The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Department of Theatre and Dance and Kennedy Theatre are preparing to premiere Form Within a Form: Echoes and Reverberations, a transformative dance concert with a cast of 60 performers, featuring dynamic, interactive and powerfully innovative collaborations between original dance, music, mixed media, scenic art and costume design. Directed by Kara Jhalak Miller, the season’s largest dance production will highlight internationally renowned choreographers from the Korea National University of the Arts in addition to original contributions by local Hawaiʻi artists, UH Mānoa dance and music faculty.
“This production focuses on deeply investigative creative processes with themes of nurturing, nourishing, sustaining, transmission and transformation that also explore immersive perception and physical listening through the senses and body,” said Miller, associate professor and associate chair of dance at UH Mānoa.
The National Endowment of the Arts awarded the UH Mānoa College of Arts, Languages and Letters $10,000 for the production, which helped bring renowned Korean dance artists 정재혁 Jae Hyuk Jung and 김삼진 Samjin Kim to the Mānoa campus to train students for two special numbers, “출정/Chuljeong: The Battle Against Invisible Fear” and “Hangout,” focusing on Indigenous contemporary dance with Korean traditional contexts to be featured in the concert. Both artists are serving as resident dance artists this fall.
Ticket prices range from $8 to $25 for the in-person production at Kennedy Theatre on November 11, 12, 18, 19 and 20. The concert will also feature choreography from local artists and UH Mānoa dance and music faculty: Miller, Sai Bhatawadekar, Kaʻohinani Yojo Daniels, Betsy Fisher, Amy Lynn Schiffner and Jonathan Clarke Sypert. Original music compositions by Rafael Borges Amaral, Keith Cross, Takuma Itoh and John Signor, with movement-based media art by Larry Asakawa.
The mainstage production, originally slated for fall 2020, was postponed due to the pandemic. Audiences will be transported through a wide spectrum of dance genres and traditions such as Bhatawadekar’s हीच इनंती यावं जी – Invocation, a Marathi song choreographed to embody form inspired by the god of stage; Cross, Daniels, Schiffner and Sypert’s, Meta, exploring ways in which lyricism is connected to cognitive function, language, and cultural and environmental sustainability. The full cast dance piece in the concert, Elements, is co-directed and devised by Miller and Signor, an associate professor of music at Leeward CC featuring a contemplative sound score with live musicians, crystal bowls, midi keyboard, computer and vocalizations.
Lighting designs for the production created by MFA candidate Rebecca Mahar, costume designs by Maile Speetjens, Hannah Schauer Galli and MFA candidate Devin Walters, with video projections by Michelle Bisbee, 이성호 Sung Ho Lee and Rick Greaver.