"TRACES: Variations In A Foreign Land
#10,"an evening of dance
featuring works by David Chien Hui Shen,
Mica Bernas, Kyla Barkin and Aaron Selissen.
WHERE AND WHEN:
September 25 at 8:00 pm; September 26 at 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm
Flushing Town Hall 137-35 Northern Blvd. Flushing, New York
TRANSIT DIRECTIONS: from Manhattan take 7 train to Main St.-Flushing (last
TICKETS $15/tdf; 10% discount for groups of 10 or more.
Ticket info and reservations: www.yangtze-rep-theatre.org. Audience members
may also reserve tickets by calling 347-276-6225 or writing email@example.com.
NEW YORK, August 21 -- On September 25 and 26, Yangtze Repertory Theatre
will present "TRACES: Variations In A Foreign Land #10," featuring
works by four choreographers, David Chien Hui Shen, Mica Bernas, Kyla
Barkin and Aaron Selissen. Performances are at Flushing Town Hall, 137-35
Northern Blvd. Flushing (Queens, NYC).
David Chien Hui Shen is Chinese, Mica Bernas is Filipino and Kyla Barkin
and Aaron Selissen are native-born Americans. They met while dancing together
in the New York City community. Although none of their choreographic styles
actually resembles each other’s, they were eager to mix and match
in this group concert, in order to learn about each other's cultures by
dancing in each other's pieces and experimenting in each other's dialogues
of movement. What they have in common, they say, is a choreographic approach
that is athletic, with strong use of gesture and emotionally-driven concepts.
They all look on their work as having a "theatrical" element.
Although Yangtze Rep (www.yangtze-rep-theatre.org), under the artistic
direction of Joanna Chan, is more prolific in producing plays, it is also
firmly committed to its dance program, which makes the organization well-rounded
and offers an opportunity to present non language-based works to its polyglot
(multi-Asian and American) audience. Yantgtze's second production after
its founding was a dance work presented at Pace Downtown Theater, "4
Makes 5," featuring the work of four choreographers, one Chinese
(Yung Yung Tsui) and three non-Asian choreographers (who were associates
of the Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey Dance Companies). This concert set
a high standard for succeeding work and was extremely successful. It led
to the presentation of another work of similar format, "Among Us"
(1996), with all Asian choreographers. Realizing it had an affinity for
these group works, Yangtze coined the title "Variations in a Foreign
Land" in 1997 and began a series of dance productions in that name.
Over the years, the "Variations in a Foreign Land" series has
presented a succession of well-received dance concerts featuring both
new and established artists from Japan, Korea, China, The Philippines,
the U.S., Guatemala, India and Hong Kong. There is a chronological production
history online at: www.yangtze-rep-theatre.org/whoweare.htm.
This year's offering will contain around seven widely different short
Beside the four choreographers, artists appearing will include: dancers
Katie Aggen, Beth Edwards, Hayan Kim, Ashley Liang, Seth Miner, Robert
M. Valdez Jr., Esmé Boyce, Jordan Morley, Marielis Garcia, Anna
Woolf and Sen Yang; film maker/composers Lindsey Boise and Chris Johnson;
and composers Bill Carrasco and Su Sheng. Lighting design is by Jack Wiltlien.
There will be an opening night reception September 25 from 6:30 to 7:30PM.
DAVID CHIEN HUI SHEN
David ChienHui Shen graduated from the Chinese Cultural University, majoring
in Martial Arts with a focus on Tai Chi Chuan. In 1997, he won the gold
medal at the National Tai Chi Competition in Taiwan and began his dance
career with the Chinese Youth Goodwill Mission, touring 25 cities around
Asia in 1991. He danced professionally with the Taipei Folk Dance Troupe
from 1991-1997, where in 1992 he choreographed the Martial Arts Suite
for the Troupe’s special performance "Ode to Chinese Culture"
at Lincoln Center. In 1996, Mr. Shen performed the special role of Villain
in the Taipei production of the dance drama "The Peacock Princess"
and as ‘Director’ in the opening dance for the "Golden
Horse Movie Award"s on Taiwan TV. He was the lead performer in the
"History of Taiwanese Jazz Dancing" series, a 6-month series
of performances exploring the history of Taiwanese cultural dance. Soon
after that he joined the Peggy Wu Jazz Dance Company, where in 1998 he
was a member of the first Taiwanese Jazz Dance troupe to be invited to
tour mainland China. After performing in "The White Snake Legend,"
a Chinese drama, at the Taipei Cultural Center in New York in 1999, Mr.
Shen moved to the United States to work with the Nai Ni Chen Dance Company,
where he performed until 2003 when he joined the Carolyn Dorfman Dance
Company. With these and other companies he continues to perform around
the world. He currently works as a dancer and choreographer based in New
York City. In addition, he has appeared in dramatic roles in "Li,
The Last King" with Mabou Mines Studio Theatre at Performance Space
122, and in "Luo Shen" with Yangtze Rep last spring. He is a
member of the Executive Board of Yangtze Repertory Theatre of America.
Mica Bernas was born and raised in Manila, Philippines and started her
training at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Dance (CCP) School
under the direction of Noordin Jumalon. In 2002, she joined Ballet Philippines
(BP), performing and touring with the company as a soloist in works by
Alice Reyes, Denisa Reyes, Tony Fabella, William Morgan, Agnes Lugnasin
and Agnes Locsin. She was a representative of the Philippines in ASEAN
Arts Festival in Cambodia in 2002 as well as ASEAN production of REALIZING
RAMA featuring collaborating artists from ten South East Asian Countries
(Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand,
Philippines, Vietnam) in 2003 and 2006. Since arriving in New York in
2006, she has worked with Max Luna III, Karole Armitage, Connecticut Ballet,
Zig Zag Ballet, H.T. Chen and Dancers, Leonides D. Arpon, Marta Renzi
and Gallim Dance. She is currently a member of the Carolyn Dorfman Dance
Company and a founding member of Akin, Amin, Atin, an ensemble, which
is committed to developing and presenting contemporary, multicultural
works by Filipino contemporary artists. She appeared last fall in Yangtze
Rep's "Variations in a Foreign Land IX: Akin. Amin. Atin.,"
dancing in works by Leonides Arpon.
Kyla Barkin, raised in Tempe, AZ., studied with "La Mariquilla"
at the Academia de Ballet Flamenco in Granada, Spain. She attended Arizona
State University’s Advanced Youth Program at age 16, then received
her BA in Dance from UCLA. Her choreography has been shown at New York
venues including The Merce Cunningham Theatre, Dance Space Center, Dixon
Place, Center Stage, the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, Grand Space
and The Moveable Feast. Ms. Barkin has been described as having a“physically
expansive attack” (Jennifer Dunning, The New York Times). Her work
covers a spectrum of highly athletic yet subtle, qualitative movement
drawing from such influences as classical ballet, contemporary dance,
street dance, wave work, flamenco, the human psyche, and the sciences.
Barkin has worked with Janis Brenner & Dancers since 1998, with whom
she has toured to Indonesia, Russia, and Taiwan. She has also taught and
set works at the Juilliard School, NCSA, and other universities and conservatories.
She has danced with Isabel Gotzkowsky and Friends (since 2003), The Carolyn
Dorfman Dance Co., The Doug Elkins Dance Company, Tamar Rogoff Performance
Projects, Kun-Yang Lin, Los Angeles Modern Dance and Ballet, and others.
She has been on faculty at USDAN Center for Performing Arts and teaches
classes, private lessons and workshops internationally. She is also a
fitness professional, a medical exercise specialist and a yoga teacher/therapist.
She has been published in Dance Magazine, is a singer/songwriter, and
one of the original producers of The Moveable Feast, a "pARTy”
on the move with an ever-changing menu. Most recently, she created the
BARKIN/SELISSEN Project, a partnership with Aaron Selissen, in 2008.
Aaron Selisson is originally from Green Bay, WI. In 2002, he received
his B.F.A. In dance performance from Butler University. While attending
school, he performed with Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre and Ballet Internationale.
Following graduation, he joined David Hochoy's Dance Kaleidoscope of Indianapolis.
During his time with Dance Kaleidoscope, he enjoyed annual residencies
at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. In 2005, Mr. Selissen moved to NYC
and was invited to dance with the Martha Graham Dance Ensemble. In 2008,
he co-founded BARKIN/SELISSEN Project with partner Kyla Barkin. In addition
to B/S P, he can be seen performing with Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company,
Janis Brenner and Dancers, Isabel Gotzkowsky and Friends, and David Shen
Dance Group. He also teaches workshops and classes, is a singer/songwriter,
guitarist and an independent Fitness Professional.
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CRITICS ARE INVITED to all performances.