Purple Moon Dance Project presents
Greater than the Sum of our Parts
Alleluia Panis Dance Theatre
Sayaw sa Mutya
Saturday, May 15th, 2004. 8:00pm; May 16th 3:00pm
SomArts Cultural Center
934 Brannan St, SF
Photo:Theresa C. Thadani
Purple Moon Dance Project
New work rooted in teachings on impermanence and cutting through illusion.
Sculptural movement… intimate imagery… physical stillness…
Experience an interior exploration through the terrain of transition, loss, attachment and sympathetic joy.
It is our inherent nature to be open hearted, even as we live in this time of unbearable inhumanity and enormous love.
Artistic Director Jill Emiko Togawa, is a Japanese American Yonsei, born and raised in Honolulu. She received a B.A. in Dance from the University of Hawai_i and has more than 20 years experience as a dancer and choreographer in New York, Oklahoma, the Bay Area and Hawaii. Her formal training includes ballet and modern (Graham, Limon, Cunningham, as well as hula, middle eastern, butoh, Indonesian and Japanese folk dance. Prior to founding Purple Moon, she was the Assistant Artistic Director of Unbound Spirit, the resident company of Asian American Dance Performances in San Francisco. Independently, her work has been presented by BRAVA! for Women in the Arts and by jazz composer Glenn Horiuchi, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Japanese American internment. Her work has been presented in HawaiŒi, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Oregon, Vancouver and Beijing, China. The New York Times described Ms. Togawa’s work as “radiant” and “filled with a quiet joy” and the Los Angeles Times described her work as “creating a lush sensuality.”
Ms. Togawa is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique which is utilized in her work with the artists of Purple Moon. Ms. Togawa has also worked with many organizations offering classes and workshops for women and girls without formal dance training, including: The Riley Center (women in recovery), Life Foundation (HIV services), GLOE (Gay and Lesbian Outreach to Elders), California Commission on Women’s Alcohol & Drug Dependency, All Girls Photo Project, Asian Pacifica Lesbian & Bisexual Network, Alternative Family Project, Women and Children Family Services, Stanford University and Pomona College.
Arisika Razak (Dancer/Core Artist) is a 53 year old African-American performance artist whose work is dedicated to reclaiming the power and sacredness of the female body. Her performance art is equally grounded in the cross cultural tradition of spiritual dance, the paradigm of empowerment and transcendence arising out of the birthing process, and her 25 year study of African, Asian, Native American and Neo-Pagan Religious Systems. Ms. Razak has performed both nationally and internationally, as a solo dancer, choreographer, guest lecturer and workshop leader. A partial list of credits includes: The Michigan Women’s Music Festival, Women of Power Conference, Switzerland, Atlanta Earth Expo, West Coast Lesbian Festival, and breast cancer and midwifery conferences throughout the U.S. Her work is featured in the films: A Place of Rage and Fire Eyes.
Purple Moon Dance Project was founded by Jill Togawa to realize a creative vision: that of integrating non-western and western dance forms and aesthetics, and multi-disciplinary collaborations, while consistently exploring the continuum of intimacy for women. The mission of Purple Moon is to develop a greater appreciation and visibility for American cultural diversity, especially for lesbians and women of color, and to contribute healing, positive social change and peace in our society through the medium of dance.
Alleluia Panis Dance Theatre
Sayaw sa Mutya
Mutya in Pilipino means the ultimate manifestation of woman.
Pasig is the river that flows out of Laguna de Ba-i to Manila Bay. The people who live by the river are called Tagalog or ‘taga ilog’ meaning people of the river. It is believed that long ago, the Tagalog people beseeched the guardian spirit of the water to create a river to transport the dead to sea, to reach the paradise of everlasting peace. The spirit of Laguna de Ba-i appeared as a giant naga, or snake-like creature, and created the Pasig River by slithering its massive body from Laguna de Ba-i through Manila until it disappeared into the sea. It is believed that the Pasig river spirit appears as the beautiful mutya when the moon is full.