Dancing Across Cultures (at the Smithsonian)

by Keith Stanley
(copyright 2003)

IMG_7971 dancer in blue (good).jpg (36409 bytes) IMG_7972 dancer in blue (ok).jpg (32181 bytes) IMG_7976 dancer in blue (good).jpg (36583 bytes)
Cambodian Dance - traditional Cambodian Dance - traditional Cambodian Dance - traditional
    Yesterday (May 3, 2003), at the Freer Gallery's (Smithsonian) Meyer Auditorium, I saw two dance performance sets and heard a panel discussion.  The first set was traditional Cambodian dance & music (live), two pieces, plus a short slide bio of each member of the group (the Cambodian Classics Ensemble).  The second set featured two dance pieces by Tomie Hahn.  One was a traditional Japanese piece and the other was modern, with the aural accompaniment derived totally from sensorís on the dancerís body, which sensors monitored her motions. The panel discussion afterwards was well worthwhile . . . maybe even the best part of the program, as the artists spoke of their vision and passion (for dancers--the joy of motion, the vocabulary of dance), of the desire to preserve traditional forms (contrasted with the living, organic evolution of the art), and of the challenges of performing in a multi-cultural setting (especially for performers from an ethnic group different from that in which their traditional art arose).  The following pictures are from the two dance performances.  I'm grateful to the Smithsonian for making such events available to the public (all without charge to the public).
IMG_7949 cambodian musicians.jpg (58447 bytes) IMG_7966 2 women, reclining (ok).jpg (80788 bytes) IMG_7968 2 dancers sitting (ok).jpg (82200 bytes)
Musicians for
Cambodian Classics Ensemble
Cambodian Dance - traditional Cambodian Dance - traditional
IMG_7959 dancers, reclining (ok).jpg (96122 bytes) IMG_7969 2 dancers, sitting (ok).jpg (71283 bytes) IMG_7962 dancer (ok).jpg (38373 bytes)
Cambodian Dance - traditional Cambodian Dance - traditional Cambodian Dance - traditional
IMG_7985 electronic woman stopped (ok).jpg (23745 bytes) IMG_7995 electronic woman stretches ahead.jpg (32731 bytes) IMG_7997 electronic woman, looking mean.jpg (26353 bytes)
Tomie Hahn - Pikapika Tomie Hahn - Pikapika Tomie Hahn - Pikapika
IMG_8000 tomie hahn with sweet girl mask.jpg (23218 bytes) IMG_8003 tomie hahn gestures.jpg (21160 bytes) IMG_8008 tomie hahn as the devil in motion (ok).jpg (43265 bytes)
Tomie Hahn - traditional Tomie Hahn - traditional Tomie Hahn - traditional
IMG_8016 thw sweet woman.jpg (33522 bytes)
Tomie Hahn - traditional

More Asian Dance/Performance at the Smithsonian


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