SUN TO STARS FESTIVAL OF ASIAN DANCE, MUSIC & CULTURE
UPDATE! DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER, THE SUN TO STARS FESTIVAL IS BEING POSTPONED UNTIL SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 9 AT 2PM
Sun To Stars returns to Solar One on Saturday September 8, 2012 from 2:00-9:00pm with a program of music and dance from the Philippines, Korea, Iran, India and Bali, as well as kids’ workshops and performances.
2:00-4:00pm: For Kids
2:00-2:30pm- Student performance: The Bollywood students of Rujuta Vaidya
Student performance: The Kathak students of Parul Shah
2:30-3:00pm- Kinding Sindaw “Dance of Light”: Filipino dance
3:00-3:30pm- Lecture/demonstration by tabla player Ehren Hanson
2:30-4:00pm- Arts & crafts with Nandini Chirimar
4:00-4:45pm- Sonali Skandan and Bala Skandan with Akshara: South Indian classical music & dance
4:50-5:45- Song Hee Lee Dance Company: Korean traditional and contemporary dance
6:00-7:00pm- Gamelan Yowana Sari: Balinese music and dance
7:15-8:15pm- Jamshied Sharifi: Iranian music
About the Artists
AKSHARA (www.balaskandan.com/akshara.html) is an exciting new percussion group rooted in Indian classical musical traditions. Comprised of virtuosic performers in Carnatic and Hindustani classical genres, Akshara performs an energetic blend of classical Indian melody and rhythm highlighted with solo and scale-based improvisations. The group performs original compositions by Bala Skandan, demonstrating the powerful and complex rhythmic structures inherent in South Indian classical music.
NANDINI CHIRIMAR grew up in Jaipur, India and came to the USA in 1987 to study art. She completed her BFA in Drawing and Painting from Cornell University, a residency at Skowhegan School of Art, and an MFA in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art. She learned viscosity printing from Arun Bose and spent four years in Japan studying woodblock printing with Taika Kinoshita. She makes detailed mixed media drawings and sculptural pieces using pencil, thread, everyday objects, handmade paper, etching, aquatint and Japanese woodblock printing.
GAMELAN YOWANA SARI is a community group based at The Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. The Artistic Director is Pak Nyoman Saptanyana and the Executive Director is Professor Michael Lipsey. The instruments are all from Bali. This set of percussion instruments are collective called semarandana because of the tuning of the metal percussion instruments. Semarandana instruments combine two older sets of pitches for thekebyar and pegulingan repertoire and provides ideas for new compositions (kreasi baru). The group rehearses at Queens College on Tuesday evenings. All are welcome to join.
EHREN HANSON has been playing tabla for over 12 years. In 2000 he was accepted as a disciple by the great Pandit Anindo Chatterjee. In 2005 he received the prestigious “Senior Performing Arts Fellowship” from the American Institute of Indian Studies. He has performed in festivals and concerts in India, Europe, and America, and is living in Brooklyn where he works as a professional tabla player and composer.
KINDING SINDAW DANCE OF LIGHT is a dance theater ensemble resident of La Mama Experimental Theater since the year 2000. The dances of Kinding Sindaw originate from the royal court dances of the Maranao Sultanate of the southern Philippine Archipelago- a repertory of the sacred, classic, and secular combining grace and vigor, dances that directly reflect their rich natural environment. Dancers imitate the graceful movements of birds, fish, butterflies, rivers, streams, and ocean trekking boats, celebrate fertility in vigorous choreography, sway delicately using colorful fans and scarves, and dramatically inspire through the martial art of silat.
The musical accompaniment is performed on a variety of percussion instruments, including the kulintang, a tuned bronze kettle drum set, known more commonly in the West as gamelan, a variety of hanging gongs which include the bossed agong and the unbossed gandingan and bababdir, and the dabakan, a cylindrical drums. These instruments are played as an ensemble and were prototypes for the instruments of the gamelan ensembles of Java and Bali. Other instruments of the Mindanao cultures include the salunay- a polychordal bamboo tube zither, the kudlung- a two-stringed lute, and kubing- a bamboo jaws harp.
SONG HEE LEE DANCE COMPANY is an international dance troupe performing the traditional forms of Korean dance and contemporary dance, established by choreographer Song Hee Lee in January 2000. The Company is divided into four parts: The Contemporary Division, The Professional Folkloric Division, the Adult Division “Chum Sarang Donggoo Hay” and the Children’s division “Cheongsah Chorong”.
While exploring the connection between east and west, ancient and modern, secular and sacred, Ms. Lee has found a way to reach out to eastern and western communities. The aesthetic standards of Korean performing arts are usually related to nature and natural environments. Beauty in Korean performing arts is a sensation empirically developed through natural phenomena related to human life. Based upon the aesthetic of Korean performing arts, the Song Hee Lee Dance Company seeks to meld traditional and contemporary, as well as eastern and western influences.
PARUL SHAH is a Kathak dancer and choreographer whose work is expanding the classical medium beyond cultural boundaries. Trained under Smt. Kumudini Lakhia, Parul’s work includes traditional solo pieces alongside contemporary choreographies. With an M.A. in dance education from Columbia University, Parul has been teaching for over 12 years. She has presented her solo and group works at major venues, including City Center’s first Fall for Dance Festival in New York, the Kennedy Center, DNA, and Jacob’s Pillow.
JAMSHIED SHARIFI was born in Topeka, Kansas to an Iranian father and an American mother. At an early age, Sharifi was exposed to jazz and Middle Eastern music by his father and to European classical and church music by his mother. He began to study classical piano at age five and quickly developed a thirst for musical instruction and a desire to improvise. At age nine he began studying guitar and drums, and at age ten added flute.
After graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in humanities, Sharifi went on to further his musical education at Berklee College of Music in Boston. At Berklee, he studied Jazz Piano, Composition, and Film Scoring, and in 1983, he received of the Outstanding Jazz Pianist award at the Collegiate Jazz Festival held at the University of Notre Dame. And while Sharifi’s initial focus in music can be credited to American jazz, it is his infusions of elements from the Middle East and Africa that make his music distinctive. He is an accomplished pianist and synthesizer player. Notably, he holds the synthesizer to an ‘acoustic’ standard and aims to play it with the detail and richness of articulation that comes naturally to an acoustic instrumentalist.
SONALI SKANDAN & JIVA DANCE is an exciting new dance company that creates and presents compelling and dynamic works based on the timeless idiom of Bharatanatyam, the classical dance form of South India. Jiva Dance sees the importance of preserving and promoting the traditional arts, yet also understands the need to incorporate innovative techniques to reach diverse audiences. At an intersection of dance, music, literature, philosophy, sculpture and spirituality, the Company believes that Indian Classical dance is a holistic art form and that tradition is a continuum of evolution and change. The Company hopes to invigorate classical works with a freshness and unique voice. Jiva Dance has presented with critical and audience acclaim at venues such as the 2011 NYC International Fringe Festival, Elmira College, Queens College, Columbia University the 2011 Living Dance Festival, 92StY, the Indian Consulate, NYC, along with many others.
RUJUTA VAIDYA is a highly accredited and globallyrecognized Bollywood-style choreographer. With choreography credits that include the Jai Ho and Wall E performances for the Oscars (81st Annual Academy Awards), Britney Spears` The Circus tour and Disney’s Cheetah Girls 3 – One World, Rujuta has emerged as a leading influence in the world of contemporary Bollywood dance. She has also released a Hip Hop – Bollywood dance workout video called BYou2, collaborating with Sabrina Bryan (from the Cheetah Girls series) on a dance instructional video for young girls that blends eastern and western styles. While her training includes a study in the classical forms of Indian dance such as Kathak and Bharatnatyam, Rujuta has fine tuned her skills under the tutelage of famed Hip Hop choreographer Fatima Robinson (choreographer for Michael Jackson, Prince, Fergie, and Rhianna) and the legendary Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan (Tezaab, Mr. India, Devdas, Taare Zameen Par, etc) to develop her own spin on Bollywood dance. Rujuta has been working in the Bollywood industry for 10 years and has worked on many films such as Tara Rum Pum, Jaaneman, Rocky, and the PBS movie Cosmopolitan.
About Sun To Stars
Inspired by the traditional all-night concerts along India’s Ganges River, Sun to Stars evokes the traditional durbar and bethak-style concerts where performers and audiences interact in an informal setting to create an intimate artistic experience. With a backdrop defined by both natural and urban elements, the performers present work that grapples with the environment, be it through mythological folktales or a particular raga connected to nature.
This highly unique program is a highlight of the Green Energy Arts Festival. Sun To Stars evokes long, steamy nights relaxing by the Ganges River, because it takes place on a similar, typically steamy New York City summer day and night as attendees relax along the East River. Entire families often attend with everyone from toddlers through grandparents enjoying the show. Attendees enjoy the relaxed celebration as the stars rise in the night sky.
The Sun to Stars festival is solar-powered by the energy collected by the photovoltaic panels on the Solar 1 roof. The all-day event opens with a program for children to learn about Asian dance, music and mythology, watch youth performances and engage in activities like kite-flying, decorating clay pots and learning to wrap saris. The picnic-like riverside setting is scattered with cushions, rugs, and chairs for Indian-style seating. Local chefs sell Asian cuisine and snacks. There are tables with information about important local and environmental nonprofit organizations.
Free to the public, Sun to Stars is curated by Parul Shah, a NYC-based Kathak choreographer. Sun To Stars is the brainchild of Solar One Founding Artistic Director Tamar Rogoff, who spent several years living and studying dance in India, and continues to provide guidance. The Festival draws a diverse crowd, including New York’s large South Asian community, local residents, music and dance enthusiasts of all kinds, activists, families, and college students.