS Bach, Jalbert, Schober, Akemi Naito and Kenji Bunch on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2PM. Ki-Sun Sung will direct the New York Sinfonietta on Thursday, Oct. 30, 8PM, with selections by Dindemith and Kodaly.

CARNEGIE HALL: Tuesday, Oct. 7, 8PM, The Philadelphia Orchestra performs with the Gamelan Samara Santi of Swarthmore College and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Christoph Eschenbach conducting. The program includes the Balinese Gamelan Orchestra Performance and MESSIAEN's Turangalila Symphony. BIO. Stern Auditorium. Saturday, Oct. 24, 3PM, When Morty Met John… With Margaret Leng Tan, piano. Cage's Sonatas & Interludes for Prepared Piano. Zankel Hall.

Chen Sue Paniarello, Soprano.

NEWEST BUTTERFLY: This is your last chance to catch the newest Butterfly at New York City Opera's "Madama Butter" starring Chen Sue Panariello on Saturday, Oct. 11, 8PM at Lincoln Center. Chen Sue Panariello debuts in the title role, Mika Shigematsu returns as Suzuki with Brandon Jovanovich as Pinkerton. George Manahan conducts. We know the story: when an innocent young geisha marries American naval officer B.F. Pinkerton, her family and friends forsake her. Soon, her new husband does the same. Three years pass before Pinkerton returns, only to claim the one thing for which Butterfly would give her life. "Madama Butterfly" runs through Oct. 11. Other operas slated for the season include"Turandot" and "The Mikado." For tickets, call 212-870-5570 or visit www.nycopera.com.

Chen Sue Panariello was born in Beijing, China. Her career highlights include principal roles with Beijing Central Oepra Theatre, Butterfly at Savonlinna Festival, Finnish National Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, San Francisco Opera, Vichy, Oslo, Cincinnati, Montpellier, Dallas, Sand Diego and Dresden as well as with Seiji Ozawa in Japan and China. She also sang Mimi in "La Boheme, Violetta in "La Traviata," and Amelia in "Un Ballo in Maschera" with Compagnia di Milano Opera, touring Austria, Germany and Switzerland. She was Pamina in the "Magic Flute", Butterfly, Liu and Violetta, as well as sang in concerts for the NKY in Japan. She also sang Butterfly at gala concerts in Sydney and Melbourne, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in Osaka, Elizabetta in "Don Carlos" in concert with Tokyo Symphony Orchest, Liu in "Turandot" at the Dallas Oepra. She is recipient of the Mcihua (Plum Blossom) Award, China's highest acting honor, and Dallas Opera's Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year Award.

SOPRANOS AT THE MET: Meanwhile at the Metropolitan Opera, on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 6-7:30PM, the Lecture Series "The Art of Maria Callas" will be present. This legendary singer was in a class of her own. She revolutionized operatic performance and chaged the way in which audiences perceive and experience opera. Bridget Paolucci analyzes the elements of the soprano's art and her impact on performance history. For reservations, call 212-362-0068 or visit www.metopera.org.

Another all time favorite soprano of mine, Hei-Kyung Hong sings Mimi in Puccini's "La Boheme" Oct. 22 - 28 at the Met. She joins the painter Marcello, poet Rodolfo, Colline, a young philosopher, and Schaunard, a musician in a Paris. She's been singing at the Met for a number of years now from "Turandot" to "Marriage of Figaro" to "Don Giovanni." We've come a long way since the first Asia soprano, Kunie Imai, who sang regularly at the Met beginning with "Madama Butterfly" in 1958. For tickets to "La Boheme," call 212-362-6000.

WOMAN'S SONG: The Kitchen and World Music Institute will present "Woman's Song: The Story of Roro Mendut" Oct. 15-18 at 512 West 19 Street in New York City. A gamelan percussion orchestra, shadow puppets combined with video projections, Balinese and Javanese dance and mask, and stilts/martial arts performance set the stage for this contemporary multi-arts music theater. This multi-arts production gives a multimedia spin to the 17th-century Javanese legend of Roro Mendut, a timeless heroine who dared defy the tyranny of oppression put upon Indonesian woman of that period. Set during the pre-Islamic period (when the Island of Java was Hindu), Woman's Song re-tells the story of Roro Mendut, a strong and independent woman who outsmarted and resisted the sexual aggression of the Military Governor of her village. Through the story of her rebellion, the production Explores cultural mores such as gender hierarchy, sexual taboos, self-immolation (death by 'kris' knife practiced by widows and servants), the impact of tobacco in Javanese society, and the introduction of written text by the royal Islamic courts, which transformed and formalized the tradition of oral storytelling.For reservations, call 212-255-5793, ext 11 or visit www.thekitchen.org.

Composed and directed by Lisa Karrer, "Woman's Song" features Gamelan Son of Lion: Barbara Benary, Richard Cohen, David Demnitz, Jody Kruskal, Laura Liben, Bill Ruyle, David Simons, and Vivian Tenham and performers: Ayu Armini, Deena Burton, George Crayton and Lisa Karrer. Shadow Puppets/Sculptural Designs are by Kate Yourke. With sung texts by Walt Whitman and the celebrated Indonesian poet Sitor Situmorang, Woman's Song features Gamelan Son of Lion, hailed by the N.Y. Times as "one of the most provocative and artistically rewarding" gamelan ensembles in the U.S. Son of Lion performs an original score by Lisa Karrer,who appears as both vocalist and wayang stilt puppet. Visual components include multiple shadow screens with conceptual wayang puppets by designer Kate Yourke, Balinese and Javanese dance and mask, stilts and martial art performance, video sequences by Jenny Lynn McNutt and lighting design by Obie award winner Carol Mullins, all combining to create a unique multi-tiered storytelling hybrid.

Lisa Karrer works internationally as a composer, vocalist, director, educator and performance artist. She sings in a variety of languages, including Estonian, Serbo-Croatian, Cherokee, Indonesian and Yiddish, and is an accomplished stilt dancer. Lisa has collaborated, recorded and performed with artists and ensembles such as Tan Dun, Muna Tseng, David First, Thomas Buckner, Theodora Skipitares, Margaret Leng Tan, Joshua Fried, Jerome Kitzke and Tony Prabowaps New Jakarta Ensemble; and with David Simons, Douglas Dunn, Denman Maroney, Gamelan Son of Lion and Music For Homemade Instruments, for whom she also composes. She produced the CD's Pick of the Litter (2000) by Music For Homemade Instruments, and Gamelan Son of Lion's Bending the Gending (2002). She and co-composer David Simons received major funding to compose, develop and record their chamber opera The Birth of George, sponsored by Harvestworks and American Opera Projects, released in 2003 under Harvestworks' TELLUS Label. Lisa receives many funding awards to further her collaborative projects, both in the U.S. and abroad. She is currently developing The Simurgh, a chamber opera based on the life and writings of South African novelist Olive Schreiner, with additional text by Doris Lessing. The Simurgh will premiere in 2004, hosted by American Opera Projects.

Gamelan Son of Lion (established in 1976 by artistic director Barbara Benary) is a new music repertory ensemble and composers' collective based in downtown New York City, specializing in contemporary pieces written for instruments of the Javanese gamelan percussion orchestra. Gamelan Son of
Lion's repertoire centers on new compositions by American and international composers in a variety of contemporary styles. Recent presentations have also incorporated electronics, and music by experimental composers from Indonesia.


Akram Khan company: Akram Khan in "Kaash". Photo by Roy Peters Photography.

"KAASH" AT THE JOYCE: One of Britain's most talked about young artists, 28 year old Akram Khan makes his New York City debut Oct. 14-19 at The Joyce Theater oat 175 Eighth Avenue with "Kaash" (Hindi for "if"), inspired by "Hindu Gods, black holes, Indian time cycles, tables, and themes of creation and destruction." Performed by an international cast at a dizzying pace with razor-sharp precision, "Kaash" combines contemporary dance with the classical Indian dance form, Kathak, which the choreographer studied from an early age. For tickets, call JoyceCharge at 212-242-0800 or visit www.joyce.org.

Connected to the spirit of Shiva, the Indian god who restores what he destroys, the rapidly changing dance suggests cycles of destruction and recreation. The dancers' rapidly moving feet illuminate the complex and driving rhythms of Nitin Sawhney's original percussive score, while their arms slice the air with scythe like precision. Comprised of a dark, gauzy layered cloth whose color mysteriously changes through the work, the set is by Turner Prize winning sculptor Anish Kapoor.

Born in London to Bangladeshi parents, Khan began studying Kathak with the world renowned Sri Pratap Pawar at London's Academy of Indian Dance when he was seven years old. His performing style was influenced equally by his childhood experiences at the theater and by Michael Jackson's videos on television. Khan's professional career began at the age of 10 when he appeared in a production of "The Jungle Book." At 13, he toured the world in "Mahabharata" by Peter Brook, who had originally spotted him in dance class. Khan was introduced to modern dance at De Montfort University and then at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds, where he earned the highest recorded marks for his performing arts degree.

His distinctive fusion style, which evolved organically through his experiences in Eastern and Western dance forms, is reflected in such pieces as "Duet" with Jonathan Burrows, "Fix", "Rush" and "Polaroid Feet". In 2000, Khan part6icipated in the "X-Group" Choreographic Laboratory at Anna Teresa De Keersmaeker's dance school, PARTS, in Brussels; later that year he created his own dance company, which in just 18 months performed in every major European festival. Also in 2000, he received both the Outstanding Newcomer to Dance Award by Critics Circle and the Time Out Live Award. In April 2001, Khan became choreographer in residence at London's Royal Festival Hall and in 2003 was named an Associate Artist there.

Anish Kapoor was born in Bombay in 1954 and has lived in London since the early 70s when he studied at Hornsey College of Art and Chelsea School of Art Design. Over the past 20 years, he has exhibited extensively throughout the world. He has had solo shows at Kunsthalle Basel, and at the Tate Gallery and Hayward Gallery in London. He was awarded the Premio Duemila at the Venice Biennale in 1990 and the Turner Prize Award in 1991.

The son of Indian parents, Nitin Sawhney was born in Rochester, Kent and studied law at Liverpool Univeristy. His music, a new Indo-Western fusion, explores religion, politics and the complexities of the Anglo-Asian experience. For his work he has already received a Mercury Music Award nomination and the South Bank Show Award for his album, "Beyond Skin" as well as a MOBO Award and a BBC Radio 3 Award for his album "Prophesy." He has had two commissions from the BBC Proms and has written for such artists as Sinead O'Connor and Paul McCartney.

SENSEDANCE: Dancer/choreographer Henning Rubsam will present his Sensedance October 2-5, at Joyce SoHo at 155 Mercer Street, featuring new and repertory works danced by his 9-member company, joined by internationally renowned prima ballerina assoluta Eva Evdokimova. For reservations, call 212-334-7479.

The Company welcomes the return of Ms. Evdokimova, who appeared at Sensedance's 10th Anniversary Season at The Kitchen in 2002. The ballerina will reprise the Schubert solos Litanei & Fruhlingsglaube (Litany & Faith in Spring), choreographed for her by Rubsam. "Both the solo and her performance were celebrations of the kind of artistry that comes only with maturity and experience," noted Jennifer Dunning (The New York Times, February 25, 2002).

For an all female cast is Rubsam's slighting revised version of Garden, created to traditional Iraqi music. Tobi Tobias described the work as "suggesting an intricate cultural community inhabited by tillers of the soil and odalisques, fiery demons and beneficent goddesses." (Village Voice, July 2003)

Rubsam will make his debut in his recent Gesange op. 6, set to music by Brahms and premiered in June 2003 by guest dancer Christine Reisner. The solo is a work of "quicksilver physical and emotional shifts" (Jennifer Dunning, The New York Times, June 7, 2003). Rubsam will include the dance in his solo program, premiering later in October during his residency at the U of Idaho/Moscow.

Completing the program will be the audience favorite On the Fritz, a "tour-de-farce:" set to a madcap collage of tunes performed by Duke Ellington, Linda Ronsatadt, Stuff Smith, and Connie Francis. Erika Pujic, Ashley Sowell, and Rubsam lead the bright and breezy cast in this colorful camp delight.

The dancers include Erika Pujic, Henning Rubsam, Ashley Sowell, and Katrina Currow, Jennifer Edmonds, Kyla Ernst-Alper, Melissa Lopata, Stacey Menchel, and Shizu Yasuda

KDYN: KDNY, the company of dancer and choreographer Kathleen Dyer will premiere "While at the Left Breast" and "Moerae" Oct. 16-18, at Joyce SoHo, 155 Mercer Street. The Company took a brief break form a full self produced season during Ms. Dyer's maternity leave and the birth on July 23, 2003 of her daughter Kinneely Rose. Not only did the beautiful Kinneely provide inspiration for the new "While At the Left Breast," but she will make her stage debut in this quirky unique dance/theater piece set to music composed and performed by percussionist P.J. Perola, a frequent collaborator with KDNY. For tickets, call 212-334-7479.

The season's second World Premiere is "Moerae" (Greek word for The Three Fates), set to 14th century music performed by the renowned Kronos Quartet. The three sisters, Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropus, are first viewed in the dance as statues on pedestals; then manipulating the "thread of life" which is pulled across the stage throughout the piece to symbolize their control over the fate of men. They are the forces, which give men at birth their share of evil and good, and they punish the transgressions of both men and gods.

"Flowers On The Table By the Open Window," created in 2002, will complete the program. This ever changing work references the many portraits of women found in museums and also incorporates a large frame set table and chair, and a shifting arrangement of flowers to capture the image of the museum portraits. Particularly inspiring were the works of Jan Vermeer, who often depicted pensive women looking anxiously out of the window into an unknown. Recalling an era when women played a lesser role in society, the dancers embody their waiting and wanting, their unexpressed stories and passions.

Kathleen Dyer established KDNY in 1997 to develop a female modern dance repertory company, one that focuses on the experiences and nature of the female spirit. Her dance career began in her native Alabama, and continued on scholarship at Florida State University in Tallahassee, where she studied choreography and completed her BFA in Dance. In New York she continued her studies while acting as House Manager of The Joyce Theater for seven years. In addition to choreographing, Kathleen designs and constructs all costumes for her works, and has created costumes as well for other groups, including Nikolais/Louis, Molissa Fenley, and Shapiro and Smith, to name a few.

KDNY enjoys collaborating on shared performances with other groups, and has also self-produced five full seasons in New York City at such venues as Clark Studio Theater, the Cunningham Studio, and St. Mark's Church. Her athletic and buoyant choreography for female dancers has also been presented around the U.S. and at Toronto's Fringe Festival of Independent Dance Artists. In 2003, Ms. Dyer was awarded an Artist Fellowship for new choreography from Connecticut Commission of the Arts. She also won the Choreography Competition in the Panoply Festival of the Arts in Alabama, to be followed by setting a new work on the Huntsville Ballet in Alabama. [Abalos]

Copyright © 2003 Marilyn Abalos.
Marilyn Abalos is an arts writer published in Asian New Yorker, AsianWeek, Filipinas and Filipino Reporter.

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