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UCIRA Artist Michael Sakamoto presents The Empty Room Acclaimed Dance and Music Artists from Five Countries Facing “Crisis”

Highways Performance Space presents
The Empty Room
Acclaimed Dance and Music Artists from Five Countries Facing “Crisis”

“Sakamoto speaks entire passages with a single movement.” – LA Weekly
“The apotheosis of Hip-Hop.” – Los Angeles Times (on Rennie Harris)
“Los Angeles’s new music luminary.” – Los Angeles Times (on Amy Knoles)
“Intimate…fascinating…heroic acts of selflessness and dedication.” – Los Angeles Times (on Waewdao Sirisook)
“Perfect serenity…Chankethya’s mastery proved exemplary.” – Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles, CA – Highways Performance Space proudly presents The Empty Room, a diverse program of international performances led by butoh dance theater artist Michael Sakamoto with renowned artists from Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, and the USA, on Friday-Saturday, June 1-2, 2012 at 8:30pm. Collaborating performers include hip-hop choreographer-dancer Rennie Harris (Rennie Harris Puremovement) new music composer and electronic percussionist Amy Knoles (California EAR Unit), Japanese performers Mao Arata, Natsumi Ishihara, and Tetsuro Koyano (Pappa Tarahumara), Thai dancer Waewdao Sirisook (Lan Sattha Thai Dance), Cambodian dancer Chey Chankethya (Amrita Performing Arts), and Vietnamese-American dancer Nguyen Nguyen (Los Angeles Movement Arts), with additional music by Japanese musicians Reiko Imanishi and Shinichi Isohata (Resonance Beauty music duo).

Tickets are $20 ($15 students/groups) general admission. For reservations, call 310-315-1459. To purchase tickets: www.highwaysperformance.org.

Named after a 13th Century Zen koan that calls for letting go of distractions and ego, The Empty Room is a dance and music journey into the crisis of consciousness in contemporary society, addressing themes of desire, identity, self-awareness, the environment, and the hope of democracy. Butoh dance theater artist Michael Sakamoto leads ten international collaborators to envision a sustainable future that starts by inspiring social awareness within the individual. Each segment of The Empty Room is a 20-30 minute work that combines dance and music forms, including butoh, hip-hop, traditional Thai, classical Cambodian, Balinese mask, postmodern dance, new music mixology, and koto/guitar improvisation. Inspired by the butoh concept of the “body in crisis,” the performances address a wide range of social and global crises, including environmental devastation, urban sustainability, and the search for meaning in a post-industrial, consumer landscape. This project’s collaborations are also an expression of transformation through multicultural perspectives and a call for global unity.

Program works include:

“Flash” – Choreographed and performed by Michael Sakamoto and Rennie Harris
“White Screen” – Dance: Michael Sakamoto and Waewdao Sirisook, music: Amy Knoles
“Genjokoan” – Dance by Tetsuro Koyano, Mao Arata, and Waewdao Sirisook
“Soil” – Dance by Chey Chankethya, Waewdao Sirisook, and Nguyen Nguyen, directed by Michael Sakamoto, music by Reiko Imanishi and Shinichi Isohata

Support for this production was provided by the Center for Cultural Innovation’s Artist Innovation and ARC grant programs and the UCLA International Institute’s Fieldwork Fellowship.

Michael Sakamoto
Performance and media artist
Faculty Advisor, MFA-Interdisciplinary Arts, Goddard College
Adjunct Faculty, Department of Theatre, California Institute of the Arts
email: michaelsakamoto@yahoo.com
site: www.michaelsakamoto.com
blog: anemptyroom1.blogspot.com

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