Dancing Moons Festival
Oakland Ballet Company and the Oakland Asian Cultural Center presents:
Dancing Moons Festival 2024
An Isadora Duncan Award Winner
Featuring works by Natasha Adorlee, Phil Chan, Lawrence Chen, Ye Feng, Seyong Kim, Elaine Kudo, Caili Quan, and Ashley Thopiah, and including a preview of the Angel Island Project!
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Oakland Asian Cultural Center
March 14-16, 2024
388 9th St Ste 290, Oakland, CA 94607
There is ample parking in the underground lot below the Pacific Renaissance Plaza.
ODC Theater, San Francisco
April 5-6, 2024
3153 17th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Please join us for a special Supporter/Enthusiast Event at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center on March 16th!
Dancing Moons Festival 2024 – Enthusiast | $200
Includes a tour of the Dancing Moons Festival Art Exhibit at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, an exclusive dinner at Peony Restaurant adjacent to the theatre, the Dancing Moons Festival performance, and a Meet-the-Artists event in the theatre foyer following the performance.
Includes $100 for the above services and $100 donation to OBC.
Dancing Moons Festival 2024 – Supporter | $300
Includes everything in the Enthusiast tier plus an opportunity drawing for the chance to win a private dance lesson with one of the Oakland Ballet dancers (three chances to win).
Includes $150 for the above services and $150 donation to OBC.
Schedule outlined below:
5:30 tour DMF Art Exhibit at Oakland Asian Cultural Center
6:00 – 7:15 Dinner at Peony Restaurant (nextdoor to OACC)
7:30 – 9:00 DMF performance at OACC
9:00 – 9:45 Meet-the-Artists in OACC foyer
Details about the 2024 program below:
* A celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander choreographers *
Oakland Ballet Angel Island Project
Based on Huang Ruo’s composition, Angel Island, which took its inspiration from the poems carved into the walls by detainees held at the immigration station between 1910-1940, OBC will realize this 70-minute oratorio for 4 voices and string quartet in a two-year phase.
In spring 2024, several selections will be presented as “works in progress” as part of the Dancing Moons Festival 2024. Next year, 2025, the rest of the choreography will be realized and the entire work performed with live music.
- Layer Upon Layer by Caili Quan (2022)
- Ballet des Porcelaines or The Teapot Prince by Phil Chan (original 1739; reimagined 2021).
- Highlights of Exquisite Corpse by Elaine Kudo, Seyong Kim, and Phil Chan (2023)
About Exquisite Corpse:
The work borrows its name from a parlor game invented in 1925 by a group of artists and writers including André Breton and Marcel Duchamp. Participants took turns drawing sections of a body, then folding the work to hide their contributions. The next player added to the whole without knowing how the final result would appear. By emphasizing free play, unpredictability and collaboration, the game was quite popular in Surrealist circles in the 1920s and 30s.
Playing off this concept, Chan, Kim and Kudo have created three works each: a solo (the head), a group piece (the torso) and a duet (the legs), and the nine sections will be woven together to create an “exquisite corpse.”
About Ballet des Porcelains or The Teapot Prince:
A lost 18th Century Divertissement, the original ballet was performed in 1739 at the Chateau de Morville near Paris. It was presented once more, in 1741, in the garden of the château before being virtually lost forever. Not much survived of the 15-minute divertissement, no sets, costumes or choreography, but the score and the libretto which are kept at the National Library of France in Paris.
In 2021, Phil Chan was commissioned by the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art to reimagine the ballet’s centuries-old plot – creating a new version of the story more appropriate for today’s diverse audiences. Says Chan, “Now, instead of it being about, ‘Let’s triumph over Asian people,’ it’s about Asian people saying, ‘Hey, don’t treat us as porcelain dolls. See us with nuance.”
Meet the Dancing Moons Festival 2024 Choreographers
Phil Chan, a ‘21/’22 Visiting Scholar at the A/P/A Institute at NYU and the Manhattan School of Music’s ‘21’/’22 Citizen Artist, is a graduate of
Carleton College and an alumnus of the Ailey School. As a writer, he served as the Executive Editor for FLATT Magazine and contributed to Dance Europe Magazine, Dance Magazine, Dance Business Weekly, and the Huffington Post. He was the founding General Manager of the Buck Hill Skytop Music Festival, and was the General Manager for Armitage Gone! Dance. He served multiple years on the National Endowment for the Arts dance panel and the Jadin Wong Award panel presented by the Asian American Arts Alliance. He serves on the International Council for the Parsons Dance Company, the Advisory Board of Dance Magazine, and was a 2020 New York Public Library Jerome Robbins Dance Division Research Fellow. He was just named a Next 50 arts leader by the Kennedy Center and is the co-founder of Final Bow for Yellowface.
Lawrence Chen (he/him) grew up in Southern California, studying ballet, contemporary, and hip-hop under the care of Victor and Tatiana Kasatsky and their faculty from the age of thirteen. He went on to compete in the YAGP, placing in the Top 12 Pas De Deux in the New York Finals of 2014 as well as in the Top 3 soloist at regional venues for several years. At Pomona College, Lawrence obtained a BA in chemistry with mathematics, took on collegiate ballroom, and performed as a principal dancer for the Inland Pacific Ballet under the watchful eye of Victoria Koenig. In addition to dancing with the Oakland Ballet Company, Lawrence teaches ballet and tutors high school STEM subjects. At OBC, he has performed as the deer dancer in Graham Lustig’s Luna Mexicana and in the title role of The Nutcracker. Lawrence has also been featured in new works by choreographers Caili Quan, Megan and Shannon Kurashige, and Phil Chan, a co-founder of Final Bow for Yellowface. This is Lawrence’s third full season with the Oakland Ballet.
Seyong Kim, an Assistant Professor of Dance at Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, MI), holds an MA in Dance Education from NYU Steinhardt and an MA in Dance from Sung-Kyun-Kwan University (Seoul, South Korea). He is a CMA (Certified Movement Analyst) from Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies, a RSDE (Registered Somatic Dance Educator), and a PBT (Progressing Ballet Technique) Certified Teacher. Seyong is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 of the American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum. Furthermore, he earned the Diversity and Inclusion Certificate from Cornell University.
Seyong has taught for Rutgers University, Kent State University, The University of Georgia, Randolph College, Palm Beach Atlantic University, Peridance, Steps On Broadway, Texas A&M International University, Libera University in Italy, World Dance Alliance-America (WDAA), American College Dance Association (ACDA), Eisenhower Dance Detroit, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, National High School Dance Festival, Alabama Dance Festival, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, Dance Now! Miami, West Hawaii Dance Theatre, Charlottesville Ballet, and Grand Rapids Ballet.
Seyong’s research interest is to explore Inter/Multi/Trans-cultural perspectives in dance and his research was invited to present at European Association for Laban/Bartenieff Movement Studies Conference (Loheland, Germany), Indonesia University of Education International Conference (Bandung, West Java), Hawaii University International Conference (Honolulu, Hawaii), and The Society of Korean Dance Studies International Symposium (Seoul, South Korea).
As a professional dancer, Seyong has danced with the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center, Albania National Ballet Theatre, Baltimore Ballet, Traverse City Dance Project, Neglia Ballet, TAKE Dance, and Oakland Ballet Company. In addition, his choreographic works have been internationally invited at Landestheater Coburg in Germany, Florence Dance on Screen Festival in Italy, International Contemporary Dance Festival of Mexico City, Taiwan JueDai Taipei International Dance Festival, ProArteDanza in Canada, Seoul International Dance Festival in TANK, Lebanon International Dance Festival, World Congress of Dance Research in Greece, Battery Dance Festival, Palm Desert Choreography Festival, American Dance Guild Festival, Lindenwood University, Cleveland Dance Festival, Richmond Dance Festival, Milwaukee Fringe Festival, Midwest Regional Alternative Dance Festival, Chicago International Dance Forum, Detroit Dance City Festival, Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, Orlando Contemporary Dance Choreography Festival, Oklahoma International Dance Festival, CrossCurrent Asian American Dance Festival, and Movement Research at the Judson Church.
Elaine Kudo raised in New York City, received her early ballet training at the Metropolitan Opera Ballet School, later spent six years at the School of American Ballet and was a scholarship student at the American Ballet Theatre School.
Ms. Kudo was a member of American Ballet Theatre from 1975 – 1989 was promoted to soloist in 1981. She danced soloist and principal roles in a wide range of works mostly in the contemporary repertory. She has had the honor of working with choreographers Anthony Tudor, Jerome Robbins, Glen Tetley, Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Eugene Loring and Sir. Kenneth MacMillan on featured roles in their ballets, and has had roles created for her by Twyla Tharp, Lynn Taylor-Corbett, Chu San Gogh, and David Gordon.
In 1982 Ms. Kudo along with other members of ABT performed at the Spoleto Festival in Italy in a group assembled to recreate the Jerome Robbins Company Ballet USA. She also toured extensively during the summer seasons as a member of Baryshnikov & Co. from 1983 – 1986, and was Mr. Baryshnikov’s partner in “Sinatra Suite” and “Push Comes to Shove” in the PBS Great Performances special “Baryshnikov by Tharp”. In 1987 – 88 she joined the Tharp Dance Co. for a national tour and tour of Australia and New Zealand.
Directly after her retirement from the stage in 1990 Ms, Kudo began staging the works of Twyla Tharp, both nationally and abroad, with eight pieces in rotation, she continues to be one of the primary stagers of Tharp repertory.
Ms. Kudo assumed the position of ballet master for the New Jersey Ballet 1994-97 & American Repertory Ballet 1997-2003. Most recently the Washington Ballet from 2011 – 2020.
She with partner Buddy Balough founded and directed Theatre Arts Dance America – located in Verona NJ. from 1997 through 20I0. In addition to teaching at TADA
Ms. Kudo has served on the faculty of the American Ballet Theatre summer intensive program from 1998 – 2003, Ballet Tech, Jacob’s Pillow – Contemporary Traditions in July 2007 as well as guest teacher at Princeton Ballet School and Steps on Broadway in 2011.
Ms. Kudo was given her first opportunity to choreograph at the New Jersey Ballet in 1997. That piece was later staged at the Carolina Ballet for its inaugural season in 1999. She choreographed four ballets for the American Repertory Ballet during her tenure as ballet master. One for director Septime Webre, three as part of director Graham Lustigs’, Dancing Through the Ceiling project designed to promote
women choreographers. In addition to these works for professional companies she has choreographed a number of solos for her students receiving a choreography award from the Youth America Grand Prix. She has also contributed three ballets for the ABT summer intensive program and five pieces for TWB summer intensive as well as numerous pieces and a Pas de Duex for Theatre Arts Dance America.
Caili Quan is a New York-based choreographer who danced with BalletX from 2013 to 2020. She has created works for BalletX, The Juilliard School, Nashville Ballet, Owen/Cox Dance Group, Columbia Ballet Collaborative, and Ballet Academy East. She served as an Artistic Partnership Initiative Fellow and a Toulmin Creator at The Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU. With BalletX she performed new works by Matthew Neenan, Nicolo Fonte, Gabrielle Lamb, Penny Saunders, Trey McIntyre, and danced at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Vail Dance Festival, Belgrade Dance Festival, and DEMO by Damian Woetzel at the Kennedy Center. Mahålang, a short documentary that wove familial conversations of her Chamorro Filipino upbringing on Guam with scenes from BalletX’s Love Letter, was shown at the Hawai’i International Film Festival, CAAMFest, and the Dance on Camera Festival at Lincoln Center. Caili is a Creative Associate at The Juilliard School.
Ashley Thopiah (she/her) received her BFA in Dance Performance from Butler University. She began her dance training at the Christine Rich Dance Academy and furthered her training in summer programs at State Street Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. At Butler, Ashley performed corps, soloist, and principal roles in Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Giselle, La Bayadere, Cinderella, and George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments. As a choreographer, Ashley has created two works for Butler University’s dance department, Jyoti and Ekta. Using both modern dance and Bharatanatyam, a form of classical Indian dance, she expresses the two distinct but intertwined aspects of her identity. During the summer of 2018, Ekta was performed in the National Opera House in Warsaw, Poland, across Prague, Krakow, Poznan, and Bratislava. Joining Oakland Ballet in 2019, she created the role of Coffee in The Nutcracker, as well as featured roles in The Birthdays, 4 Parts Jazz by Alyah Baker, Club LC by Bobby Briscoe, and Phil Chan’s Quartet and Seyong Kim’s Duet from Exquisite Corpse.