Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Dance as Cultural Art


Physical Movement: Cultural Art

Dance, unlike other cultural art forms does not leave behind clearly identifiable artifacts.  Unlike clothing or jewelry, the evolution cannot always be easily traced. Even so, dance as art has continues to evolve.  The 9000-year-old dancing images discovered in India’s Bhimbetka Rock Shelters paintings or the Egyptian tomb paintings of dancers dating back to 3300 B.C., tell us that this has long been an important form of expression.
What can such physical movements tell us?

Waiting in Seoul Walking in Tokyo

According to Sonoma State University Department of Theatre Arts & Dance, Jennifer Meek Satoh, co-director of the upcoming Waiting in Seoul Walking in Tokyo spring dance concert can show us emotions that go beyond the limits of words and intellectual comprehension.

“Dance allows people to feel more viscerally rather than just hearing words and having their brain interpret it in certain ways.” It can offer those who see it an opportunity to experience the complexity of emotions the dancer portrays.

Waiting in Seoul Walking in Tokyo is an example of that.  This collaborative, contemporary dance piece, for example, is designed to take audiences on a journey through the streets of Seoul, Tokyo and San Francisco with movement, imagery, cityscape sounds and original music.

Satoh who co-directs and co-choreographs this performance with Christine Cali explained that in this production, some of the piece’s carefully choreographed dance movements suggest the sense of awkwardness or hesitancy that a foreigner may feel in a new country. In this case, it is the experience of a traveler from Seoul on the streets of San Francisco. Satoh suggests that such moves can reveal the ways in which someone might hold back to make sure others are not offended.

Perhaps such subtleties made visual can help us understand what ‘strangers”, including immigrants, face. Such an experience could inform us that beneath cultural differences we are all human. Emotions are a shared experience that can take us beyond pre-set attitudes and beliefs.


Here are some details about this dance concert which is a collaboration with Global Dance Stamp:

Location: Sonoma State University, Evert B. Person Theatre, 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park, CA 94928.

Run Dates: April 21-29, 2017. Opening performance includes a post-show discussion.
April 27 is "Friends and Family Night”: Special $5 rate for SSU faculty, staff, alumni and students; $5 for general, seniors and visiting students.

Tickets: $15-$17 plus parking fee.

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