Suna: New interdisciplinary work from Melody Takata

Integrating movement, projection, music, and social practice research strategies, Suna will explore the intersection of tradition and modernity in postwar Japanese culture and aesthetics. Artistic direction by taiko artist and choreographer Melody Takata, with taiko artist Wesley Hitomo Yee, filmmaker and composer/performer (shamisen, taiko, electronics) Tatsu Aoki and composer/performer Francis Wong (saxophone).

Co-presented by Genryu Arts, Asian Improv aRts, Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center, Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, and Nihonmachi Little Friends as part of Japan Week 2017 Admission is free!

Inspired by the work and trajectory of Japanese filmmaker Hiroshi Teshigahara (1927-1992), Suna (Sand) will reference the intersection of tradition and modernity in postwar Japan. Teshigahara, known on the one hand as an avant-gardist collaborating with famed Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu and author Kobo Abe, was also, as the son of Sogetsu flower arranging grandmaster Sofu Teshigahara, a bearer of this classical tradition. In fact, Hiroshi himself became a Sogetsu grandmaster in 1980, 15 years after his celebrated avant masterpiece Woman in the Dunes, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Within the flower arranging art, it was his arrangements featuring bamboo, which garnered the most appreciation. In reflecting on this legacy, the proposed work will explore the struggle between loyalty to tradition as a kind of fatalism (a theme in Woman in the Dunes) and the desire for the artistic freedom promised by the Western avant-garde. In Suna, as in Teshigahara’s trajectory, this seeming binary is challenged and complicated by the innovative artistic practice and lived experience of project collaborators Takata, Aoki, and Wong.

Photo by Kioto Aoki

WHEN
June 16, 2017 at 8pm - 9:15pm
WHERE
Tateuchi Hall
1830 Sutter St
San Francisco
San Francisco, CA 94115
United States
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Asian Improv aRts
Founded in 1987, Asian Improv aRts’ (AIR) mission is to produce, present and document artistic works that represent the Asian American experience.