Two representations of Korean dance will be among the performances featured in the Asia-Pacific Dance Festival at Kennedy Theatre on the UH MÄnoa campus Saturday and Sunday, July 30 – 31, 2011. Along with Korean dance, the festival will present works from Japan, Okinawa, India, the Philippines, and Hawai’i.
Featured dancers and choreographers for the Korean portions of the program include Mary Jo Freshley, dancers from the Halla Huhm Korean Dance Studio, and Ellen Cho.
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 30, and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 31. The Sunday matinée will be followed by a free public forum in the Garden Dining Rooms of the East-West Center’s Imin Center (Jefferson Hall) beginning at 4:45 p.m. and including UHM professor of anthropology and author Christine Yano; UCLA professor and former dance critic David Gere; and many of the choreographers and dancers.
Tickets range from $5 to $25 and are available at www.etickethawaii.com/orc.html or call (808) 944‑2697 or visit any UH Ticket outlet. For more information, visit www.outreach.hawaii.edu/community or call (808) 956‑8246.
The first Korean selection on the progam is Aloha Kimchee Nori, featuring a traditional choreography adapted and arranged by Mary Jo Freshley and including nongak variations taught by Halla Pai Huhm, Kim Duk-soo, and Kim PyÅng-sÅp; samulnori taught by Kim Duk-soo; and the hula choreography of Nona Beamer. Music includes Korean drum rhythms taught by Halla Pai Huhm, Kim Duk-soo, and Kim PyÅng-sÅp and Kahuli Aku, a traditional Hawaiian chant. The dancers will be Freshley and students of the Halla Huhm Korean Dance Studio.
The other Korean item on the program is SÅngmu and an excerpt from Interstitial Space. The choreography for SÅngmu is by Yi Mae-bang, as taught by Kim Myo-sÅn in 1995; the excerpt from Interstitial Space was choreographed by Jennifer Lin (2010). The music for the Interstitial Space excerpt, Walking in Small Steps, was recorded by Sagye Kayagum Ensemble. The performers will be, for SÅngmu, Mary Jo Freshley and Ellen Cho and for Interstitial Space, Ellen Cho.
Mary Jo Freshley is the current director of the Halla Huhm Korean Dance Studio and continues the legacy of the studioâ€™s founder, Halla Pai Huhm (1922 – 1994). Huhm began her studies of dance with Pae Ku-ja in Japan prior to immigrating to Hawaiâ€˜i. She returned to Korea on numerous occasions to learn from such masters as court dancer Kim Châ€™Ån-hÅng and shaman Lee Ji-san. Like Huhm, Freshley has continued her own studies by frequently visiting Korea to study with Kim Châ€™Ån-hÅng and such recognized drumming specialists as Kim Duk-soo, founder of the renowned original samulnori group, and Kim PyÅng-sÅp, recognized nongak performer and teacher. Also like Huhm, Freshley works to retain the distinctive characteristics of traditional dances she has learned as well as to create new works in a manner that respects their sources.
Ellen Cho studied Korean dance, ballet, and modern dance in Korea before immigrating to Hawaiâ€˜i in 1998. Since then her interests have expanded to include such forms as jazz and hip-hop. She has continued her studies of Korean dance with Mary Jo Freshley at the Halla Huhm Dance Studio and of ballet and modern dance at the University of Hawaiâ€˜i at MÄnoa, where she earned her B.A. in dance.
Program notes for the performances were written by Center for Korean Studies emerita faculty member Judy Van Zile, who is serving as artistic and humanities consultant for the festival.
Asia-Pacific Dance Festival: The Crossroads of Contemporary and Traditional Dance is presented by the UHM Outreach College with funding provided by the Hawaiâ€˜i Pacific Rim Society; Friends of Hawaiâ€˜i Charities; contributors to the East-West Center Foundation, including members of the EWC Arts ‘Ohana; the UHM Centers for Korean Studies, Japanese Studies, and Philippines Studies; the UHM Diversity and Equity Initiative; the Hawaiâ€˜i Council for the Humanities; and the University of Hawaiâ€˜i at MÄnoa Student Activity and Program Fee Board.