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ASIANS and AMAZONS BY MARILYN ABALOS
inside news about Asians and women on stage
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WONG IN FAUST IN LOVE: David Greenspan and Eunice Wong will head the cast of "Faust In Love", a new adaptation of the ever-popular love story at the center of Goethe's masterpiece "Faust", to be given its world-premiere production by Target Margin Theater, previewing March 17th prior to opening March 23rd at the Ohio Theatre (66 Wooster, between Spring and Broome) in New York City. Adapted for the Obie Award-winning Target Margin Theater by Douglas Langworthy, "Faust In Love" is directed by David Herskovits, artistic director of Target Margin. For tickets, call 212-358-3657 or online at www.TargetMargin.org.
"Faust In Love" is the 2nd installment of Target Margin Theater's three-year, three-part undertaking to adapt Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's "Faust," the author's 18th-century epic about a scholar who makes a pact with the Devil. Target Margin began its sprawling, multi-year effort to adapt Goethe's work for the stage with "These Very Serious Jokes" at the HERE Arts Center in Soho in January 2004. The third and final installment of Target Margin's "Faust" project will conclude in the fall/winter of '05-’06. According to Mr. Herskovits, Target Margin plans to perform all three parts of its "Faust" adaptation in a "Nicholas Nickleby"-style presentation (a marathon style production) to complete its 2006 season.
As he did in "These Very Serious Jokes", Mr. Greenspan portrays Mephisto in "Faust In Love" Joining him will be George Hannah as Faust and Ms. Wong as Gretchen, the young woman with whom Faust is besotted in Goethe's classic, along with Nicole Halmos, Wayne Alon Scott and Kendra Ware.
Mr. Herskovits, who directed with "These Very Serious Jokes", notes that
"Faust In Love" covers the portion of Goethe's tale - the love story -- that most people are familiar with, and which has been the inspiration for many operas and musical compositions for centuries: Berlioz's "Damnation of Faust," Schubert's "Gretchen am Spinnarade," Gounod's "Faust," Wagner's "A Faust Overture," and others.
David Greenspan, one of New York's most beguiling and quixotic actors, made his debut with Target Margin Theater with "These Very Serious Jokes". He recently appeared at Playwrights Horizons in his own play "She Stoops to Comedy". Eunice Wong most recently starred in the title role of the National Asian-American Theatre Company’s production of "Antigone". Ms. Wong’s other credits include "The House of Bernarda Alba" and NAATCO’s "Eyes of the Heart." George Hannah previously appeared in Target Margin Theater’s with "These Very Serious Jokes".
Now in its 14th season, Target Margin Theater is one of the country's leading troupes dedicated to experimenting with the classics in fresh and unexpected ways: to date, director Herskovits and company have mounted imaginative (not to mention critically well-received, and popular with audiences, too!) productions of Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Beaumarchais, Chekhov, along with an assortment of new works as well as forgotten plays by American writers, including "Mamba’s Daughter" by Dorothy and DuBose Heyward, for which Target Margin received two Village Voice Obie Awards.
MA-YI’S DISCOVERY SERIES: Ma-Yi Theatre Company will present "Off the Page: New Works 2005" in March. Each week, Ma-Yi will present the new work of an Asian-American playwright, allowing the author a venue to hear and see their written word, creating a forum for growth. The series is designed to provide artists with a supportive home where they can hone individual and collective skills. The works presented include: "Infinitude" by Sung Rno, directed by Loy Arcenas, March 3-6; "Unseeded" by Edward Bok Lee, directed by Erica Gould, March 10-13; and "The Winchester House" by Julia Cho, directed by Christine Simpson, March 17-20. Seating is limited. To reserve seating, call 212-971-4862
"Infinitude" by Sung Rno, is Youknowthatmomentwhenyourealizetheworldisnot boundlessandendlessbutactuallyquitefinite&compromised&messedupbeyondbeliefyetyoustillholdontothoseyouthfulideasyeswellthatswhatthisplayisaboutkinda. Edward Bok Lee’s "Unseeded" is about Richard and Molly, a fast-maturing married couple, has hired the younger Seraya, as a surrogate to bear their first child. Six months into her pregnancy, Seraya admits to the couple that the baby is likely not from Richard's artificially inseminated sperm, but from a real donor (her on-again/off-again lover) ─ Robert, a black man. Will this affect the desperate couple's decision to still accept the baby as their own? What will this new possible racial dynamic teach Molly and Richard about their own relationship, stereotypes, and prejudices? And what will happen when Broyce, Seraya's ex-boyfriend, returns to reclaim her true love? A play with songs, "The Winchester House" by Julia Cho is about the unreliability of memory as well as its surprising ability to endure. Via’s attempts to uncover what happened on one summer evening years ago lead her to face some hard truths about her own family and herself.
Sung Rno’s work has been produced by East West Players, Thick Description, Asian American Theater Company, North West Asian American Theater, San Diego Asian American Rep, Dance Theater Workshop, Immigrants' Theater Project, Seoul International Theater Festival, Ma-Yi Theater Company, and the New York International Fringe Festival. wAve received its world premiere in the 2003-2004 season at Ma-Yi Theater Company. Honors include a NEA/TCG playwriting fellowship, a New York Fringe Festival Best Overall Production, directed by the author), a Van Lier/New Dramatists playwriting fellowship, a Van Lier/New York Theater Workshop playwriting fellowship, first prize in the Seattle Multicultural Playwrights' Festival, and commissions from the Mark Taper Forum, the Joseph Papp Public Theater, and Ma-Yi Theater Company. His plays and poetry are published in the anthologies But Still, Like Air, I'll Rise (Temple Press); Premonitions (Kaya Press); and The Nuyorasian Anthology (Asian American Writers Workshop). He received a BA in physics from Harvard and a MFA in creative writing from Brown. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild.
Edward Bok Lee is from Fargo, North Dakota by way of Korea, and developed his first full-length play, St. Petersburg (presented at the Joseph Papp Public Theatre in 2000), while enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Slavic Languages and Literatures at Berkeley. His plays have been produced in New York, Providence, and throughout the Twin Cities, and have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Take Ten II (Vintage Books, forthcoming), Best Ten-Minute Plays 2003-2004 (Smith & Kraus), and Ten-Minute Plays from the Guthrie Theater 2001 (Playscripts, Inc.). A two-time national Jerome Playwriting Fellow in Minneapolis, he received an M.F.A. from Brown University and has taught courses there, at Augsburg College, and at the Asian American Writers' Workshop in New York, among various other learning institutions, conferences, and detention centers across the country. He is a current Writing Fellow at the New York Theatre Workshop.
IPHIGENIA: La MaMa E.T.C. presents "Iphigenia," the newest work by acclaimed puppet artist Theodora Skipitares. Previews begin March 17, prior to an official press opening of March 20 at La MaMa E.T.C. (74A East 4th Street) in Manhattan. Nicky Paraiso joins the company as puppeteer. Performances run Thursdays through Sundays through April 3 at 7:30 PM. For reservations, call 212-475-7710.
"Iphigenia," adapted from Euripides by Ms. Skipitares, features five-foot Bunraku puppets strapped to the front of actors' bodies at the head, the chest, the waist, and the knees. Each veiled actor speaks his lines from behind the puppet, much as an actor might have spoken his lines from behind a large Greek mask in ancient Greek theatre. "Iphigenia" is a story of betrayal and deception in the name of war. The puppets are an eerie construction of facade and public display, while their operators are a shadow of primal, often raw emotions and personal desires.
The company consists of puppeteers who have worked with Ms. Skipitares for more than a decade; they include Chris Maresca, Nicky Paraiso, Alissa Mello, and Amanda Villalobos. The cast is rounded out by newcomers: John Benoit, Carolyn Goelzer, and Sonja Perryman. Music is composed by Tim Schellenbaum and Yukio Tsuji. Lighting design by Peter Kasarda. Dramaturgy by Andrea Balis. Puppets are constructed by Cecilia Schiller and Ms. Skipitares.
QUI NGUYEN’S NEW PLAY: Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company is pleased to announce "A Beginner’s Guide To Deicide," a new comedy by Qui Nguyen and Robert Ross Parker about a Catholic schoolgirl who undertakes a time-traveling quest to find God...and kill Him. Directed by Robert Ross Parker with Fight Direction by Qui Nguyen, the show runs from March 31st-April 17th at 7PM with an opening scheduled for April 3rd at Center Stage, NY located at 48 West 21st St. "A Beginner’s Guide To Deicide" traces the epic odyssey of Lucy, a Catholic schoolgirl (and all-around whiz with a battle-axe), who’s seeking God--whom she considers unjust and evil--so that she can take The Big Guy out once and for all. For tickets, call 212-696-7806 or visit www.VampireCowboys.com.
In "A Beginner’s Guide To Deicide", accompanied by her scientifically-minded sidekick Mary, the duo is helped along by evolutionist Charles Darwin, who tells them to go back to the dawn of time to find God. And so they do, engaging in hilariously gory battles along the way with the likes of The Pope, Frederich Neitzche, Dante Alighieri, Joan of Arc and Jesus Christ. It all leads to a final, all-or-nothing showdown with the Omnipotent One himself. Featured in the cast: Dan Deming, Caitlin Dick and Andrea Marie Smith, with Christian T. Chan, Tom Myers and Nathan Lemoine.
Why an irreverent comedy about such a sensitive topic? According to Qui Nguyen "I don’t think people laugh enough when it comes to the subject of God. Growing up in the deep South, preachers were always telling me that the Bible is the greatest story of all time. If that’s true, then they shouldn’t have a problem with us tweaking it a little, right? Everyone keeps revamping old movies and television shows. Isn’t about time someone came along and re-imagined God for a more contemporary audience?"
Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company creates and produces new works based in stage combat and dark comedy with a comic book edge that explore complex subject matters. The company actively pursues the mating of different genres (such as film noir, teen comedy, horror, sci-fi, kung fu movies, etc.) and theatrical styles (musicals, dance, movement, etc.) to create an eclectic structure to tell its stories. The aim of the company is the presentation of plays that both embrace popular entertainment as well as resonate as pieces of art that challenge the audience’s preconceptions. The company was recently named one of NYTheatre.com’s 2004 People of the Year.
Qui Nguyen’s plays include Vampire Cowboy Trilogy (New York International Fringe Festival), Slicing Andre (EST Octoberfest) and Stained Glass Ugly, which received a production in Los Angeles . His play, Trial by Water: A Gook Story Part One, will be work shopped by the Mark Taper Forum this Spring and produced next season by Queens Theatre in the Park. Qui is a recipient of The Gilman/New Dramatists Playwriting Fellowship and a commission from the Ma-Yi Theater Company & the Jerome Foundation.
Robert Ross Parker recently received critical acclaim for his portrayal of the title character in Flying Machine’s Frankenstein at the Soho Rep. He was the Associate Director for Off-Broadway’s Silent Laughter at the Lambs Theatre as well as Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Roulette with Anna Paquin. Robert’s other directing credits include Vampire Cowboy Trilogy (recently published by Martin Denton’s New York Theatre Experience), Qui Nguyen’s Stained Glass Ugly and Slicing Andre, Justin Reinsilber’s F*cking Love (Wej Productions) and numerous readings for Ensemble Studio Theatre where he was as a 2004 director-in-residence. He has worked at many regional theatres including People’s Light and Theatre Co, Toronto’s Soulpepper and Barrington Stage Co.
DAZED AND ABUSED: Little Donkey Productions is proud to present the NY debut of the Edinburgh and London hit "Dazed and Abused" by Kinvara Balfour and directed by Mark Bowden for a limited time at a unique venue, the Diane von Furstenberg Studio, a fashion studio located at 385 West 12th Street (between Greenwich and Westside Hwy.). Performances run Thursday, March 10th – Sunday, March 20th, at 8 PM. Dazed and Confused is a farcical comedy of manners ridiculing privileged people in British society…with a twist! The play is set around a date that goes horribly wrong and portrayed, a la Pirandello, by performers who also begin to lose control. The evening is hosted by an actual psychiatrist who may or may not be stable enough himself to get control when things begin to spiral past the point of no return. Tickets can only be reserved/ purchased via the box office directly or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information please visit www.dazedandabused.co.uk.
"What makes this play especially intuitive is that all of the performers themselves have come from privileged backgrounds (one is an actual countess) and/ or from high status jobs (guard’s officer, public relations man, psychiatrist, designer and journalist) before training as actor," says director Mark Bowden. "Here, they are pretty much playing versions of themselves."
The play's all-British cast include Joss Ings-Chambers, Julian Bird, Bill Hurst, Jagdeep Bhangoe and Kinvara Balfour. Jagdeep Bhangoe has trained at the Arts Educational Schools London and The Central School of Speech and Drama. Her previous theatre roles include Julia (Celebration). She lived in Malaysia for eight years and worked mainly with young children and teenagers as a teacher/facilitator in TEFL. This has been her first foray as Producer and performer at the Edinburgh Fringe 2004, and is thrilled that the show has transferred to London
Dazed & Abused premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2004 where it was completely sold out. Consequently it transferred to London's Canal Cafe Theatre for an extended three-week run. The show will return to London's highly-respected Etcetera Theatre for a further three weeks in April 2005.
PULLMAN, WA AT PS122: Young Jean Lee’s play, "Pullman, WA", will be presented at PS 122 March 10-12 which runs in repertory with Kyle Jarrow’s "Gorilla Man." , "Pullman, WA" is a play about what to do if you're unhappy and everyone around you is kind of an asshole, including yourself. Written and directed by Young Jean Lee, co-created and performed by Iver Findlay, Pete Simpson, and Tory Vasquez, this show is the newest work from one of downtown’s most exciting and adventurous voices. PS 122 is located at 150 First Avenue and 9th Street in Manhattan. For tickets call 212-477-5288 or visit www.ticketweb.com. For more info, visit www.ps122.org.
Young Jean Lee’s work is theater stripped bare. "Pullman, WA" continues Lee’s exploration of visceral, immediate theater, placing an emphasis on powerful language and raw emotion. It is funny, sometimes weird and often uncanny. Her work gets to the heart of the theatrical experience and uproots our expectations of what a play can be. Young Jean Lee has directed her plays at the Ontological-Hysteric Theater (Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals) and Soho Rep (The Appeal). She has performed with the National Theater of the United States of America (What's That On My Head!?!), studies playwriting with Mac Wellman at Brooklyn College, and is a member of 13P. Young Jean Lee, recently named as one of New York’s Top 25 Theater Artists by Time Out New York.
CHINA DOLL – ANNA MAY WONG: Pan Asian Repertory Theatre will celebrate Anna May Wong’s 100th birthday with the world premiere of "China Doll" by Elizabeth Wong April 2-24 at the West End Theatre at 263 West 86 Street in New York City. Directed by Tisa Chang, "China Doll" is the multi layered re-imagining of Anna May Wong, Hollywood’s first Asian American international film star. Beginning in the 1920s until her death in 1961, "China Doll" interweaves Anna May’s relationships with legendary icons such as Marlene Dietrich, Douglas Fairbanks, Irving Thalberg and others to triumph in a casting system of limited access for Asian actors against a backdrop of her most popular films: "Daughter of the Dragon," "Shanghai Express," and the "Thief of Baghdad." For tickets, call 212-868-4030 or visit www.panasianrep.org.
Anna May Wong was born Wong Liu Tsong on January 3, 1905 in Los Angeles, Califronia. Her parents operated a laundry in L.A.’s Chinatown district. Anna May dreamt of breaking into films at a young age. Her talent, tenacity and courage to excel, despite the casting limitations of that era, allowed her to triumph as an international film star. It was her role as the Mongol slave girl in Douglas Fairbanks’ "The Thief of Baghdad" (1924), which propelled her to fame in the exotic "dragon lady" roles. She was resourceful in learning foreign languages and performed extensively in Europe making a dozen films in London. Her most popular films include "Shanghai Express (1932) with Marlene Dietrich, and the Fu Manchu Series with Warner Oland. She starred on Broadway in "On the Spot" and on the London stage in "A Circle of Chalk." She was the first Asian American actor to star in her own TV series, "The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsung, in 1951 with 13 episodes. In addition, she stared in 11 other TV shows from 1951 to 1961, 68 films from 1925 to 1960 as well as 12 staged productions from 1925 to 1939 and 12 radio show from 1925 to 1943. Anna May died on February 2, 1961.
Starring in the title role, Rosanne Ma has had distinguished roles in "The Joy Luck Club," "Rashomon," and "Kwatz! The Tibetan Project." Rosanne now essays the most challenging role of her life in the character of Anna May Wong, which is both complex and larger than life. Elizabeth Wong’s first play, "Letters to a Student Revolutionary: about Tiananmen Square, premiered at Pan Asian Rep in 1992. Other plays include "Kimchee & Chitlins," "Dating & Mating in Modern Times," "The Love Life of a Eunuch," as well as an opera libretto for Oscar Wilde’s "The Happy Prince." She was a recipient of the Disney Writing Fellowship and a staff writer for ABC’s "All American Girl" starring Margaret Cho. Tisa Chang is the founding artistic director and has led Pan Asian Rep successfully for 27 years. Directing highlights include the music theatre creation, "Cambodia Agonistes" about Pol Pot, which has toured to Cairo and Johnnesburg; "Rashomon," which also toured to Havana Theatre Festival, and last spring’s "Kwatz! The Tibetan Project," a swirling Zen like journey that focused attention on Tibet’s recent cultural and political history.
YOON K. LEE CONDUCTS: The Salzburger Kammerphilharmonie (Salzburg Chamber Symphony), led by Yoon K. Lee, is joined by cellist Kate Dillingham for its only New York appearance of the season, on Friday, March 25, 8PM at the Metropolitan Museum of Art at 1000 Fifth Avenue. The program includes Mozart’s Divertimento in D Major, K. 205; Yoon K. Lee’s "If Maher Would Weep…Adagietto for Chamber Orchestra; Hayden’s Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in D Major, Jennifer Higdon’s Soliloquy for Cello and Strings, and five Milongas and Tangos by Piazzolla. For tickets, call 212-570-3949 or visit www.metmuseum.org.
The Salzburger Kammerphilharmonie was founded in 1992 with Yoon K. Lee as artistic director and conductor, and has since established itself not only with concert series in its home city of Salzburg but with tours throughout Europe and through an acclaimed Naxos recording of the symphonies of C.P.E. Bach, which was praised by Gramophone Magazine as one of the best discs of 1995. The ensemble performed at the Salzburg Festival in 2000 and 2001 and other European festivals, and has collaborated with such artists as Grace Bumbry, Mischa Maisky, Milan Turkovic, Cyprien Katsaris, Jorg Demus, Pierre Amoyal, Ruth Ziesak, Clemens Hagen and Paul Badura Skoda, among others. Yoon K. Lee was born in South Korea and immigrated to the US with his family at the age of 13. A graduate of Williams College, he studied conducting and composition at the Salzburg Mozarteum University of Music with teachers including Sandor Vegh, Nikolaus Harmoncour and Herbert von Karajan. Lee has been a member of the faculty of the Mozarteum since 1984. He has made guest conducting appearances with orchestras throughout Europe. Since 2000 he has been the artistic director of the Austro Korean Philharmonie Vienna and in 2002 became the artistic director of the Festival International Luxembourg Chamber Orchestra.
AT CARNEGIE HALL: The following artists will perform at Carnegie Hall: March 14, 7PM, Wendy Chen, piano and Chee-Yun, violin at the Weill Recital Hall. March 16, 8PM, Reiko Uchida on piano at the Weill Recital Hall. March 23, 8PM, Harpists Mariko Anraku and Jessica Li Zhou will perform at the Weill Recital Hall. March 24, 7:30PM, the International Sejong Soloist celebrate its 10th Anniversary at the Zankel Hall featuring violinist Cho-Liang Lin with Hyo Kang, artistic director conducting works by Penderecki, Vivaldi and Tchaikovsky. March 31, 7:30PM pianist Sachiko Hasegawa will perform at the Zankel Hall. For tickets, call CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or visit www.carnegiehall.org.
AT LINCOLN CENTER: Artist to perform at Lincoln Center include March 13, 3PM, the China Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall featuring pianist Lang Lang with Long Yu, artistic director conducting works by Rimsky-Korsakov, Hua Yanjun/Wu Zuqiang, Rachmaninoff, Guo Wenjing, and Bartok. For tickets, call CenterCharge at 212-721-6500. March 24-26, 8PM, New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall featuring violinist Sheryl Staples and Sherry Sylar on oboe, with Kent Nagano conducting works by Bach/Nodaira, Bach and Messiaen. For tickets, call 212-875-5656 or visit www.newyorkphilharmonic.org. April 1, 8PM, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center features violinist Cho-Liang Lin with Gary Hoffman, cello, Wareen Jones, piano and Andre Michel Schub, piano in an all Schubert program at the Alice Tully Hall. For tickets call 212-875-5788 or visit www.chambermusicsocieryt.org. April 2, 2PM, the New York Philharmonic presents its Young People’s Concerts featuring Bill Gordh, narrator and librettist, with Xian Zhang, conducting Jon Deak’s The Roaring Mountain.
For tickets, call 212-875-5656 or visit www.newyorkphilharmonic.org.
SO PERCUSSION: The young mavericks of the percussion world take on the classic of the genre, So Percussion performs Drumming Live! On March 25, 2005 at the Miller Theatre in Columbia University in New York City. For tickets and information call 212-854-7799.
Cantaloupe Music releases the second CD from one of the youngest and most-talked-about ensembles on its roster, So Percussion. After bursting onto the scene with a brave CD of world premieres by Evan Ziporyn and David Lang in 2004, So Percussion has decided to make its stamp on the "Beethoven’s Ninth" of the percussion genre: Steve Reich’s DRUMMING. This visionary recording will coincide with live performances of Drumming at New York’s Miller Theatre and the Gardner Museum in Boston.
Drumming represents the culmination of Reich’s work fusing African percussion with his earlier experiments in minimalism and tape loops. It was the first piece to call for percussionists to be experts in the field of hocketing (a technique where multiple instruments play rapid-fire in alternating beats of the measure) and phasing (where the musicians become tape machines moving at different speeds against each other). Originally a physical and mental challenge so great that only his own ensemble could play it, Drumming is now a requirement for every high-level percussion ensemble.
So Percussion, a captivating quartet comprised of Douglas Perkins, Adam Sliwinski, Jason Treuting, and Lawson White, has been performing Drumming since its inception in 1999. For this recording, the four members felt that the way to truly realize their personal imprint would be to use the studio to record each of the nine percussion parts themselves (in the pop recording tradition of Prince, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney and many others), bringing the energy of the piece to a new level—one more visceral and direct. So is joined here by Steve Reich’s original vocalists Rebecca Armstrong and Jay Clayton and flutist/whistler Erin Lesser.
Recorded at the legendary Hit Factory Studios with a Grammy Award winning production team as well as Reich’s personal involvement, So Percussion’s Drumming radiates a clarity and polish that only Sony Classical co-producer Grace Row and master engineer Charles Harbutt could create. Here is a direct sound; not a "classical" live to two-track recorded performance—but a group truly working with a studio philosophy to create the new definitive recording of this masterpiece.
This recording represents the latest installment in a Cantaloupe series of re-recordings of the masterworks of minimalism that includes Terry Riley’s "In C," Philip Glass’s "Music in Fifths" and "Two Pages," Frederic Rzewski’s "De Profundis" and "North American Ballads," Steve Reich’s "Tehillim" and "The Desert Music," and Louis Andriessen’s "Workers Union."
COOL JAPAN: OTAKU STRIKES!: As part of the season theme Cool Japan: Otaku Strikes!, Japan Society presents the Onkyo Marathon, a two-day, eight-hour celebration of the most revolutionary Japanese composer/musicians of improvisational electronic sound pieces. Curated by and featuring Carl Stone, the world-renowned U.S. pioneer of live computer music, the event highlights Otomo Yoshihide, Nobukazu Takemura, Sachiko M, AOKI Takamasa, Taku Hannoda and Yoshimitsu Ichiraku with select New York-based participants, including Elliott Sharp and o.blaat (Keiko Uenishi). The Onkyo Marathon runs Friday & Saturday, April 1-2, 7-11 pm. For tickets, call 212-752-3015 or visit www.japansociety.org.
The Onkyo Marathon is presented in a club-like setting for the first time at Japan Society. Audiences are encouraged to come and go to the main performance lounge or wander Japan Society's bamboo garden lobby to mix and mingle amidst a soundtrack of unparalleled experimental and extemporaneous compositions. Each 4 hour program of the two-day event will have its own flavor, and the exciting roster of talent will rotate, even combining forces on occasion to create an organic and orgiastic aural experience. From delicate nuanced sounds to explosive pulsating rhythms, Onkyo Marathon will inspire and satiate the appetite for cutting-edge electronic music. The price of admission includes one drink per ticket for patrons over the age of 21; re-entry is permitted with a hand stamp for the day of the performance only.
An expression already widely explored in the Japan and Europe and now bursting onto the scene in New York, onkyo is an umbrella term for a new genre of computer music that is primarily atonal, noise-based and improvised. From seasoned veterans to the most recent emerging talent on the scene, Japan Society and curator Carl Stone have gathered a dazzling array of artists at the forefront of the movement.
Artists scheduled to perform on Friday, April 1, include: Taku Hannoda, Sachiko M, AOKI takamasa and Carl Stone, Nobukazu Takemura, o.blaat (Keiko Uenishi), Nobukazu Takemura, Otomo Yoshihide, Sachiko M, and Yoshimitsu Ichiraku. On Saturday, April 2, o.blaat (Keiko Uenishi), AOKI takamasa, Elliott Sharp, Otomo Yoshihide , Yoshimitsu Ichiraku, Otomo Yoshihide, Elliott Sharp, Taku Hannoda and Carl Stone are slated to perform.
Widely considered the founder of the onkyo movement, Otomo Yoshihide began playing music as a child, and made his first live performance in 1979. From his ground breaking band Ground Zero in the mid 90s to more recent stints with the Otomo Yoshihide New Jazz Ensemble, Otomo has appeared on over 200 albums and overseen the music for over 20 television and film projects. He frequently collaborates with John Zorn. Former DJ Nobukazu Takemura emerged from the club scene in the mid 80s to become one of the leading electronica composers today. Highlights from his sweeping oeuvre include a collaboration with American composer Steve Reich, creating the over 200 electronic audio responses for Sony’s popular robotic dog AIBO , and a 2004 commission by Bang On A Can, which premiered at Japan Society. Spin Magazine calls Takemura "An enigma who stitches elegantly guileless symphonies out of a zillion delicate obsessive compulsive ticks."
An active sampler player since 1994, in 1998 Sachiko M originated the revolutionary method of exclusively using a sampler for sine wave improvisations to create her music. Her cutting-edge recordings and live appearances have become the focus of international interest and debate. Osaka-born, Paris-based composer/performer AOKI takamasa creates dynamic and throbbing computer music using as many different styles and as much software as he can. With an ear towards rhythm and groove, his albums include the break-through Silicom (2001), Quantum (2003) and most recently Simply Funk (2004). His interactive live performances have been seen in the Apple Store in Osaka & Tokyo, numerous venues in Europe, and the SONAR Festival in Barcelona.
Based in Osaka, Japan, guitar-electronica virtuoso Taku Hannoda is noted for his intriguing, rough-edged sound. While young, his prowess has led him to work with a wide range of renowned musicians including Yoshimitsu Ichiraku and Charles Hayward. His solo album, Turkish Incense is a sublimation of his technique, unique ideas, and self-made instruments. Yoshimitsu Ichiraku has played both acoustic and electronically-modulated drums and percussion. He recently caught the public's imagination with Doravideo, an intricate drum and live video sampling performance spectacle. In 1998 he formed the electronic music trio I.S.O. with Sachiko M and Otomo Yoshihide.
Brooklyn-based sound artist o.blaat (Keiko Uenishi) is known for her interactive audio environments. Her works have been presented at The Kitchen, Whitney Museum of American Art, P.S. 1 and numerous festivals in Europe including Phonotaktik Festival (Vienna), ClubTransmediale (Berlin), Transfert 2003 (Lille, Paris, Poitiers, Bordeaux) and What is Music? Festival (Melbourne & Sydney). Composer/multi-instrumentalist/producer Elliott Sharp’s compositions have been performed by the Symphony of the Hessische, Rundfunk, Kronos Quartet, and the Ensemble Modern, among others. His numerous collaborators have included the late qawaali vocalist Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, playwright Dael Orlandersmith, and turntablists DJ Soulslinger and Christian Marclay. Sharp's latest CD releases feature Radio Hyper-Yahoo, a collection of collaborations with writer/performers including Eric Bogosian, Steve Buscemi, and Edwin Torres. His work has been seen at Venice Biennale fall 2003, the Whitney Museum, and Tokyo NTT ICC Biennale among others.
Since the inception of the Performing Arts Program in 1953, the Society has introduced more than 500 of Japan’s finest performing arts to an extensive American audience. Programs range from the traditional arts of noh, kyogen, bunraku and kabuki to cutting-edge theater, dance and music. The Program also commissions new works; produces national tours; organizes residency programs for American and Japanese artists; and develops and distributes educational programs. "At once diverse and daring, the program stands toe to toe with some of the most comprehensive cultural exchange endeavors today" (Back Stage). Japan Society, America’s leading resource on Japan, is a private, nonprofit institution founded in New York in 1907. The Society promotes understanding and cooperation between the U.S. and Japan through a full range of programs in Global Affairs, Arts & Culture and Education. Society programming creates rich encounters and exchanges that increasingly reflect the broader Asian and global context of the U.S.-Japan relationship.
CHHANDAYAN SANGEET SERIES: Lotus Music & Dance Studios will present Chhandayan Sangeet Series 2005 beginning Saturday, March 25, 7:30PM at Lotus at 109 West 27 Street, 8th Floor. Artists to perform include: Smt. Indrrani Chakraborty Khare, vocal, Shri Pratick Devasthale, Tabla, Hidayat Khan, Sitar, and Pdt. Samir Chatterjee, Tabla. The Series will run through May 15. For tickets, call 212-627-1076 or visit www.lotusarts.com.
Although this is an age old tradition in India, yet it is relatively new in North America. It was first presented in the same way at the same venue by Pandit Ravi Shankar in August of 1976. 24 years later Chhandayan brought it back in 2000. Since then it has continued very successfully and has grown to be an event of North America. The profound effects of Indian classical music on the mind and soul can be fully assimilated by listening to it in the way it has been traditionally experienced in India: in a completely relaxed state of mind over the course of a number of hours. Under these conditions, our everyday conception of time -- or at least our preoccupation with wristwatch time -- is temporarily dispelled. It is replaced by a different sort of time/space experience: that is, a deep appreciation of the present moment and its connection to the natural world. For the raga melodies that you hear in the night and at dawn are closely associated with these particular hours of the daily cycle.
MASTERS OF INDIAN MUSIC: Shivkumar Sharma and Zakir Hussain will perform on Friday, April 8, 8PM at Town Hall on 123 West 43 Street. Shivkumar Sharma has enraptured audiences throughout the world for decades with his mastery of the santur, a hammered dulcimer known for its lush, shimmering sound. A pioneering musician, he was responsible for developing the santur, traditionally used in Kashmiri folk music, into an important instrument in the North Indian classical repertoire. He will be accompanied by the incomparable Zakir Hussain, the leading tabla player of his generation. Presented by the World Music Institute, call 212-545-7536 for tickets, or visit www.worldmusicinstitute.org.
OTAKU CINEMA SLAM: As part of its spring 2005 season Cool Japan: Otaku Strikes!, Japan Society presents the film and video series Otaku Cinema Slam! from March 4 – May 27, 2005. This series presents a rich variety of recent Japanese films and videos that introduce themes related to the notion of otaku, roughly translated as "geek culture" or "pop culture fanaticism." Genres include comedy, horror, family drama, artistic animation, fantasy, and documentaries. Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street, between First & Second Avenues. For tickets, call 212-752-3015 or visit www.japansociety.org.
Films to be screened in March include:
Friday, March 4, 6:30 pm: Get Up! (Geroppa)
2003, 112 min. Directed by Kazuyuki Izutsu, with Toshiyuki Nishida, Takako Tokiwa, Taro Yamamoto, Ittoku Kishibe. Print courtesy of Cine Qua Non. New York premiere.
Two middle-aged yakuza (gangster), Daisuke and "Jimmy," admire James Brown from the bottom of their hearts, impersonating his singing and collecting his memorabilia. Daisuke is depressed because he can't go to a James Brown concert as he has to report to jail in a few days. He also wants to visit his daughter, whom he hasn't seen for 25 years. To cheer Daisuke up, Jimmy orders his feckless young subordinates to "abduct James Brown!"
Thursday, March 10, 6:30 pm: Double Feature Hideshi Hino's "Theater of Horror",
Legendary Japanese cult/horror manga artist Hideshi Hino's works are now live on screen. These two films are fresh from Japan, selected from the new six-film series Hideshi Hino's "Theater of Horror." And The Boy From Hell (Jigoku kozo)
2004, 50 min. Directed by Mari Asato, with Mirai Yamamoto, Kanji Tsuda, Hanae Shoji. Courtesy of Pony Canyon, Inc. Graphic imagery. Not recommended for children. North American premiere. When gifted surgeon Setsu Emma loses her only child Daio in a tragic accident, she brings him back to life by following the instructions given to her by a mysterious old woman. However, when Daio returns to his mother, he is half decomposed and inhuman. The screenplay was supervised by Hiroshi Takahashi (Ringu).
The Ravaged House: Zoroku's Disease (Tadareta ie: Zoroku no kibyo)
2004, 63 min. Directed by Kazuyoshi Kumakiri, with Marie Kawaguchi, Satoshi Morishita. Courtesy of Pony Canyon, Inc. Not recommended for children.
North American premiere. Award-winning emerging director Kazuyoshi Kumakiri's new film, set in the prewar era, tells the terrible story of young Zoroku's sudden and bizarre disease, which deforms his body and causes his entire family to be ostracized by their tranquil rural village. His younger sister Haruko tries to save him.
Thursday, March 17, 6:30 pm: Rendan--Quartet for Two (Rendan)
2001, 104 min. Directed by Naoto Takenaka with Naoto Takenaka, Yuki Amami, Keika Fukitsuka, Yuta Minowa. Print courtesy of Shochiku Co., Ltd. New York premiere.
A very contemporary family drama, this film is a sensitive portrayal of two young children as they adjust to the breakup of their parents' marriage. In a complete reversal of the stereotypical household, Shotaro is a timid, stingy house-husband, while tall and strikingly beautiful Minako is a career woman who enjoys her job and her love affairs. Takenaka, a multi-talented director/actor/TV personality, co-stars with Yuki Amami, a former Takarazuka male impersonator.
Friday, March 25, 6:30 pm: World of Yamamura Animation, 1987-2005, 16 mm & 35 mm, color. Animated, Written, and Directed by Koji Yamamura. Print courtesy of Yamamura Animation. By combining several different media, such as modeling clay, three dimensional figures, photographs and drawings, Koji Yamamura creates hand-crafted analog visuals that are pleasing and playful, but somewhat surreal. This selection of 10 short animations includes Aquatic (1987), Japanese-English Pictionary (1988), Perspektivenbox--Researcher's Search (1990), Karo & Piyobupt (1993), Kids Castle (1995), Your Choice! (1999), Mt. Head (2002), which was nominated for the 75th Academy Awards Short Films' Animation Category, and Yamamura's latest work, The Old Crocodile (2005, North American premiere). Filmmaker Koji Yamamura introduces his works in a video letter made specifically for this screening.
Tuesday, March 29, 6:30 pm: Cutie Honey, 2004, 93 min. Directed by Hideaki Anno. Written by Hideaki Anno and Rumi Takahashi. Based on the comic by Go Nagai. With Eriko Sato, Mikako Ichikawa, Jun Murakami, Mitsuhiro Oikawa, Hairi Katagiri. Print courtesy of Towani. Cutie Honey is one of the prototypes of shojo (female youth) fighter characters in Japanese comics. This live-action film, based on Go Nagai's beloved manga from the early 1970s, is directed by Hideaki Anno (Neo Genesis Evangelion) in the form of what he calls "Digital Comic Cinema." Office temp Honey Kisaragi, actually an android Cutie Honey, with the help of detective Natsuko, fights against the Panther Gang to protect the I-System.
NEW DIRECTORS/NEW FILMS: For the 34th consecutive year, spring in New York will be ushered in by "New Directors/New Films", the acclaimed festival presented by The Department of Film and Media, The Museum of Modern Art, and The Film Society of Lincoln Center. The festival, which opens Wednesday, March 23, with Zeze Gamboa’s THE HERO, takes place at Alice Tully Hall and Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center and MoMA’s Titus 1 Theater at 11 West 53 Street. This popular and influential 12-day event, showcasing the finest in new filmmaking talent from around the world, runs through Sunday, April 3"New Directors/New Films" 2005 includes 30 works from 22 countries, from Hungary to Haiti, China to Angola, Mexico to Morocco, Italy to Japan. Tickets are available for screenings at the three different venues (Alice Tully Hall, Walter Reade Theater, and MoMA) by the following means: at Alice Tully Hall box office (212/875-5050); online at www.lincolncenter.org; and by phone from Centercharge at 212/751-6500. MoMA box office (212/708-9480) will sell tickets only to MoMA performances. The Walter Reade Theater box office (212/875-5601) will sell tickets only to Walter Reade performances. Walter Reade tickets also available online at www.filmlinc.com.
"New Directors/New Films" is one of the country’s premier showcases for the work of fresh and unsung international and American filmmakers. Over the course of more than three decades, the festival has introduced innovative works by talented directors from all over the world, many of whom have become major figures in world cinema, including Pedro Almodóvar, Héctor Babenco, Terence Davies, Atom Egoyan, Chen Kaige, Spike Lee, Richard Linklater, John Sayles, Steven Spielberg, and Wim Wenders, among many others.
"New Directors/New Films" opens Wednesday, March 23, at Alice Tully Hall with Zeze Gamboa’s The Hero. Post-colonial Angola is the subject of this delicately wrought drama of a people in recovery, moving from the trauma of war into the hard-won light of peace. Wed. March 23 at 8pm ATH; Thu. March 24 at 6pm MoMA
Films from Asia include: Two Great Sheep. Director Liu Hao brings a sophisticated perspective to the Chinese countryside in this caustic yet bittersweet fable. Uncle Deshan is an old farmer living a hardscrabble life on the outskirts of a remote village in a poor mountainous area. One day, two rare foreign sheep appear like mythological beings on Deshan and his wife’s threshold. These two great sheep, seemingly heaven sent, are gifts from the local government meant to improve the farmer’s life and the village’s meager economy. Overnight, Uncle Deshan is the talk and envy of his community. But these heavenly creatures are capricious beings requiring special food and care. They become surrogate children on whom all manner of attention is lavished by the doting parents - until an incident occurs that causes the municipal leaders to retaliate. A parable of life in rural China, with subtle political overtones. China, 2004. 100 min. Fri. March 25 at 6pm WRT; Fri. March 25 at 8:45pm WRT; Sun. March 27 at 6:30pm MoMA
South of the Clouds. Xu Daqin, a middle-aged man living in a northern city with a badgering daughter, harbors an unfulfilled dream. When his best buddy dies, Xu determines to travel to Yunnan Province, in the glorious mountains of southwestern China near Tibet. This region holds a deep meaning for him: it is where he might have lived had he not been forced into an unsatisfying marriage and humdrum existence in the prosaic north. But his initially pleasant journey takes him only as far as mysterious Lugu Lake, with its primitive matriarchal culture and strong Tibetan Buddhist tradition, where his character and beliefs are tested. Director Zhu Wen has made a profoundly moving and unsettling film that explores generational and cultural divides in contemporary China. China, 2004. 100 min. Preceded by Music Palace. New York’s last Chinatown movie theater is about to close, its caretakers ruefully look at the life that was. Directed by Eric Lin. U.S.A, 2005. 9 min. Thu. March 31 at 8:30pm WRT; Sat. April 2 at 3:15pm MoMA
Starlit High Noon. Lian Song is an angelic hit man with a double life: he carries out his assignments in Taipei, then hides out in Okinawa until things cool down. He has money but no car, preferring to bike to and from his cool bachelor pad that boasts a refrigerator stocked with a staggering variety of imported beers and bottled water. A natural loner with a romantic bent, Lian is admired by one young woman but instead woos the sad-eyed Yukiko. The elaborate meal he prepares for her should turn an indifferent woman into a lover. Yet, Yukiko, like Lian, has a secret history of her own… Director Nakagawa Yosuke dazzles with this minimalist tale of extraordinary visual beauty. A romance without a kiss, a thriller without bloodshed, a droll mystery with its own unique rhythm, this original work is filmmaking at its most personal. Japan, 2005. 92 min. Preceded by On a Wednesday Night in Tokyo. Directed by Jan Verbeek. Germany, 2004. 6 min. Fri. April 1 at 6pm MoMA; Sun. April 3 at 3:15pm MoMA.
STEAMBOY OPENS MARCH 18: Triumph Releasing invites you to an advance screening of Katsuhiro Otomo’s retro sci-fi anime "Steamboy", the director’s eagerly anticipated follow-up to his internationally-acclaimed animated classic Akira. "Steamboy" features the voices of Patrick Stewart, Alfred Molina and Academy Award™-winner Anna Paquin. An Official Selection at the 2004 Toronto International Film Festival, the film has been praised by critics worldwide for its startling imagery and Otomo’s trademark dedication to detail. Triumph Releasing will open "Steamboy" in major cities on Friday, March 18, 2005.
Set in 19th Century Great Britain, at the time of the Great Exhibition, "Steamboy" is an epic story about the power of science, man’s quest to control nature, and above all – courage. "Steamboy" features an inventor prodigy named Ra Stim, who receives a mysterious metal ball which contains a new form of energy capable of powering an entire nation. This young boy must use it to fight evil, redeem his family, and save London from destruction. The lush Victorian interiors and the elegance of the era's mechanical design allow Otomo to create dazzling visual backgrounds and machines. With more than 180,000 drawings and 400 CG cuts, "Steamboy" is one of the most elaborate animated features of 2005.
In 1988, Katsuhiro Otomo took the worlds of anime and science-fiction by storm with his post-apocalyptic cyberpunk adventure Akira. The film set new standards for the genres and is internationally regarded as a benchmark achievement in animation. Born in Miyagi, Japan in 1954, Mr. Otomo began his career as a comic book illustrator in 1973. His unique style helped Otomo quickly establish himself as a leading figure in the world of Japanese manga. Since Akira, Otomo has directed the live-action comedy/horror film World Apartment Horror and several animated shorts, as well as written the screenplays for the anime hits Rojin Z and Metropolis.
OLDBOY OPENS MARCH 25: Park Chanwook’s ultra cinematic thriller "Oldboy," winner of the 2005 Cannes Film Festival Grand Jury Prize, will open in New York on Friday, March 25 at the Angelika Theater followed by a national release. "Oldboy" is also winner for Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress Awards at South Korea’s Blue Dragon Film Awards.
After a drunken night on the town, Seoul businessman Oh Dai Su (Choi Min-sik in an extraordinary performance) wakes up to discover he’s been locked up without explanation in a cell set up as a hotel room where he spends the next 15 years with only TV for company fried dumplings for food and his own conscience to wrack for clues. When, suddenly and inexplicably, Dai-su finds himself freed, a menacing voice on a cell phone taunts him to try and discover who his jailer is. Full of rage and confusion, Dae-su enlists the help of Mido (Gang Hye-jung), a pretty young Japanese waitress with her own mysterious past, and plunges into a world of competing vengeance, his won drive for revenge matched by the equally implacable and considerably more Byzantine scheming of his mysterious nemesis.
One of the most important young directors of the Korean New Wave, Park Chanwook made his directorial debut with "Moon Is..Sun’s Dream" and went on to direct the award winning and box office his "JSA: Joint Security Area" and "Sympathy for MR. Vengeance." He counts fellow director and 2005 Cannes Film Festival Jury President Quentin Tarantino as one of his long time champions.
GLOW: The Rubin Museum of Art and the Indo-American Arts Council present the Season Premiere of ‘GLOW’, the new experimental, multimedia performance by the Nayikas Dance Theater Company on March 15-19, at the Rubin Museum of Art at 150 West 17 Street in New York City. The Gala Premiere will be held on Tuesday, March 15. ‘Glow’ is Nayikas new multimedia, experimental dance theater project. It uses traditional dance as well as radiants of South Asian culture – cinema, comic book images and calendar art to aid in visually mapping elements of popular consciousness to the abstractness of classical forms. For reservations, call 212.620.5000 ext 344 or
"Glow" exposes ruptures in traditional understandings of text and philosophy while exploring spirituality and sensuality through the dancer’s body. The simple act of women adorning themselves ‘glows’ with the pulse of the feminine divine, as does the graceful movement of hips swaying, of feet reverberating. A new sense of woman, of body, and of the spiritual is realized when Gods defy gendered classification, and the demonic divine coexists with the sensual feminine.
Widely acclaimed, Nayikas is New York's first resident Indian Odissi dance theater company; one of the only classical, contemporary and progressive dance ensembles in the South Asian Diaspora. Nayikas modernizes comprehension of the aesthetics of Odissi, India’s oldest classical dance form, dating back to 2nd Century B.C. Creating potent and theatrical dance pieces, the Nayikas tell stories that both privilege and resurrects often neglected, alternate voices of women, drawing from feminist iconography in Indian mythology, history and Diaspora. Thus preserving the essential spiritual core of the dance form while envisioning gender equality & promoting diversity of imagination in the often-patriarchal religiosity of these traditions. (www.nayikas.org)
The Indo-American Arts Council is dedicated to promoting and building an awareness of all artistic disciplines in classical, fusion, folk and innovative forms influenced by the arts of India. We work cooperatively with colleagues both in the United States and in India, to showcase and facilitate the exhibition, performance & production of their work in the US, to broaden our collective audiences, and to create a network for shared information and resources. (www.iaac.us) Rubin Museum of Art is New York's newest museum. Opened on October 2nd, 2004, it is the first museum in the Western World dedicated to the art of the Himalayas and surrounding regions. The museum's mission is to establish, present, preserve and document a permanent collection that reflects the vitality, complexity and historical significance of Himalayan art. The museum also seeks to create an environment in which a dynamic between the performing and the visual arts can bring about a dialogue that enriches both exhibition visitor and theater audience. (www.rmanyc.org)
YIN MEI AT DTW: Yin Mei will perform new works at Dance Theater Workshop March 9-12. Having grown up during China’s Cultural Revolution, Yin Mei emerged with a singular choreographic style, which preserves traditional Chinese ideas of space and movement and incorporates them within the rubric of contemporary dance theater. Guided by the principles of the I Ching, an ancient Chinese system of divination, Mei attempts to resolve her dark childhood memories of the Revolution and comes to terms with the duality of good and evil in "Nomad: The River," a world premiere. To universalized and communicate this search for spiritual understanding, Mei turns toward her experiences visiting China’s Yellow River and India’s Ganges River, tow bodies of water simultaneously perceived as sacred and destructive. The work for five dancers, including Mei, is accompanied by Christopher Salter’s sound and media design.
Yin Mei was born in China and started her professional career in traditional Chinese dance during the Cultural Revolution. Before coming to the United States in 1985 to study modern dance on a grant from the Asian Cultural Council, she was a member of a leading Chinese dance company, and later a principal dancer with the Hong Kong Dance Company, where she danced numerous leading roles in the traditional Chinese dance repertoire. Yin Mei now choreographs and performs her contemporary work worldwide through her company, Yin Mei Dance, having forged a dance style employing Chinese energy direction and spatial principles as a means of creating dance within the rubric of avant garde dance theater. Describing one of Yin Mei's early solo works as a "tour de force for the choreographer-performer," dance critic Jennifer Dunning of The New York Times has written that Yin Mei's contemporary work retains "the stark refinement and distillation of some forms of traditional Eastern dance."
Yin Mei’s choreography has been presented at such New York venues as Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church, DTW, La Mama ETC., the Asia Society, the Japan Society, PACE Downtown Theater, the Mulberry Street Theater, Lincoln Center Out-Of-Doors Festival, Movement Research at Judson Church, the Queens College Theater, P.S. 1 and the Knitting Factory. Yin Mei was honored with a fellowship from the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 2004. She was also a nominee for a Cal Arts Fellowship in Choreography in 2003 and received the Choreography Award given annually by the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2002. Yin Mei joined the faculty of Queens College (CUNY) in 1992, where she teaches dance based on principles developed from her training in Tai Chi and Asian performance. She has taught workshops and seminars worldwide and has been a guest instructor and artist-in-residence at Bard College, the Indonesian Institute of Arts, Columbia College at Chicago, the University of Alaska, UMASS, University of California at Santa Cruz, Kohler Arts Center (Wisconsin), University of Arizona, State University of Arizona, Hamilton College and the Beijing Dance Academy. She has twice been the recipient of the Queens College Presidential Research Award for her choreographic work and has twice received a Queens College Foundation Innovative Teaching Award. Yin Mei received her B.A. with honors from the Gallatin School at New York University and her M.F.A. in Theatre Dance from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. She has also had coursework toward a Ph.D. at NYU's Dance and Dance Education Department.
BHARATA NATYAM DANCE OF INDIA: On Saturday, April 2, 8PM, Priyadarsini Govid will perform Bharata Natyam Dance of India at Symphony Space on Broadway and 95 Street. Bharata Natyam is South India’s great classical dance tradition, characterized by complex footwork, abstract movements and elaborate mime. Govid, a senior disciple of Guru Swamimalai K. Rajarathnam and Kalanidhi Narayanan, has been acclaimed for her exquisite performances for 30 years. Presented by the World Music Institute, call 212-545-7536 for tickets, or visit www.worldmusicinstitute.org.
ASIAN AMERICAN WRITERS WORKSHOP: The Asian American Writers' Workshop will be offering a memoir and personal narratives writing workshop, Stories and Lives: Writing Memoir and Personal Narratives with Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, Saturday, March 12, 1-5 PM, at the Workshop, 16 West 32nd Street, 10th Floor in New York City. This intensive class will help you find the voice and the story that you need to turn your life experiences into moving personal essays and memoir. The workshop will include discussion of the elements of successful memoir and a critique of student work. To sign up, call 212-494-0061 or email email@example.com.
Prospective students please submit no more than 15 pages of the manuscript you would like to work on, along with a short statement about what you hope to accomplish during the workshop. Please mail or hand-deliver to the Workshop by Friday, March 4 (postmark). To secure your seat in the class, please call or email the Workshop before dropping off your submission.
Rahna Reiko Rizzuto was born in Honolulu and raised in Kamuela, a small "cow town" on the Big Island of Hawaii. She is half-Japanese (on her mother's side) and half-Italian/Irish. Rahna's mother was born in Los Angeles and moved to Hawaii after she and her family were released from a war-time internment camp; her paternal grandfather was a politician in Hawaii and World War I vet. Rahna studied at Wellesley in Massachusetts and transferred to Columbia College the first year they began accepting women. She was the first female to graduate from the College with a major in Astrophysics. Summer jobs during this time include isolating DNA for paternity and rape testing, and working for the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corporation taking and analyzing pictures of globular clusters to estimate the masses of galaxies. Rahna decided not to be an astronomer in the last semester of her senior year and enrolled in two creative writing courses.
Rahna Reiko Rizzuto is the author of Why She Left Us (winner of the American Book Award) and a recipient of the U.S. Japan Creative Artist Fellowship, funded by the National Endowment of the Arts. She is also the Associate Editor of The NuyorAsian Anthology: Asian American Writings About New York City. Her personal essays have appeared in a variety of anthologies and publications including The LA Times. She currently teaches fiction and nonfiction in the Masters Program for Creative Writing at Goddard College, and is working on her second book, entitled If Hiroshima in the Morning.
AAWW READINGS: Rattawut Lapcharoensap, Thursday, March 10, 7PM, at The Workshop Sightseeing, by Rattawut Lapcharoensap is a collection of stories set largely in contemporary Thailand, features short stories of family bonds, youthful romance, generational conflicts and cultural shifts beneath the glossy surface of a warm, Edenic setting through vivid assemblage of parents and children, natives and transients, ardent lovers and sworn enemies. Rattawut Lapcharoensap received an MFA in creative writing at the University of Michigan. His honors include the David TK Wong Fellowship, the Avery Jules Hopwood award, and the Andrea Beauchamp prize. His stories have appeared and are forthcoming in Granta, Glimmer Train, Zoetrope: All Story, and Best New American Voices, edited by Francine Prose.
Open Book Celebration, Tuesday, March 15, 7PM, at Tinker Auditorium, French Institute Alliance Francaise, located at 55East 59th Street, between Madison and Park Avenues. Jessica Hagedorn PEN American Center¹s Open Book Program and AAWW present an evening of reading, performances and discussion in celebration of playwright, poet and novelist Jessica Hagedorn. Jessica Hagedorn emigrated to the U.S. from the Philippines as a teen. Her literary talent was soon recognized and encouraged by influential poet Kenneth Rexroth. Hagedorn produced her first collection, Dangerous Music, in 1975. She won the 1981 American Book Award for the novella/poetry collection Pet Food and Tropical Apparitions and subsequently received three Mcdowell Colony Fellowships. The 1990 novel Dogeaters, which was nominated for the National Book Award, established Hagedorn on the American literary scene. Special guests include Walter Mosley, Mia Katigbak, Ching Valdes and Sarah Gambito. Book signing and reception to follow. For more information: 212-334-1660 x110 or www.pen.org/openbook
Amitava Kumar, Thursday, March 17, 7PM, at The Workshop, Amitava Kumar, author of Husband of a Fanatic: A Personal Journey through India, Pakistan, Love and Hate In Husband of a Fanatic (The New Press, 2005), Amitava Kumar examines the Hindu-Muslim conflict in South Asia: hatreds and intimacies joining Indians and Pakistanis, Hindus and Muslims, fundamentalists and secularists, writers and rioters. With a poet¹s eye for detail, Kumar draws a map of violence, moving from the wars and nuclear rivalry dividing two nation-states to the more blurred relationship between two religions and their adherents. Amitava Kumar is the author of Passport Photos (U of California Press, 2000) and Bombay-London-New York (Routledge, 2002) and the editor of the anthology, Away: The Indian Writer as Expatriate (2003). His writing has appeared in The Nation, Harper¹s, and the Times of India, among others. Kumar is the scriptwriter and narrator of the prize-winning documentary film, Pure Chutney. Cosponsored by The New Press, South Asian Journalists Association, and NYU¹s, Asian/ Pacific/ American Studies Program and Institute.
Marianne Villanueva and Paolo Javier, Thursday, March 24, 7PM, at The Workshop.
Marianne Villanueva and Paolo Javier In Mayor of the Roses: Stories (Miami U Press, 2005), Marianne Villanueva writes about the contrary beauty, ugliness and violence of her native land, the Philippines, as well as of the myriad contradictions of immigrant life in the new landscapes of North America. In The Time at the End of This Writing (Ahadada Books, 2004), Paolo Javier overlaps life in New York with his childhood spent in Manila and Cairo and imagined senior years referred to as ³The Lid to the Great Jar.² Javier¹s poems sail over the handlebars of a Huffy bicycle, saunter through the city
onto balconies with lovers, respond to the visual art of Manuel Ocampo, and curse a botched reading of Tagalog. Marianne Villanueva is the author of Ginseng and Other Tales from Manila (Calyx Books, 1991). Along with Virginia Cerenio, she co-edited an award-winning anthology of Filipina women¹s writings, Going Home to a Landscape. Currently, she teaches in the Creative Writing Program of San Francisco State and at Notre Dame de Namur University. Paolo Javier earned an MFA from Bard College and teaches Asian American Studies and Creative Writing in New York City. His second book of poems, 60 Lv Bo(e)mbs (O Books, 2005) is forthcoming. [Abalos]
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