Acclaimed Japanese Choreographer Debuts Original Dance at Denison
Posted: April 23, 2007
Juju Alishina, world renowned Japanese choreographer and artistic director of Compagnie NUBA in Paris, will present the choreographic premiere of "Sango: The Coral in the Sky" at 8 p.m. on Friday (April 27) and Saturday (April 28) at Denison University's Doane Dance Performance Space.
"Sango" is a modern choreography based on traditional Japanese dance, Butoh (a dance expression that emerged out of post-WWII Japan) and elements found in Japanese mythology. Students performing with Alishina in Part One of "Sango's" two-part work are: Chandra Leenheer, Christilyn Nailing, Heather Robertson, Ilke Akcasoy, Katlin Peverall, Lisa Rhoden and Theresa Daniel. Part Two will be a solo performance by Alishina with live music by Dance Department Resident Musician and composer Brian Casey. The performance is free and open to the public without reservations. Doors will open 30 minutes prior to the performance.
Alishina, a visiting professor of world dance with Denison's dance department, is teaching the traditional Japanese forms of fan and kimono dance as well as the history and cultural significance behind them. In portions of "Sango" the dancers will be in white make-up and use the fan as part of their dance. In Japan, fans are regarded as a symbol of happiness and good fortune as the fan's form spreads open to the future.
Alishina is a representative performer of the fan dance and has a tremendous passion for her work with fans. She has trained in fan dances in the Japanese tradition, and traveled to Korea, Indonesia, Spain, and Egypt for fan research. In this new work of choreography, "Sango," those countries' fan techniques, as well as those of Alishina's native Japan, are on display.
The folding fan was invented in Japan in the 6th century and exported to China. The Chinese dancing fan was developed in the 7th century. 15th century Portuguese traders brought Japanese fans to Europe where their popularity spread. Fans were then brought to the United States from Europe.
"Maisen," a special fan used in dance, are handcrafted of bamboo and paper. Each has a small iron weight in its handle. In dance, the fan expresses dignity and nobility. It can be used to depict natural phenomenon: rain, wind, ocean waves, flowers. They are also used to represent a lance, sword, umbrella, pipe, letter, flute, hat, door, or cup.
Alishina, trained in traditional Japanese dance, has developed the practice of Butoh, based on her research of this diverse form of Asian dance. She is considered an important figure in the third generation of Butoh artists. Alishina formed her own dance company, NUBA, in 1990 in Tokyo. She moved to Paris in 1998 where she and her company are currently based. In addition to teaching dance, she performs with NUBA around the world. "Sango" is the culmination of Alishina's World Dance courses at Denison.
CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville -- The Dance Department presents Japanese Choreographer Juju Alishina's premiere performance of "Sango: The Coral in the Sky," a modern fan dance; 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday (April 27 and 28), Doane Dance Performance Space (231 West College Street). Free and open to the public without reservations. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Call 740-587-6712 to confirm information.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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