A collaboration by Denise Uyehara and Sri Susilowati

 PAGEANTRY follows the trail of young Asian women who danced for renowned Hollywood choreographer Michio Ito in the late 1930s.  Under Ito’s training they learned dances from Indonesia, Thailand, China and Japan.  Their plans to tour the U.S. were disrupted when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and many of them were sent to the Japanese American internment camps. After the war some of these women found work dancing in nightclubs that catered to white America’s fascination with the exotic oriental woman.   In this interdisciplinary new work Indonesian dance collides with Hollywood film noir and larger-than-life musicals, all the while tracking the (in)visibility of pan-Asian dance hall girls.  The work also explores the intense and entangled relationship between Japan and Indonesia during World War II.  The evening ends with solos from each artists’ repertoire.  Directed by veteran performance artist Denise Uyehara in collaboration with master Indonesian dancer Sri Susilowati. Video and sound design by Adam Cooper Terán.  Created for the UCLA Performance Studies conference (2008), Pageantry has been presented as part of Muticultural Spring at the UC Irvine Theater Department, and the UC Santa Barbara Multicultural Center (2009).

 

Pageantry (2008-2009) | 2009 | Noteable, Performances and Activities