Okinawan dance

Uchinaa nu Chimugukuru featured in Kennedy Theatre’s Look Back: Move Forward concert. (Photo by Chesley Cannon)

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Department of Theatre and Dance is proud to present, Look Back: Move Forward, Kennedy Theatre’s dance concert for the 2013–2014 season. The production celebrates the theater’s 50th Anniversary by bringing UH Mānoa dance alumni, well known to local audiences, back to the stage where their careers began. Performances will take place November 15, 16, 22 and 23 at 8 p.m., and November 24 at 2 p.m.

Look Back: Move Forward will feature eight pieces that display the breadth of UH Mānoa’s dance training, and of the choreography created by its alumni and associated artists. Styles will include classical Indian dance, Okinawan dance, hula, contemporary dance and jazz. A highlight of the concert will be “Blue-Green” (1979), choreographed by Carl Wolz, the founder of the UH Mānoa dance Program. This lyric duet for two women will be performed by MFA students Mareva Minerbi and Blythe Stephens. Jean Erdman’s classic “Hamadryad” (1948) will also be performed. Edrman passed this solo, set to Claude Debussy’s Syrnix, on to Nancy Allison; Allison taught it to students Malia Wild and Alison Burkhardt, who will perform it on alternate nights. Flautist Sian Ishihara will play Debussy’s score live for each performance.

Several dances in the concert illustrate the program’s mission to combine tradition and innovation. Yukie Shiroma’s “Uchinaa nu Chimugukuru” (Okinawan spirit) grew out of her 30-year dedication to Okinawan classical dance. Cheryl Flaharty, director of IONA Contemporary Dance Theatre, will present, “You’re the One for Me,” from her evening-length program Hawaiian Myths and Legends. The excerpt tells the humorous story of Kamapuaʻa, the Hawaiian pig god, and his sultry relationship with Pele; it is performed to a combination of Ravel’s “Bolero” and text by local playwright Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl.

The program will also include “The Other Rhythm,” which features the musicality and intricate movements of both hula and the classical Indian dance form Bharatanātyam. Kumu hula Vicky Holt Takamine has joined forces with visiting dance scholar Anita Vallabh to create an interweaving of these two distinct dance traditions.

The concert also features “Deep Divide” by dance alumna Jennifer Shannon. The piece premiered at Mark’s Garage in 2012, and will be performed at Kennedy Theatre by Alexa Manalansan and Kent Shinomae. Alumni choreographers Tony Young and Andrew Sakaguchi will round out the concert with work that draws on jazz and musical theater dance traditions.

Ticket information

Tickets are $25 general; $22 military/seniors and UH faculty and staff; $16 UHAA members; $13 students, and $5 students with validated fall 2013 UH Mānoa photo IDs. Discount rates are available for groups of 10 or more.

UH Mānoa students with validated fall 2013 university IDs will be eligible for the theater’s buy-one-get-one offer on Friday, November 22.

Purchase tickets online or call 808-944-2697. Tickets will also be available at the Kennedy box office, open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays through Fridays with extended hours on performance dates.

A UH Mānoa news release

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *