Celebrate Asian Heritage Month this May at the ROM with MUSEUM DANCES: Ancient Inspiration, Contemporary Interpretation

Two weekends of modern Asian dance performances inspired by Museum artifacts

The Institute for Contemporary Culture (ICC) at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and the CanAsian International Dance Festival announce MUSEUM DANCES – Ancient Inspiration, Contemporary Interpretation, a series of exclusively commissioned new Asian dance works inspired by artifacts in the ROM’s collections, performed on May 7-9 and    May 14-16, 2010.
Curated by the CanAsian Dance Festival, the program of contemporary dance performances is part of the Museum’s Asian Heritage Month celebrations and takes place during two weekends in May at various locations throughout the Museum. Since May 2002, the month of May is officially dedicated as Asian Heritage Month in Canada.
“The ICC looks at contemporary world culture in all its forms, from exhibitions to lectures and other special events. We are delighted to collaborate with the CanAsian International Dance Festival to present newly-created dances by some of the best contemporary choreographers, inspired by the ROM’s renowned objects and performed within the unique setting of the ROM’s galleries,” said Francisco Alvarez, Managing Director of the ICC at the ROM.
“It is fitting that the CanAsian International Dance Festival celebrates Asian Heritage Month with the universal expression that is dance,” stated Denise Fujiwara, Artistic Director, CanAsian International Dance Festival. “Our mandate is to foster and promote diverse expressions of Asian aesthetics through dance. Dance, like music, crosses all boundaries and touches people of all cultures and all ages.”

Museum Dances – Ancient Inspiration, Contemporary Interpretation bringstogether dance performances with flavours from across the Asian Diaspora, including South Korea, India, China, and Japan. Presented against the backdrop of the ROM’s permanent galleries and spaces, the performances include:
  • Korean-born dancer and choreographer Soojung Kwon presents a Korean dance inspired by artifacts from the ROM’s Gallery of Korea performed by the JM Dance Collective with music by the Opaque Ensemble.
  • Indian contemporary dancer and choreographer Natasha Bakht with composer Alexander MacSween present a modern Bharatanatyam (classical Indian dance form) inspired by the crystals and gems of the ROM’s Vale Inco Limited Gallery of Minerals performed by dancers from Sampradaya Dance Creations
  • Vancouver-based Moving Dragon Dance Company with composer Michael Vincent present a contemporary dance rooted in Chinese culture, drawing inspiration from the ROM’s iconic Ming Tomb.
  • Japanese-influenced, Toronto-based dance crew F.A.M.’s performance combines martial arts and break dancing inspired by the samurai artifacts of the ROM’s Prince Takamado Gallery of Japan.
Event Summary
May 7-9, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010 at 7 pm
Saturday, May 8, 2010 at 2 pm
Sunday, May 9, 2010 at 2 pm
Performances by:
·         Soojung Kwon with the Opaque Ensemble – Rotunda, Level 1
·         Natasha Baht with Alexander MacSween – Vale Inco Limited Gallery of Minerals, Level 2
·         Moving Dragon Dance Company with Michael Vincent – Gallery of Chinese Architecture, Level 1
May 14-16, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010 at 7 pm
Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 2 pm
Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 2 pm

Performances by:

·         Soojung Kwon with the Opaque Ensemble – Rotunda, Level 1
·         Natasha Baht with Alexander MacSween – Vale Inco Limited Gallery of Minerals, Level 2
·         F.A.M. – Samuel Hall
Currelly Gallery, Level 1

About CanAsian International Dance Festival
The CanAsian Dance Festival fosters and promotes diverse expressions of Asian aesthetics through dance in Canada. Through an annual festival, and artistic and professional development activities, the CanAsian Dance Festival supports the presentation of traditional dance art forms as well as new forms that come out of traditional dance vocabularies, and the integration of contemporary and traditional forms and concepts through the presentation of dance concerts; supports the creation of original Canadian dance by commissioning outstanding choreographers to create new work and by presenting that work to the Canadian public; supports the continued professional development of choreographers and dancers through the presentation of dance concerts to the public and through the education of choreographers and dancers through its workshops, master classes, panel discussions and forums; aims to inform the larger dance community and the general public of the diversity of dance artistry in Canadian society through its public performances, workshops, classes and forums. It celebrates that diversity and promotes greater acceptance and understanding within society.
For more information, visit: www.canasiandancefestival.com

Institute for Contemporary Culture
The Institute for Contemporary Culture is the Royal Ontario Museum’s window on contemporary societies around the globe. Playing a vital role within the historical museum, the ICC examines current cultural, social and political issues throughout the modern world in thought-provoking exhibitions of contemporary art, architecture and design that are presented in the Roloff Beny Gallery and other galleries of the Museum. In addition, a roster of public events such as lectures, film series, debates and performances further explore relevant themes addressed in ICC exhibitions, and serves as a catalyst for stimulating public conversations. The ROM’s extensive collections of world cultures and natural history through the ages add context, meaning and depth to these engaging discussions of contemporary ideas. For more information on the ICC, visit www.rom.on.ca/ icc

Other information
Admission to Museum Dances: Ancient Inspiration, Contemporary Interpretation is included in general Museum admission. Adults: $22; Students and Seniors with ID: $19; Children (4 to 14 years): $15; Children (3 & under) are free. To book a group of ten or more and for more information on private guided tours or group menus, please all ROM Group Sales at 416.586.5801 or email groupsales@rom.on.ca

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