A/P/A Institute presents the New York premiere of Hyphen at the New York University Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. Known for Asian-inspired works and visual clarity, the Washington, D.C.-based Dana Tai Soon Burgess & Co.’s new work explores “Hyphenated America.”
“The piece looks at the experience of being a hyphenated American—Asian Americans but also other ethnic Americans and multi-racial Americans,” says artistic director and choreographer Dana Tai Soon Burgess. “Does the hyphen connect or separate our hybrid identities? There’s definitely a struggle going on; commonality is a difficult process in a multifaceted America.”
Members of the dance company are Asian American, Latin American, European and Irish American, and held discussions about what the hyphen meant in their lives. Snippets of these discussions will be woven into the performance’s sound design. The set design includes short black-and-white “Fluxus films” by famed video artist Nam June Paik, a Korean American. Paik was the founder of video art and the first Asian American artist at the heart of the avant-garde Fluxus movement of the late 1950s and early 1960s, a movement that included Yoko Ono and John Cage. The works used for Hyphen are the little-seen early Paik classics Cinema Metaphysique, Button Happening, and Hand and Face. “They resonate with questions about identity,” says Burgess.
The program also includes Burgess’ Meditations, a work noriginally created for Ballet Memphis, as well as Khaybet, a solo piece, and Chino Latino, inspired by the intersection of Asians and Latinos in Latin and South America. Visit the company online at www.dtsbco.com.