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inside news about Asians and women on stage

Yuriko in Martha Graham's "Embattled Garden. See: Dance.

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ARTISTS CELEBRATE Heritage: May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Similar to Black History and Women’s History celebrations, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month originated in a congressional bill in 1977. Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is celebrated nationally with community festivals, government-sponsored activities and educational activities.

At Asia Society will kick off with a fantastic puu-puu offering "Asian American Tales of Being Urban in New York: Living, Loving and Getting By" Friday, May 7 –Saturday, May 8, 6:30PM. Over 30 Asian Americans in film, television, performing arts, literature, music, fashion and visual arts will perform five-minute personal accounts of their experiences in New York City. Several prominent Asian American organizations join forces to present this unprecedented storytelling marathon in celebration of Asian Americans in the arts. The weekend of stories explores the varying notions of community, the highs and lows of love in an urban landscape, and the struggles of individuals who have chosen to build and maintain creative careers.

Participants include Sabrina Margarita Alacantara, Sawad Brooks, Regie Cabico, Alexander Chee, Aric Chen, Tina Chang, Deborah S. Craig, Ron Domingo, Luis Francia, Kimiko Hahn, Jessica Hagedorn, David Henry Hwang, Jason Hwang, Vijay Iyer, Michael Kang, Eugenia Kim, Ken Leung, Sunita Mukhi, Cobi Narita, N. Rain Noe, Orlando Pabotoy, SuChin Pak, Ralph Pena, Mary Ping, Bushra Rehman, DJ Rekha, Sung Rno, John Son, Paz Tanjuaquio, Ching Valdes, among others.

For information about each performer, visit:www.AsiaSociety.org/Arts/AsianAmericanBios.html. Cosponsored by The Asian American Writers' Workshop, Asian CineVision and the Asian American Arts Alliance.

Asia Society and Museum is located at 725 Park Avenue at 70th Street, New York City,

For tickets, call 212-517-ASIA.

I have featured many more performances, theatre, film, music, dance and literature events scheduled for the month of May. Asians & Amazons celebrates Asian Pacific American artists throughout the year in New York Theatre Wire.


PJ Sosko and Poorna Jagannathan in End of You

END OF YOU: Lit Live Productions and PenneySeal Productions are proud to present the world premiere of the one act play The End of You at The Lion Theatre at 410 West 42nd Street on May 14th and ending June 5th. The End of You tells the story of a couple struggling toward greater intimacy, blocked by unresolved experiences of violence and loss.  Haunted by childhood events, Joel (PJ Sosko) repeatedly tells Kamala (Poorna
Jagannathan) of a tragic event he witnessed in summer camp, which, to this day, he strives to understand. As he tells his story to Kamala, Joel realizes that she too has an unresolved incident in her past, and it has created a powerful fear of the very intimacy that might redeem her. For tickets, call (212) 239-5258 or visit www.telecharge.com. For more info, visit www.litlive.com.

"The End of You is about the limitations and evasions that life's traumas impose upon
us, and the necessity of traveling beyond them," says Playwright and Executive Producer Michael D. Cohen.  "The story is ultimately my attempt to better understand relationships and how intimacy is gained or blocked between two people who love each other."  Director Sarah Gurfield says, "This piece is like a young, hip, modern Beckett play.  The moments of silence between these two characters are as important as the lines they


The cast includes Poorna Jagannathan (Kalighat with Circle East; lead in Queen of the Remote Control East West Theater LA; Spike Lee's upcoming film She Hate Me) and PJ Sosko (Much Ado About Nothing; Scott Organ's Fixed at the Hangar; Russia tour of an original adaptation of The Brothers Karamazov with the Todd Theater Troupe).

Poorna Jagannathan was last seen playing a nun in Circle East’s critically acclaimed Kalighat. Other Off-Broadway credits include playing the lead in Queen of the Remote Control (East West Theater, LA); Macbeth (Pulse); Circe and Odysseus, I Am Mou (Circle East); and Anything For You (Circle East). Film: For All The Girls I’ve Loved, She Hate Me (Spike Lee); Arranged Marriage, Umberta’s Party (Franco-Brazilian Productions). TV: Law & Order. She and her friend Linda Erex started "Cowgirls & Indians" – a theater company with their first production scheduled in the fall.

Director Sarah Gurfield was awarded an SDCF Observership for Golden Boy (starring Alfonso Ribeiro) and is currently the Assistant Director for the Broadway revival of Twentieth Century at the Roundabout, starring Alec Baldwin and Anne Heche and was also AD for Bat Boy The Musical.  Some of her other directing credits include Slut for the NY Fringe Festival, Prelude to a Kiss for Boomerang Theatre Company, and the long-running Aussie hit He Died With A Felafel in His Hand for the Australian theatre company, Hair of the Dog.

Executive Producer/Playwright Michael D. Cohen is the founder of Lit Live Productions and Performance Literature UnderGround (PLUG), a group that brings writers, actors, and directors together once a month for impromptu performances of works in progress.  Mr. Cohen is a published author who is represented by ICM.  Some of his works include a novel titled Around Her, a short story called Kytzvinyne's 7th Symphony that was published in The Gettysburg Review, the short film Burglars, and many other short plays and stories.

Bombar Dreams. Photo by Joan Marcus

BOMBAY DREAMS: "Bombay Dreams" opens at a slum site in Bombay. There is joy and celebration in the upbeat opening scene setting the tone of the musical at the Broadway Theatre. The squatters of the slum sing and dance with pride of their simple way of life and hopeful dreams to the upbeat music of A.R. Rahman. "Bombay Dreams" is a spectacular musical that tells the story of a handsome young slum dweller and his dreams of becoming a Bollywood movie star.

It is this writer’s dream to see an Indian festival of sorts commemorating song, dance, and traditions on a Broadway stage. "Bombay Dreams" is a delightful depiction of the blissful wonders of Bombay and Bollywood. The story weaves together the glamour of the movies, heart aching romance and epic spectacle in a musical.

In his Broadway debut, Manu Narayan plays Akash, an irresistible untouchable whose charms and talent and a little bit of fate propels him from the slums to the big screen. The comely Anisha Nagarajan is Priya the idealistic filmmaker, whom Akash pursues taking him along a path where power, passion and people seemingly help make his dreams come true. An acting student at New York University, Nagarajan went to an "open call" to audition for a part in the musical (in other words, no agent campaigned on her behalf) and garnered the female lead role.

Ayesha Dharker as Rani, the dynamic diva of Bollywood screen, is a voluptuous vixen who relishes her Mumbai Mae West-like feminine wiles and purrs wickedly like South Asian Eartha Kitt. She is the only London cast member to appear in the New York production. Her film credits include in Ismail Merchant's The Mystic Masseur (2002), the U.S. art-house hit The Terrorist, and George Lucas' Star Wars: Episode II.

Playing Sweetie, the eunuch, is endearing Sriram Ganesan, who also makes his Broadway debut. A eunuch or hijra is a member of the Indian community of hermaphrodites considered born with female identities in male bodies. One of the best dance numbers was the dance of the hijras at the pre-wedding festivities.

Veteran actress Madhur Jaffrey, plays Shanti, the dignified but distressed grandmother, a typical role inevitably in every Bollywood film. She is a winner of the Best Actress Award at the Berlin Film Festival in James Ivory’s 1965 "Shakespeare Wallah". She has appeared in five Merchant Ivory films.

India produces more than 900 movies a year. Not only are Bollywood films, Hindi-language love stores, a popular entertainment form of the masses in India, it is also a major export worldwide with universal appeal. A predominant format, song and dance complement the story line. In "Bombay Dreams" we get to see the makings of this unique film formula on stage. "Shakalaka Baby" is but one of Rahman’s Bollywood hit tunes that shake the stage. "Chaiyya Chaiyya" best demonstrates the Indian film dance, choreographed by Farah Khan. Enjoy the splash of colors, magnificent rhythms and toe tapping tunes! Have a great time!

This writer is not surprised by the reserved to vehement reviews rendered by other critics. When talking about a love story between an Asian man and woman (never mind that they’re of different class backgrounds), and romantic comedy of Asian traditions and values, David Henry Hwang’s "Flower Drum Song" also comes to mind. These are just simple stories about poor souls whom fate has propelled from the slums or the refugee boat to the film set in India or jet set of a San Francisco nightclub where he or she can fall in love. Absent was great white warrior to rescue or betray an Asian butterfly, no great white teacher to civilize a savage monarch. No matter, there is a great time to be had in "Bombay Dreams."

IMMGRANT THEATRE: Immigrants' Theatre Project will present "Living History" by Aurorae Khoo at the Ellis Island Museum. It is the story of the 1914 voyage to America by Irena and her daughter Kasia. Told by from the perspective of a newcomer immigrant (from Jamaica, Egypt, or Greece, depending on the actor playing the role), the play includes the oral histories of Zelman Reichman from Russia, Louise Flaherty from Ireland, Concetta Micelli from Sicily. Directed by Marcy Arlin and Immigrants' Theatre Project, 2003 OBIE winner, The 25-minute play recounts the voyage in steerage, the medical examination at Ellis Island, and the bittersweet of a reunion of families after 4 years of separation. Aurorae Khoo was winner 2002 Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Roger L. Stevens Award; and Bunting Fellowship from Radcliffe College. "Living History" runs through November. Call 212 561 4500 for more information or go to www.Ellisisland.org

THE WAU WAU SISTERS: Ars Nova presents the Off-Broadway debut of "The Wau Wau Sisters," written, created and performed by Tanya Gagné and Adrienne Truscott, directed by Trip Cullman. Named "the new faces of Vaudeville" by NY Magazine, The Wau Wau Sisters bring a lot of bad behavior and a sisterly love that knows no bounds to midtown for a limited engagement beginning May 8th. Opening night is scheduled for Thursday, May 20th. The Wau Wau Sisters" runs May 8 - June 26th. For tickets, , call 212-868-4444 or go to www.SmartTix.com. Ars Nova is located at 511 West 54th Street.

In the alternative tradition of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Donkey Show and De La Guarda, The Wau Wau Sisters" fuses circus, burlesque, comedy and music in a modern vaudeville style. Through gin-soaked smiles, these lascivious siblings offer a deliciously defiant mix of hell-raising humor, scintillating circus routines, original songs ranging from country to rock to rap, and outrageous acts like their schoolgirl striptease that promises to tickle any Pope’s fancy .

The Wau Wau (pronounced "vow vow") Sisters have developed a cult following performing at venues ranging from Joe’s Pub, Irving Plaza and Bowery Ballroom to the Obie Award Winning Galapagos Art Space, CBGB’s and of course the Brooklyn Dog Parade. They have served as opening act for such performers as Kiki & Herb, Le Tigre, Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, and The Butchies. They have also made appearances on The Isaac Mizrahi Show, Good Morning Japan, The Sharon Osborne Show and NPR’s "The Next Big Thing."  Imagine Bertold Brecht’s strong man Mr. Wau having a one night three way with Carol Burnett and Dolly Parton and you are starting to get the picture.

Trip Cullman’s recent directing credits include Roulette, Smashing, The Last Sunday in June, The Vortex and 2XTennessee. Cullman has directed at Empty Space Theater and Williamstown Theater Festival, as well as readings/workshops at New York Theater Workshop, The New Group, MCC Theater, and Cherry Lane. He was Associate Director to Joe Mantello on Take Me Out (Donmar Warehouse, Public Theater, Walter Kerr), the Assistant Director for Mike Nichols on The Seagull (Public Theater) and creative assistant on Angels in America (HBO Films).


Shujaat Khan

HONORING USTAD VILAYAT KHAN: Carnegie Hall will present a tribute concert to the late Ustad Vilayat Khan on Saturday, May 22 at 8:30pm, in Zankel Hall. Originally programmed as a solo performance by the sitar master himself who died last March 2004, the tribute concert will now feature Mr. Khan’s sons, Shujaat Husain Khan and Hidayat Khan, performing on the sitar in the gayaki ang, or "vocal" style, championed by their father. This concert is presented in partnership with the World Music Institute. For tickets, call CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or visit www.carnegiehall.org.

Ustad Vilayat Khan was born into a long line of well-known sitar players in 1928, in the town of Gouripur, now part of Bangladesh. After studying with his father, Ustad Inayat Khan, he gave his first public performance at the age of six and made his first recording only two years later. Ustad Vilayat Khan toured extensively throughout India and the world and became a member of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, a prestigious honor only given to 30 living artists at a time. In 1968 he rejected the highest civilian honors of the Indian government, the Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan awards, arguing that the awards committee was unqualified to judge artistic creativity. In addition to his career performing and recording, Ustad Vilayat Khan also composed film scores, including the music for the 1969 Merchant-Ivory production, The Guru. Mr. Khan died on March 13, 2004.

Shujaat Husain Khan and Hidayat Khan, Ustad Vilayat Khan’s sons, carry on his tradition of sitar playing in the gayaki ang style. Shujaat Husain Kahn is also known from his work with the acclaimed cross-cultural Ghazal ensemble with Kayhan Kalhor.

Carnegie Hall’s world music series is presented in partnership with the World Music Institute, which is dedicated to the study and presentation of the finest traditional and contemporary music and dance from around the world. Growing out of a concert program developed at New York’s Alternative Museum begun in 1976, the World Music Institute has presented music from more than 70 countries in Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East.

VIOLINIST KIMURAPERFORMS: Violin virtuoso and LEMUR (League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots) composer Mari Kimura performs with the electronic robot GuitarBot on Tuesday, May 11 at 8PM as part of the opening concert of MATA's (Music at the Anthology) 2004 season. Kimura performs "GuitarBotana", her work commissioned by LEMUR through the New York State Council for the Arts. Kimura also performs the MATA-commissioned piece "Shatter Cone" from Greek composer Panayiotis Kokoras. For tickets, call 212- 563-5124 or visit www.musicattheanthology.org

Kimura and GuitarBot most recently performed together at the debut of Kimura's piece GuitarBotana in February at the Frederick Loewe Theatre at New York University. GuitarBot and Kimura first performed together at the ArtBots show at EYEBEAM Gallery (Chelsea, NYC) in July 2003; an excerpt of the collaboration was shown on CNN's Headline News. ""It is very exciting for me to create music with new kinds of musical expressions evoked by a machine," says Kimura. "I start to play and react differently than interacting with a human player. The creative process of morphing the expressions of humans and the machines is artistically very inspiring to me."

Guest-curated by Nicholas Brooke, the rough, industrial aesthetic of the machine age the 1920s is an inspiration to May 11th's concert, which features striking visual and musical elements. The evening's title is 'EX MACHINA.' Among other performances scheduled for this enchanting evening is John Morton's work "Outlier," featuring dozens of music boxes creating a shimmering canvas of sound; Dan Trueman on the quadrille, a spherical violin that processes its own voice; and Ryan Torchia's "Forced Perspective," for a solo pianist and featuring a player piano that gradually retunes itself, going in an dout of phase with its own image.

LEMUR's growing ensemble consists of a wide variety of musical robots. GuitarBot, an electric stringed instrument, is comprised of four independently controllable stringed units which can pick and slide extremely rapidly. It is designed to extend not simply duplicate the capabilities of a human guitarist. !rBot (pronounced chick-r-bot) fuses traditional musical instruments with mechanical design. Inspired by the human mouth, its malleable cavity opens to expose and play a Peruvian goat-hoof rattle. TibetBot is a robotically controlled percussive instrument that creates atonal rhythms and tonal droning soundscapes. It is designed around three Tibetan singing bowls, which are struck by six robotic arms, producing a wide range of timbres. ForestBot displays a forest of 25 egg rattles sprouting from 10-foot rods that quiver and sway over onlookers. Rather than a single robot, it is a magnificently beautiful robotic installation. ModBots are miniature modular percussion robots in a variety of styles and functions, including singing bell bots and percussion "beater" bots. LEMUR is Eric Singer, David Bianciardi, Kevin Larke, Jeff Feddersen, Milena Iossifova, Bil Bowen, Chad Redmon, Kate Chapman, Brendan FitzGerald and Michelle Cherian.

Founded by composer-performers Lisa Bielawa and Eleanor Sandresky, MATA offers a forum for a wide range of music, from the electro-acoustic to the traditional and from the concert hall to gallery exhibitions, written by a new generation of composers in their 20s and 30s from around the world. Each of MATA's concerts/events employs a thematic focus that brings musical and historical focus to the program. In addition to a large number of premieres, MATA commissions one new work by a young composer per concert/opening through its Commissioning Program. Philip Glass serves on the Board of Directors of MATA and is Executive Director of the MATA Festival.

COMPOSERS ENG & FUNG: For the first time ever, the leading producers of new American musical theater works in New York City will present a combined festival free of charge to the public. Led by New York City Opera with its acclaimed annual series VOX: Showcasing American Composers, the group of Friends includes American Opera Projects, the Center for Contemporary Opera, Encompass New Opera Theatre and Music-Theatre Group. These companies have changed the landscape of opera and music theater in New York City with their unique programming and their dedication to keeping the genre alive with a flow of new work. New York City Opera is delighted to present this unique event hosted by Symphony Space in both the Peter Jay Sharp Theater and the Leonard Nimoy Thalia over three days this spring, May 25-27, 2004.

The 2004 edition of VOX: Showcasing American Composers—featuring, overwhelmingly, pieces set in the 20th century—continues to mix internationally renowned artists with the unknown and the unusual. Nobel laureate Toni Morrison teams with leading composer Richard Danielpour for the slave narrative Margaret Garner, while Brooklyn composer Jennifer Griffith gives us, in Dream President, a Brooklyn dominatrix musing on President Clinton; renowned microtonalist John Eaton remembers those notorious suicides in the Guyana jungle in The Reverend Jim Jones, while veteran minimalist Elodie Lauten celebrates Alan Ginsberg in her song-cycle as biography, Waking in New York. The Friends, too, continue the theme: Music Theatre Group offers Fangs, Deirdre Murray’s and Cornelius Eady’s first piece since their Pulitzer-nominated jazz opera, Running Man, while Center for Contemporary Opera presents VOX alumna Victoria Bond, Ruth Priscilla Kirstein, and Isaiah Sheffer examining the Constitutional Convention through the lens of Baroque opera-ballet in A More Perfect Union.

American Opera Projects presents Composers and the Voice on Tuesday, May 25 at 8PM New songs and arias by six composers, Randall Eng, Renee Favand, Peter Flint, Vivian Fung, Jennifer Griffith, and Stefan Weisman all written especially for the singers performing tonight: two soprani, a mezzo, a tenor, a baritone and a bass. These premiere pieces are the culmination of "Composers and the Voice," a year-long workshop series headed by American Opera Projects' Artistic Director Steven Osgood.

At the Sharp Theater.

Randall Eng’s opera Florida was performed on New York City Opera's VOX 2002 festival and the Public Theater's "New Work Now!" festival. Other theatrical works include Henry's Wife, Castor & Pollux, and the video opera The Woman in the Green Coat. Mr. Eng is a graduate of Harvard, Cambridge, and New York Universities.

Vivian Fung has received commissions and performances from such ensembles as the Seattle Symphony, New York Chamber Symphony, and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. She will be a composer-in-residence for both the San José Chamber Orchestra during the 2004-05 season and then for the Music in the Loft chamber music series in Chicago during the 2005-06 season.

Kick-Off Presentation will be on Tuesday. May 25, drinks 6pm; program 6:45pm.

New York City Opera Composer in Residence Mark Adamo hosts a select group of performers –including the always-charismatic Lauren Flanigan—to begin the VOX and Friends Festival. The program will include excerpts from Welfare, the world premiere opera by Lenny Picket with libretto by David R. Slavitt (AOP). Excerpts from The True Last Words of Dutch Schultz, written and directed by Valeria Vasilevski with music by Eric Salzman (CCO). At the Café and Thalia.

VOX 2004: Showcasing American Composers will be presented on Wednesday. May 26 and Thursday. May 27, 2-5:30PPM. Excerpts from eight American works-in-progress will be read by the City Opera Orchestra and soloists under Music Director George Manahan. Featured composers include Richard Danielpour (to an original libretto by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison), John Eaton, Tom Cipullo, Daniel Felsenfeld, Jennifer Griffith, Donald Hagar, Elodie Lauten, Adam Silverman. Leadership support for VOX 2004 is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. At Sharp Theater.

Grammy Award winner Richard Danielpour’s music has been heard throughout the United States and abroad. His commissions include many of the pre-eminent U.S. ensembles such as the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Mr. Danielpour is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards and fellowships. The original libretto for this opera is by Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison and is based upon events in the life of fugitive slave Margaret Garner, her case among the most significant and controversial of all antebellum fugitive slave histories.

SO PERCUSSION: On Tuesday, May 11, Cantaloupe Music will release the debut CD of SO PERCUSSION.  In the tradition of other Cantaloupe artists such as Alarm Will Sound, Ethel, and Gutbucket, So Percussion is young, powerful, virtuosic, and inspirational.  Playing fiercely intricate music mostly from memory is a feat in itself, but to play this music with such passion and intensity is dazzling, and will set the standard for percussion ensemble work for years to come.

So’s debut presents premiere recordings of two large-scale, ground-breaking works by Evan Ziporyn and David Lang, significantly adding to the percussion repertoire.

Evan Ziporyn’s Balinese gamelan-influenced "Melody Competition" intermixes a lush soundscape using mallet instruments from the across the globe with a driving competition between the players.  Halfway through, a musical game ensues in an old Balinese tradition, where the performers push themselves until one half of the group can no longer keep up.

David Lang’s "So-Called Laws of Nature" represents So’s first major commission from this heralded composer.  Lang is no stranger to the percussion world, having just completed a concerto for Evelyn Glennie, and written staples of the percussion repertoire such as "The Anvil Chorus" for Steven Schick (recorded on Bang on a Can’s first CD "Industry" on Sony Records).  So Percussion has performed "So-Called Laws of Nature" piece exhaustively, touring it across the country to wowed audiences. 

YOUNG CONCERT ARTISTS: The Claire Tow Concert will feature DaXun Zhang, Chinese double bassist with pianist Tomoko Kashiwagi and guest artists Chee-Yun on violin on Tuesday, May 18, 8PM. The program includes works by Adolf Misek, Beethoven, Yan-Aun Hua, Sarasate and Bottesini. For tickets, call 212-307-6656 or visit www.yca.org.

AT MERKIN HALL: Artists International will present Sungah Hong on piano on Saturday, May 15, 8:30PM at Merkin Hall on West 67 Street to perform works by Bach, Chopin, Liszt, Ravel and Prokofiev. For tickets, call 212-501-3330 or visit www.kaufman-center.org.

LINCOLN CENTER: Pianist Juny Jung will perform at Alice Tully Hall on Sunday,May 23, 8PM. For tickets, call CenterCharge at 212-721-6500.

ALSO AT CARNEGIE HALL: Orpheus Orchestra with Zhang Qiang on Pipa, on Tuesday, May 11, 8PM, Stern Auditorium, performing works by Tan Dun, Respighi, Ravel and Bartok. Yung Eun Choi, cello, plays on Sunday, May 15, 5:30PM at the Weill. Castelli Neuman Zhu Piano Trio in concert on Sunday, May 23, 8:30PM, Weill. Helen Cha-Pyo conducts the Empire State Youth Orchestra on Wednesday, May 26, 7:30PM, Weill in a program of works by Tan Dun, Corigliano and Bernstein. For tickets, call CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or visit www.carnegiehall.org.



Foreground: Joanna Chan, Artistic Director of Yangtze Rep; behind, L-R: Sridhar Shanmugam, Kevin Predmore (dancer and rehearsal director for works by Max Luna III), Max Luna III. Photo by Jonathan Slaff

YANGTZE REP: From May 13 to 16, Theater for the New City will present Yangtze Repertory Theatre in "Variations in a Foreign Land V," featuring new works by Asian choreographers Max Luna III, Cha-Lee Chan and Sridhar Shanmugam, for four performances in its Cino Theater.  Lighting design is by Dana Sterling.  This is Yangtze Rep's first dance production at Theater for the New City and its first production with an Indian choreographer. Theater for the New City (Cino Theater) is located at 155 First Ave. (at East 10th Street). For tickets, call 212-254-1109; Chinese language (718) 263-8829, or visit www.theaterforthenewcity.net.

The various participating ensembles include  artists from Japan, Korea, China, the U.S. and Guatemala, among others.  Of note are: Virginie Victoire Mecene  (a soloist with the Martha Graham Dance Company who has been simultaneously a member of the Buglishi/Forman Dance Company for ten years), Kevin Predmore (a dancer with Buglisi/Forman Dance and Pearl Lang Dance Theater who has performed internationally with the Martha Graham Dance Company and the Battery Dance Company.  He was rehearsal director for Max Luna's pieces in Luna's absence.); and the three musicians in Sridhar Shanmugam's company, Dr. Prof. T.V. Gopalakrishnan, Subhasis Bhattacharya and Viswanatha Bhagavathar.

Over the years, Yangtze Rep has presented a  succession of well-received dance concerts featuring both new and established choreographers.  This year's program includes works by two returning choreographers, Cha-Lee Chan (Hong Kong) and Max Luna III (Philippines), and one newcomer, Sridhar Shanmugam (India). 
Max Luna III (Philippines) has danced and created major roles in such internationally acclaimed companies as The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADC), Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal, The Joyce Trisler Danscompany, Ballet Hispanico, The Eglevsky Ballet, Ballet Nuevo Mondo de Caracas and Ballet Philippines.   He is a member of the dance faculty at  the AAADC, the City College of the City University of New York, Sarah Lawrence College, and Manhattanville College.  Mr. Luna choreographed "Tell Me I'm the Most Beautiful" for the AAADC, "Moro" and "Stigmata," a collaboration with Under Construction concert series, and the Ma-Yi Theater Ensemble's production of Brecht's "The Caucasian Chalk Circle."  He has created commissioned works for Ballet Asia, Asiad Contemporary Dance, the University of Detroit, and the University of Michigan.  Most recently, his works have been seen at Baardar Academy of Theater and Dance in Oslo, The Royal School in Copenhagen and  Florence Dance Center in Florence, Italy.  This is Mr. Luna's third collaboration with Yangtze Rep since 1999.

"The Hurt We Embrace" by Max Luna III

Mr. Luna will be represented by four pieces: "Exile," danced by Kevin Predmore to music by Shastakovitch, "Legenda," danced by Virginie Mecene to music by Ima Sumac, "Ebb and Flow," danced by five women and one man to music by Kruder and Dorfmeister, and "The Hurt We Embrace," danced by Virginie Mecen (a soloist of the Matha Graham company) and Kevin Predmore to music by Jan A.P. Kaezmarek.  All four works are costumed by Elena Comendador. 

"Synapse" by Sridhar Shanmugam

Sridhar Shanmugam (India) received training from the most prestigious school of dance in Tamil, Nadu, India. He began working with the legendary Chandralekha in 1983, becoming a core member of her ground breaking modern dance company eventually, and appeared in all her productions and in all major national and international dance festivals under the banner of India's Cultural Center Chennai. In the past two decades, Mr. Shanmugam has toured extensively around the world with his works in collaboration with world class artists such as Pina Bausch, the Nobel prize winning author Kenzaburo Oe, and Suzanna Linke, among others. Mr. Shanmugam has created many unique works based on his exacting training in Bharat Natyam traditional Indian dance, Rangoli painting, modern and post-modern dance, acting, choreography, stage lighting and theater directing. He is the recipient of the Sangeeth Natak Akademy Award, and the GIAI Award for culture and ecology under the Time Out Dance umbrella. His life-long devotion to children has kept him near the classroom where he choreographs for young people and offers counseling through arts and open communications.

Mr. Shanmugam will be represented by "Trinethra," a dance rooted in the traditional Indian classical Bharatnatyam style with yoga and contemporary influences, and "Synapse," an improvisatory work for five dancers with an amalgamation of contemporary Indian concepts.

"Children of the Motherless Land" by Cha-Lee Chan

Cha-Lee Chan (Hong Kong) has been a resident choreographer of the Yangtze Repertory Theatre since 1993.  Her original works were featured in Yangtze's, "Among Us" (1996), the previous four installments of "Variations in a Foreign Land" (1997, 1998, 2000 and 2002); and TNC's Lower East Side Festival of the Arts from 1996 through 2002..   In 1996, she choreographed Joanna Chan's production of "The Eternal Game" and in 2003, she choreographed Chan's "The Soongs: By Dreams Betrayed."  She is a former member of the Hong Kong Dance Company, with which she toured Australia, Japan and England.   Her lectures and demonstrations of traditional Chinese dance have been sponsored by various arts, cultural and educational organizations in Columbus, Ohio; Wayne County, Michigan; Salem State College, Massachusetts; and in New York City. She holds an M.A. in Dance and Dance Education from Columbia and founded her own company, eDance (www.edancecorp.com), in 2000.  One of its programs, "China Then and Now: A Poetic Journey through Dance," a touring college-level lecture series, is an affiliate program of Yangtze Rep.

Cha-Lee Chan  will be represented by "Children of the Motherless Land," a dance on the theme that in the world of the living, wars wage; and there are the children who bear the consequences.  It is performed by six dancers to music by Da-you Lo.

Yangtze Repertory Theatre, under the direction of Joanna Chan, has presented 55 events since its founding in 1992.  Both of its productions next season (2004-5) will be co-productions with Theater for the New City.  The Autumn show will be "The Sun Shall Rise," a 1930s drama by China's premiere playwright Cao Yu (author of Yangtze Rep's founding production, "The Wilderness"), to be performed in Mandarin with English subtitles.  For the Spring show, Artistic Director Joanna Chan will direct her own English adaptation of the novel, "People, Oh People" by Dai Hou Ying (China).  The author, who died in 1996, was one of the foremost voices of the "Wounded Literature" movement,  which examines the human cost of the Cultural Revolution. 

Yuriko in Martha Graham's "Embattled Garden"

TRIBUTE TO YURIKO: Japan Society proudly presents "Tribute to Yuriko: Boundless Talent," Monday, May 17 at 7:30PM. The multimedia event is a special tribute to the life and work of 84 year-old Yuriko, gifted dancer and teacher, innovative choreographer, and the first Japanese-American star of the Broadway stage. For reservations or more information, call 212-752-3015 or visit www.japansociety.org. Japan Society is located at 333 E. 47th St.

After a illuminating introduction by Emiko Tokunaga, Artistic Director, Summer Dance, Boston Conservatory about the life and times of the inimitable artist, Tribute to Yuriko: Boundless Talent begins with a narrated video montage, in which archival footage from Yuriko’s personal collection unfurls with clips from The King and I, Graham's Primitive Mysteries and A Dancer's World. Immediately following, The New York Time's Senior Dance Critic Anna Kisselgoff moderates a conversation between Yuriko and maverick modern dance choreographer Paul Taylor, also a former Martha Graham soloist. The evening concludes with current Martha Graham Company principal dancer Miki Orihara performing a segment of Cry, choreographed by Yuriko.


Born in San Jose, California, and trained in Japan, Yuriko demonstrated grace, passion and inventiveness throughout the most trying circumstances in her life. While studying at UCLA as a young woman with U.S. citizenship, she was wrongfully interned at the Gila River Relocation Center in 1942. She bravely decided to make her way to New York with only $100 and a one-way bus ticket. While working as a seamstress in New York, Yuriko studied with Martha Graham, who invited her to join the company in 1944. She would later take over some of Graham's roles and was the first member of the Graham Company to perform the role of Mary in Primitive Mysteries after Graham herself. Yuriko was cast in the role of Eliza in Jerome Robbins' original Broadway and film productions of The King and I, and later restaged the work herself in Israel, London, Tokyo and throughout the United States.


As one of the most distinguished teachers of the Graham technique, Yuriko continues to help companies restage Graham's works as they enter into public domain. In response to Yuriko's recreation of Martha Graham's seminal Appalachian Spring with Joffrey Ballet of Chicago in 2000, The New York Times hailed "Luckily […] there are experts like Yuriko, the [now 84-year-old] Graham expert and former principal with the Graham Company, who has staged the Joffrey’s eye-popping production. It is one that should be a lesson to all who love Graham’s work as a whole […] this 'Spring' is different because Yuriko has staged it. She has restored the work’s coherence, clarifying the choreography’s meaning and directed it so strongly that the whole piece snaps onto an

DANCE AT ASIA SOCIETY: City/Dans: Eiko & Koma with Sharon Dennis Wyeth Tree Song, Thursday-Sunday, May 27-30, 8:30 PM at Danspace Project, 131 East 10 Street at 2nd Avenue, New York City. Performed in the graveyard of St. Mark's Church, Eiko & Koma continue their exploration of the body as a part of the landscape - and this landscape as an extension of the body. Author and singer Sharon Wyeth (whose books for young adults have received numerous awards) performs songs that blend the text with music composed by her 19-year old daughter, Georgia Wyeth. For more information, visit www.danspaceproject.org. Free Admission. Please call (212) 674-8194 for reservations and weather cancellations. (Rain or shine unless thunderstorms)

Dancing Asia/New York, Friday, May 14, 8:00PM, Saturday, May 15, 8:00PM. Curated by Japanese-born contemporary dancers Eiko & Koma, this playful program features a salon of Asian and Asian American New York-based dancers from different backgrounds, performing on a 6' by 6' platform – "dance shorts in a small space". Participants include Eiko & Koma, Yoshiko Chuma, Uttara Asha Coorlawala, Koosil-ja Hwang, U Win Maung, Yin Mei, Rajika Puri, Aki Sasamoto, John Mario Sevilla, Muna Tseng, Keo Wilford among others. Copresented with Danspace Project.

Asia Society and Museum is located at 725 Park Avenue at 70th Street, New York City,

For tickets, call 212-517-ASIA.



Pacifika: E Ola Ka Olelo Hawaii

PACIFICKA – NY HAWAIIAN FILM FEST: The Hawaiian Cultural Foundation, in collaboration with NYU Tisch Shool of the Arts, Graduate Dept. of Film and Television, will kick off its 2nd annual Pacifica, New York Hawaiian Film Festival from May 21 - 23. Integrating lectures, workshops, theatrical works, live music and dance, the Festival will present works that explore history, human rights and identity of Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. The Festival opens on Friday, May 21, 7PM at the Cantor Film Center with the New York premieres of "On the Waves of Wikiki" by Desoto Brown and "The Ride" by Nathan Kurosawa with a special live performance during the reception by renowned Hawaiian entertainer Robert Cazimero. For more info and tickets, call 212-966-3378 or visit www.hawaiiculturalfoundation.org.

Films of interest to this writer include "Daniel K. Inouye: An American Story" by Heather Giugni to be screened on Saturday, May 22, 4PM at Tisch Ground Floor. A fascinating and compelling biography about the life and times of Hawaii’s renowned and highly respected Senator Daniel K. Inouye. Through interviews, testimonials, archival and contemporary footage, the documentary assembles a picture of Senator Inouye’s principled fortitude through growing up as a Japanese American in Hawaii, fighting in WWII and during his rise in American politics. The film gives a moving and detailed portrait of a man who has not only been part of American history, but has been acting in making it. An exceptional life translates into a film of inspiration.

"E Ola Ka ;Olelo Hawai’I (The Hawaiian Language Shall Live) by Aha Punana Leo & Na Maka O Ka Aina will be shown on Saturday, May 22, 12Noon, at Tisch 108. The film celebrates the efforts of a people determined to save their native tongue from the brink of extinction. One hundred years ago, the American backed Republic of Hawaii banned Hawaiian as the language of instruction in the school. As island children were systematically punished for speaking Hawaiian, the number of native speakers dropped precipitously over the following century. Since the early 1980s, however, the effort to revive the language has grown, until today there are 21 Hawaiian language schools throughout the islands with over 1,000 students. This piece tells the story of how a small group of scholars and native speakers struggled to bring back the language that their ancestors were forced to give up.

From New Zealand, "Ngatahi (Know the Links) by Matakahi Dean Hapeta will be presented on Sunday, May 23, 5PM, at Tisch Room 108. An official selection of the 2004 Sundance Film Festival this urban socio-politically charged "Rapumentary" by Aotearoa hip hop artist turned digital filmmaker Dean Hapeta, aka "Te Kupu", contributed to the evolution of the hip hop form. Traveling from New York to Paris, Sydney to Kinston, and Ottawa to Columbia, Te Kupu explores the use of hip-hop as a medium for expression by the oppressed. From indigenous assertions in Hawaii and Ottawa to land protests I Aotearoa, Te Kupu takes viewers on a global tour of native hip hop, poetry street art ad activism.

Special presentation program includes a Kava Ceremony and lecture on Sunday, May 23, 4PM, Tisch Room 109, Called Kava, "awa" or Awa throughout Polynesia, this narcotic beverage brewed by Polynesians from the root of the giant pepper plant was used principally to induce relaxation and sleep. In historic times, it has been said to have been used by all classes of people and offered to the gods through ceremony. Mehanaokala Hind and Kekailoa Perry from the University of Hawaiian Studies will discuss the history, preparation, uses and significance of "awa in Hawaiian culture, followed by a kava ceremony demonstration. Kava was donated by Hale Noa.

Kahurangi Maori Dance Theater (Cloak from Heaven) will perform on Sunday, May 23, 7PM, at the Cantor Film Center. Kahurangi is New Zealand’s only full tie Maori Dance Theatre of professional caliber to maintain a consistent presence in North America for the past 12 years. A performance by Kahurangi brings to life the ihi or life force of the Maori, through the songs and dances that are part of the history and fabric of Maori life.


JAPAN SOCIETY FILM CENTER: Japan Society Film Center concludes its spring 2004 season with the New York premiere of director Masayuki Suo’s 1989 film "Fancy Dance (Fanshii dansu)" on Wednesday, May 12, at 6:30PM. This is last of nine films in the series, From Manga to Eiga: Japanese comic Books Live on Screen that showcases films (eiga) adapted from comics or graphic novels (manga) with real-life actors made from the 1950s to the present. The hilarious comedy, Fancy Dance (Fanshii dansu), is based on the popular manga by Reiko Okano. Producer Shoji Masui (of Shall We Dance? [1996] and Waterboys [2001]) will be present at the screening to introduce the film and for discussion. Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street. For tickets, call 212-752-3015 or visit www.japansociety.org

Yohei, a college student who sings in a rock band, must go through a rigorous one-year training session at a Zen temple in the remote mountains so that he can eventually manage his father’s temple. Together with his younger brother, Yohei faces the rigid disciplines of Zen teaching and the emotional journey that goes along with it. Masayuki Suo’s hilarious comedy based on Reiko Okano’s manga was the first collaboration between Suo and producer Shoji Masui; other Suo-Masui duo films are the popular Shall We Dance? (currently being remade with Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez in the title roles) and Sumo Do Sumo Don’t (1992).

asian magician on film: Asia Society and the Society of American Magicians present a screening of The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam (Ann Marie Fleming/2003/90 min./35mm), a documentary about one of America’s forgotten entertainers, on Wednesday, May 26 at 6:30PM. Chinese-born Long Tack Sam – an acrobat, magician, comic and linguist – was one of the greatest vaudeville acts of the early 20th century. For tickets, call 212-517-ASIA

Canadian filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming travels the globe to unravel the mystery of her great-grandfather, a once internationally acclaimed entertainer, who opened for the Marx Brothers and became Orson Welles' mentor. This documentary is part mystery, part memoir and a playful mix of interviews, old snapshots and innovative animation. A discussion with Ann Marie Fleming follows the screening. For more information on Long Tack Sam, visit www.longtacksam.com.

FILM AT ASIA SOCIETY: Sangam (Prashant Bhargava/2004/28 min./video)

Thursday, May 13, 7:00PM.. Raj (Hesh Sarmalkar), a recent immigrant from poverty-stricken Bihar, India and Vivek (Sanjay Chandani), a disillusioned Indian American, cross paths on a Brooklyn-bound subway. As each longs for what the other takes for granted, they face the currents that bind, divide and drive them. Sangam takes its name from the major pilgrimage site in Prayag, India, where three rivers-the Ganges, the Jamuna and the mythical Saraswati-meet, but do not mix. The film weaves traditional narrative with experimental techniques, and debuted at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. A discussion with writer and director Bhargava and actor Sarmalkar moderated by Rachel Cooper, Asia Society, follows screening. A New York premiere. Reception follows.

Asia Society and Museum is located at 725 Park Avenue at 70th Street, New York City,

For tickets, call 212-517-ASIA.

ASIAN FILMS AT TRIBECA: A number of films from Asia were featured at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. As of this posting, viewers can still catch movies from Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.

The Tribeca Film Festival was founded by De Niro, Rosenthal and Hatkoff to celebrate New York City as a major filmmaking capital and to contribute to the long-term recovery of lower Manhattan after the attacks of September 11, 2001. For more information on the Tribeca Film Festival and to purchase tickets, the public should visit the Tribeca Film Festival website at www.tribecafilmfestival.org or call 1-866-941-FEST (3378).


On Saturday, May 8, the following will be screened:

"A Tale of Two Sisters", by Jee-Woon Kim, South Korea, After a long illness, two sisters return home to a distant father and a cruel stepmother. Dreams about their late mother awaken Su-mi the next morning. Strange things begin to happen from that moment on. Based loosely on an old Korean folk Tale, Jee-Woon Kim’s fresh approach twists the source material into a narrative jigsaw puzzle that will leave you guessing until the end. UA Theater 10, Midnight, 5/8.

"Blind Camel", by Vinod Ganatra, India. It isn’t easy to cross the border between Pakistan and India, even for a camel. The only Indian film to win an award at this year’s Golden Elephant International Children’s Film Festival at Hyderaband, "Blind Camel" tells the enchanting story of a child who unwittingly crosses the border from India into Pakistan in pursuit of his stray camel herd. UA Theater 5, 11AM, 5/8.

"The Butterfly Lovers", by Tsai Min-Ching, Taiwan. In this animated retelling of a traditional Chinese legend, a young woman disguises herself as a boy and leaves home to attend school. She meets her true love but when the machinations of a rival student threaten to expose her, she must choose between protecting her family and being with the man she loves. UAT Theater 8, Noon, 5/8.

"Delamu", by Tian Zhuangzhuang, China,Japan. One of China’s great filmmakers offers a rare glimpse at a culture nearly untouched by modern civilization, in the remote borer area between China’s Yunnan Province and Tibet. As in ancient times, all transport relies on horse caravan, and the zigzagging route offers breathtaking prospects of high mountain slopes, dense forests, deep gorges, and barren wastelands. UA Theater 9, 2:45PM, 5/8.

"Last Life in the Universe", by Pen-ek Tatanaruang, Thailand. All the beauty, terror, humor, uncertainty, and paradoxes of modern Asia merge in Ratanaruang’s richly stylized tale of an obsessive compulsive, suicidal Japanese librarian with a mysterious past and an insouciant Thai prostitute with an uncertain future. Vibrant cinematography by Christopher Doyle and subtle performances have already made the film a hit and an award winner at festivals worldwide. UA Theater 11, 8:30PM, 5/8.

"The Butterfly Lovers", by Tsai Min-Ching, Taiwan. In this animated retelling of a traditional Chinese legend, a young woman disguises herself as a boy and leaves home to attend school. She meets her true love but when the machinations of a rival student threaten to expose her, she must choose between protecting her family and being with the man she loves. UAT Theater 8, Noon, 5/8.

On Sunday, May 9, the following films will be screen:

"Right Here, Right Now," by Anand Gandhi, India. In his haste to go out, a young man yells at his mother, beginning a chain of causation that eventually comes full circle. A tale of karmic redemption, set on the streets of India and told with two shots, seven languages, 17 locations, and 19 characters. UA Theater 5, 2:45PM, 5/9.

"Magnifico," by Maryo J. de los Reyes, Philippines. In this heartwarming family tale, a young boy’s selfless gestures transform his family’s many miseries into joy and acceptance. Jiro Manio is a revelation in the title role, while Michiko Yamamoto’s perception script, Flores’ fluid camerawork, and de los Reyes’ intelligent direction manage to sustain an air of magical enchantment without descending into bathos. UA Theater 9, 12:15PM, 5/9.

"Zatoichi", by Takeshi Kitano, Japan. A stunning revival of one of the iconic characters of Japanese popular culture, Zatoichi, the blind masseur sworn to defend the innocent. Violent showdowns ensure when Zatoichi wanders into a town run by sinister gangs and a powerful samurai. In Japanese auteur Kitano’s first period film stylistically choreographed swordplay mixes with a multi layered story, creating a powerful, wild romp. UAT Theater 6, 1PM, 5/9.

"The Green Hat", by Liu Fen Dou, China. A startling break with the historical and political concerns of recent Chinese cinema, Liu’s film is noteworthy not only for its unprecedented sexual candor but because it announces the arrival of a major new talent The green hat is the Chinese equivalent of the cuckold’s horns, and two different stories explore how people today are struggling to transcend traditional definitions of love. UA Theater 11, 3PM, 5/9.

"The People of Angkor," by Rithy Ranh, Cambodia. This is not just another film about Angkor, the world famous monument, but about those who live and work there: a young peddler uncertain about his future, a peasant with his cherished fighting cock. These are stories of pain and hope, in which the past and present complement each other and humor helps people cope with the anguish of survival. UA Theater 4, 3:15PM, 5/9.

FILMMAKERS OF COLOR AT TRIBECA: Tribeca All Access, the Tribeca Film Institute's new program for fostering relationships between US-based filmmakers of color and the film industry, has selected 24 projects out of 330 entries to be a part of the new program making its debut at this year's Festival. A number of Asian and Asian American filmmakers participated in the program, including Tanuj Chopra, Chris Lee, Ellie Lee, Mora Mi-Ok Stephens, Gret Pak, Mridu Chandra, and Pacific Islander Sergio Goes,


Tribeca All Access offered four days of events designed generate exposure for a select group of US-based directors of color. All Access arranged over 350 meetings for program participants with representatives of over 75 film industry companies during this year's Film Festival. The centerpiece of the program is a slate of individually tailored half-hour meetings between participating filmmakers and over 100 industry decision-makers, including private investors, production companies, development executives, agents and representatives.


Tanuj Chopra’s Project, ‘Punching at the Sun’ - An urban fairy tale of loss and redemption as through the eyes of a Queens bred South Asian teenager. Chopra's short films have been featured in various film festivals worldwide. His most recent work is Butterfly, which has played at 18 international film festivals and has won 3 best short film awards. Chopra is currently working toward his MFA in film at Columbia University.


Chris Lee’s Project: "Undoing" - After a mysterious absence, a man returns to L.A. one year after his best friend's murder, to revisit a former life in an attempt to reunite with the woman he loves. Lee wrote and directed his first feature length film, Yellow, in 1997. It played in numerous film festivals worldwide and was released theatrically by Phaedra Cinema. Pam Grier to star. Produced by Catherine Park.


Ellie Lee’s Project: "The Road Home" - The story of a strained relationship between a Chinese American daughter and her immigrant father who is struggling with the early signs of Alzheimer's. Lee is a director of documentary, fiction and animated films that have screened in over 100 festivals worldwide. She has received 25 international awards, and is a 2004 Rockefeller/Ford Foundation Media Arts Fellow. Her current short films, Repetition Compulsion and Dog Days can be seen on the Independent Film Channel. Produced by Diana Williams.


Mora Mi-Ok Stephen’s Project: "Georgia Heat" - A Korean G.I. wife living in Georgia in 1968 finds herself caught between her American family and her distant past when she learns that the son she left behind in Korea thirteen years earlier is coming to visit her. Stephens, an alumni of the NYU Tisch Graduate Film Program, has directed numerous short films and plays including Breaking Bread which aired on Showtime in September 2003. Produced by Paul Yi and Joel Viertel.


Greg Pak’s Project: "The Dead Boy" - Fatally hit by a car on the same day that he asks his high school crush to the Halloween dance, Wilson is determined not to let death stand between him and the date of a lifetime. Pak is an award-winning writer and director whose first feature film, Robot Stories, is currently in domestic theatrical release and has won 29 prizes at film festivals worldwide. Pak was recently named one of Filmmaker Magazine's 25 Independent Filmmakers to Watch. Produced by Karen Chien.

Mridu Chandra’s Project: "Ram Kali Taxi" - A verité documentary film that weaves together the story of a New York City taxi driver named Om Dutta Sharma, with those of two girls in a school that he founded in his home village in India. This will be Chandra's directorial debut. She produced Let the Church Say Amen; and was co-producer on Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin.


Sergio Goes’ Project: "Eddie Would Go: The Story of Eddie Aikau, Hawaiian Hero" -

The compelling story of Hawaiian surfing legend Eddie Aikau's life and legacy, and an important chronicle of the Hawaiian Renaissance movement. Goes' feature-length documentary Black Picket Fence was the winner of the HBO Feature Documentary Award and the Charles Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award at the Full Frame Film Festival.

Of the 24 selected projects, 15 are narrative scripts (out of 255 narrative submissions), and nine are documentary proposals (out of 80 documentary submissions). Of those filmmakers selected to participate, 33% are African American, 33% are Latino, 25% are Asian American and 9% are Native American.



World on Fire, with Amy Chua at The Workshop. Amy Chua, author of New York Times-bestseller World on Fire: How Exporting. Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability (Anchor Books), comes to The Workshop to discuss the failures of globalization and market-dominant minorities with WBAI radio host Andy Hsiao. Co-sponsored with WBAI Radio. $5 suggested donation. Amy Chua is a professor at Yale Law School. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Prospect, Amnesty International, and The Wilson Quarterly. She frequently lectures on globalization, including most recently, lectures to the CIA and the United Nations. World on Fire was named a Best Book of 2003 by The Economist.

Wednesday, May 19, Selected Shorts: A Night with Symphony Space and National Public Radio. A perspicacious Korean American school girl, a veteran of 20th century war and President Clinton in an Indian village. Featuring actors Dawn Akemi
Saito, Eli Wallach and Asif Mandvi reading short stories from Min Jin Lee¹s
³Best Girls,² Patrick Keppel¹s ³A Vectoral History of Leroy Pepin² and Meera
Nair¹s ³A Warm Welcome to the President, Insh¹ Allah.² 6:30 pm at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at West 95th Street. Call 212.864.5400 for tickets.

Thursday, May 20, New Literary Frontiers. Asian American poets Tina Chang, Ravi Shankar and Prageeta Sharma read from their new collections of poetry. In Chang¹s collection, Half-Lit Houses, (Four Way Books), her pieces delve into the past and address problems of family and heritage that revolve around a mythical father. Combining rumination with the use of language as an instrument for music, Shankar¹s Instrumentality (Word Press) draws the reader deeper into the works with currents of Indian spirituality and western philosophy. Sharma¹s second collection, The Opening Question (Fence Books), is filled with poems that run the gamut from imaginary urban landscapes to chronological histories. Reception and book signing follow. $5 students; $7 members; $12 non-members. Made possible with the support of the Booth Ferris Foundation. 7 pm at The Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue, at East 70th Street. Call 212.288.6400 for info / tickets.

Thursday, May 27, Poetry Book Launch: The Temperature of This Water, by Ishle Yi Park. Join us at the launch for Ishle Yi Park¹s new book, The Temperature of This Water (Kaya Press), introduced by Eric Gamalinda. Park¹s vision encompasses the lovers, criminals, mothers, and gangbangers who live behind the closed doors of New York City immigrant life, tracing the paths of prisoners meeting girlfriends, Korean comfort women, and .44s shot from rooftops in Brooklyn. Co-sponsored by Kaya Press, Columbia¹s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, A/P/A Studies Program & Institute at NYU, Rutgers Korean Students Association and CAAAV. $5 suggested donation. Reading, guitar and Q&A. Champagne reception to follow. 7 pm at The Workshop

Thursday, May 20, 6:30PM: Meet the Authors, New Literary Frontiers: Asian American Poetry. Asian American poets Tina Chang, Ravi Shankhar and Prageeta Sharma read from their collections of poetry. Reception and book signing follow. Cosponsored by the Asian American Writers’ Workshop.


LES FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS: To demonstrate the creative explosion of the Lower East Side and the area's importance to culture and tourism for New York City, a score of stars and over 100 performing arts organizations, independent artists, poets, politicians and film makers will join forces May 28 to 30 in the Lower East Side's Ninth Annual Festival of the Arts (LES), in and around Theater for the New City at First Avenue and East Tenth Street.  This three-day, indoor and outdoor festival of theater is organized by TNC and a coalition of civic, cultural and business leaders and is free to all New Yorkers.  Last year, over 3,000 people attended. 

The festival will be three days of theater and theater-related events, from Friday, May 28 to Sunday, May 30 employing three theater spaces at TNC plus the block of East Tenth Street between First and Second Avenues.  On Saturday, May 29 there will be a day-long, block-long outdoor carnival of musical attractions and a community arts fair with food and crafts vendors.  The list of attractions includes artists presently residing on the Lower East Side, arts groups performing there, prominent writers and artists whose work has dealt directly with the Lower East Side experience and plays written especially for this festival.  The distinct ethnic communities of the Lower East Side are amply represented, including the Latin American, African American, Chinese, Indian, Irish, Italian, Jewish, Native American, Polish and Ukrainian communities.  The audience information and reservations number is (212) 254-1109.   The complete lineup and hour-by-hour schedule will be posted on www.theaterforthenewcity.net on and after May 18.

Performers include: Reno, F. Murray Abraham, Judith Malina & Hannon Reznikov, Dan Lauria, Epstein & Hassan, ZEROboy, Faceboy, The Red Bastard, Vinie Burrows, Lavinia Co-op, steve ben israel, Tuli Kupferberg, Taylor Meade, Richard West, John Grimaldi, Adira Amram, Fred Geobold, Crystal Field, Richard Kiamco, Abigail Ramsay, Patrick Harper, Inma Heredia, Kevin Mitchell Martin, Alex McDonald, Carmen Mofongo, Margo Lee Sherman, Michael Tenaglia, Gary Wagner, Joe Lynn Sharrow, Chris Wells, Franka Fiala, Ted Mornell, Hope DeBates, Mindi Levokove,  Primy Rivera, Ray Santiago (Afro-Cuban Band), The Wau Wau Sisters, Heather Raffo, Helen Stratford, Jonathan Weber, Gary Goodrow, Inma Heredia, Lorca Peress, Richard West

Dance companies to perform include: Rod Rodgers Dance Company, Kinding Sindaw, Thunderbird American Indian Dancers, Mariana Beckermann, Amy Marshall Dance Co., Andre Brown Tap 'n Rap, Cha-Lee Chan,  Beledi, Kriota Wilburg Dance Co., Gloria McLean, Lifedance, Sharti Dance Company, Van Bommel Dance Company

Bangladesh Theater of America (BTA), Yangtze Repertory Theater Company, SALAAM Theater, Suiyo Kai, Fuiyo Kai Company are featured as well as Theater for the New City, Nuyorican Poets Café, LaMaMa E.T.C. (Jim Neu & company), The Public Theater-New Works Now Series, DADA newyork, Missile Dick Chicks, Collective Unconscious, Frank Silvera Writer's Workshop, , WOW Café, The Living Theater, Angry Jellow Bubbles, Black Box Entertainment, Flavah, Franklin Furnace, Lovesphere, Omnificent Ink Productions, Outer Productions, Gene Ruffini Group, Wise Guise, Cherry Lane Theatre, Dixon Place, Human Kinetics, Women Naked, Mambo Sky, THAW, All Out Arts, Billionaires for Bush, Latino Experimental Fantastic Theatre, More Gardens and Teatro Teba.

Children’s attractions include: John Grimaldi, New York Lyric Circus, The LOISAIDA Players Project, Theater for the New City Arts in Education Program, The International Nisei Goju-Ryu Karate-Ju-Jitsu-Arhis World Headquarters, Action Racket Theatre, Ben Korman, Arielle Korman, The Mad Mechanicals do Pyramis and Thisbe, EDG Experimental Dance Group, The Mac Donald Family, Kalidascope Dance, Miles Angerson, Alex Strong & Louise Rogers, Kaitlin Cullen-Verhauz, Sean Conover

Works by Jeanette Arnone, Gary Azon, Tim Becker, Pascal Benichou, Zenzele Browne, Theresa Byrnes, Jen Caban, Kathleen Connell, Will Corwin, Thom Corn, Carla Cubit, Richie Fahey, Marcellus Hall, Miho Hamada, Sarah Hauser, Dominik Huber, Julius Klein, Corky Lee , Mac McGill, Charles Mingus III, Lissa Moira, Dana Parlier, Rochelle Pashkin, Luis Perez, Max Schumann, Ray Skerrett, Bart Slomkowski, Jennifer Solomon, Seth Tobocman, Ron Zajac, Sebastian Zappulla will be exhibited. [Abalos]

Copyright © 2004 Marilyn Abalos.
Marilyn Abalos is an arts writer published in Asian New Yorker, AsianWeek, Filipinas and Filipino Reporter.

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