Conceived & Directed by Potri Ranka Manis
Pananadem means "remembering" in the language of the Meranao people. It is a way of looking back across time, to gain inspiration and perspective from one's ancestors. In this tale, old and new align as a young group of refugees whose quest for inspiration leads them to a transformative encounter with displaced tradition-bearers who recall the legends of Derangen, the Meranao epic.
Potri Ranka Manis was born in Borocot, Maging in Mindanao, Philippines. The oral culture and tradition of legends, epics and myths that are told through dances, traditional chant called Bayok and extemporaneous vivid poetry called Kaparoonan of the Meranao. This was her everyday life as a child in Mindanao. The tribes interchange resources and barter in Mindanao. This barter not only includes goods, but also culture, where welcome rituals, food rituals and healing rituals are being shared. Dances and music is always the culmination of these cultural exchange events. She learned not only the beauty and the art but the harmony, but also sharing the values carried through generations by chants, dances, kulintang music and weaving.
She grew up in a remote village, one of the ancient sultanates from the 4th century, when the Philippines, as a state, did not yet exist. Storytelling that is danced and chanted are everyday entertainment during Potri's childhood. This is how she learned artforms, orally transmitted folk traditions. Examples of these include the malong, tubular, handwoven apparel worn, with designs individually made according to the stories of the wearer or the weaver. Another example are musical pieces on the kulintang. Kulintang are made of 8 graduated gongs and are played together with other bigger gongs called agong and gandingan.The gandingan is the talking gong, used to send messages from one village to the next.
Her expertise in T'Boli came from her time of living among them for six years as a Registered Nurse, to advance community healthwork in the area. In her time there, she learned from tradition-bearers among the T'Boli, including their rituals, weaving, epic, dance, and music.
Her learning process of these dances are through life cycle from birthing, wedding, healing, and dying. Her learning process of this artform also include responses to the lunar and solar eclipse, rain, planting season and hunting season. She developed the oral tradition technique in teaching students who grow up and are educated in the western discipline. She brings in her students into the realms of the story, into the character and themes. The dances are taught nurturing the learner to put oneself in the story so they will not just copy the movement but be the character themself in the story. It is also emphasized every beginning of the classes or rehearsals or performances that the dance is in honor of the ancestors by reciting a salutation: "In honor of our ancestors who created and transmitted this tradition to us. With open heart, mind, body and soul, we would like to take this in as we use it to empower us to walk our path."
The dance movements are named after the patterns of the natural environment. An example is the foot movement of the Tboli called hugging the earth, asking permission from the earth to allow the dance ritual to take place. The kuda stance is also taught as the learner becomes the horse. The madal tanum is a rice planting ritual, where dancers mimic planting. It is a reminder that rice is sacred and can only be made by a whole community. The dainty, firm but graceful movements imitates the waves of the ocean and the serenity of the lake. The flying movement of the Imuhen bird (bird of omen) is signified in raising and falling of the hands that is sometimes accentuated by the handwoven malong.
Overall the dances that she teaches is not to entertain but to advocate for the intentions of these dances and also an awakening call for the western dancers that there is that living tradition that is threatened by the encroachment of the corporate development that rob the indigenous of their land. She believes that in teaching and performing these dances, music and chants, the call for awareness of the existence and endangerment of the indigenous people who are the guardian of our environment, our forest and natural resources will be more emphasized and will call more involvement by the audiences that are reached by this traditional art.
About Kinding Sindaw Melayu Heritage
Kinding Sindaw Melayu Heritage is a non-profit dance theater organization based in NYC, founded in 1992. Their mission is to assert, reclaim, preserve, and re-create the legends, epics, myths and unwritten history of the Philippines. The dance repertoire of Kinding Sindaw originates from the southern Philippines indigenous and royal people: Meranao, Maguindanao, Iranun, Taosug, Yakan, Samal, Bukidnon, Higaoonon, Tboli, Manobo, Bagobo, Blaan, Teduray, Kagan and Mandaya.
About La MaMa
La MaMa is dedicated to the artist and all aspects of the theatre. La MaMa's 58th Season celebrates the centennial of its founder, Ellen Stewart, whose vision of nurturing new artists and new work remains as strong today as it was when she first opened the doors in 1961. La MaMa has presented more than 5,000 productions by 150,000 artists of all nations, cultures, races and identities. Cultural pluralism and ethnic diversity are inherent in the work created on our stages. Here, artists find a supportive environment for artistic exploration, and audiences are part of the development of an artist's work over time.
A recipient of the 2018 Regional Theater Tony Award, and more than 30 Obie Awards and dozens of Drama Desk, Bessie, and Villager Awards, La MaMa has been a creative home for thousands of artists, many of whom have made lasting contributions to the arts, including Blue Man Group, Ping Chong, André De Shields, Adrienne Kennedy, Harvey Fierstein, Diane Lane, Warren Leight, Michael Mayer, Tadeusz Kantor, Bette Midler, Meredith Monk, Peter Brook, David and Amy Sedaris, Julie Taymor, Kazuo Ohno, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
For more information, visit www.lamama.org.
About the Company: Theatre Three Collaborative
THEATRE THREE COLLABORATIVE Malpede & Bartenieff have worked together since 1987. They co-created and toured the Obie winning I Will Bear Witness (New York, Washington D.D., London, Berlin, German & Austrian tours); theirâ€™s was the American play in ARTCOP21 at the Paris Climate Conference, when they presented Extreme Whether in French and English in collaboration with Cei de Facto theater, with a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. Another Life , their surreal expose of the US torture program was workshopped at the National Theater of Kosovo with a TCG-Mellon grant and opened at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater, part of the 9/11 Performance Project on the tenth anniversary of the attacks, funded by the Soros Open Society Foundation; it has been widely praised by human rights advocates and lawyers at productions in New York and London. Their last four four plays are anthologized in Plays in Time: The Beekeeper's Daughter, Prophecy, Another Life, Extreme Whether.
Iconic Amerasian duo Slanty Eyed Mama are defying their parents’ wishes for them to “quit the arts and apply to medical school” to bring their latest mashup of comedy, electric violin, punk rock spoken word and video to a stage rife with the haunting lore of Asian Mom-ness. Zombie Asian Moms is a genre busting performance by a multidisciplinary duo known for searing takes on Asian American culture and the politics of representAsian. Drawing on oral history interviews with live Asian Moms, a combined 80 years of filtering undead brain waves from of our own Asian moms, and the myths about Asian moms in popular culture, this show is for everyone curious to discover universal truths about crazy moms.
Zombie Asian Moms is the follow up show to the award-winning Happy Lucky Golden Tofu Panda Dragon Good Time Fun Fun Show from Asian American Sheroes Slanty Eyed Mama. This classically trained duo causes all-out Amerasian mayhem with their high energy, stereotype busting, Asian woman powered music and comedy. It’s genre defying, description eluding, performance art virtuosity that fuses race and diversity messaging with a pop culture sensibility. Zombie Asian Moms focuses on the chasms between immigrant parents and their Westernized children, and the beauty of intersectionality found right inside this kind of new American family circle. The two artists’ personal relationships to their Asian moms serve as a pathway to larger discussions about culture and motherhood drawn from Oral History interviews with Asian Moms.
About the Company: Slanty Eyed Mama
Slanty Eyed Mama is two good Asian girls gone bad-assed. Born as a passion project in the halls of the Juilliard school, comedian/writer Kate Rigg joined forces with violinist extraordinaire Lyris Hung to create a high-energy, pop-culture, street-infused, multi-genre comedy, rap, spoken word, electroclash, and rock ‘n roll project focused on the Asian American Experience. Slanty Eyed Mama quickly gained a National following headlining the Asian Pacific Islander Fest in NYC, the PBS special 'Race is the Place', and the National Conferences of Asian American Students at colleges across the country (ECAASU, NAASC). They have been invited to perform and speak twice at the Smithsonian Institute, featured on LOGO TV and Comedy Central, won numerous awards for their music videos. They are favorites at new music conferences (Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago), alternative music fests and benefits (Pridefest, LA Grand Performances), women's music festivals (Michigan, Girlfest Hawaii) and alt-culture venues like the Chicago Museum of Modern Art and The Perth International Art Festival. Most recently they toured their show Happy Lucky Golden Tofu Panda Dragon Good Time Fun Fun Show (which had its world premiere at La MaMa in 2015) to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and as a film to Indie Film Festivals across the country. Familiar faces in the downtown scene, they have held residencies at Dixon Place, the Bowery Poetry Club, HERE, La MaMa and next year will begin a new residency at Joe’s Pub. www.slantyeyedmama.com
About the Company: Kinding Sindaw
Kinding Sindaw is a dance theater ensemble that has been a resident of La Mama Experimental Theatre since 2000. It seeks to assert, preserve, reclaim, and recreate the traditions of the indigenous people of the Philippines that are facing extinction. Its founder, artistic director, and tradition bearer Potri Ranka Manis is the daughter of the late Sultan a Gaus of Borocot, Maguing, Lanao del Sur in the Southern Philippines. She seeks to examine the true story of the Moro people of Mindanao and the ancient Sultanates that have been overlooked in the written history of the Philippines, only having been transmitted through oral traditions from generation to generation. The indigenous music and dances of her childhood that Kinding Sindaw performs are therefore inextricably linked to themes of ancestral heritage, self-determination, and social justice.
On Sunday, September 16 and 23 at 7pm, Loizidis will also present “Kaddish to a Life not Lived.” In this moving monologue, written by Michalis Kokkinaris, translated by Despines Kontaxis, and performed by Eftychia Loizidi, a Jewish woman named Sarah shares her final thoughts before being killed at Auschwitz. In unforgettable words, she mourns for the life that she will never live with the man she loves, the children she will never hold in her arms, and the simple dreams she will never see fulfilled.
Experimental theater piece about dreams features Yara Arts Group from New York and artists from Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan.
WHERE AND WHEN:
April 27- May 13, 2012
La MaMa E.T.C. (First Floor Theater), 74 East 4th Street
Presented by La MaMa E.T.C.
Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 PM, Sundays at 2:30 PM
$18 general admission, $13 students/seniors; 212-475-7710, www.lamama.org
Runs :55. Reviewers are invited on or after Saturday, April 28.
DETAILS AND ARTIST INFO:
Yara Arts Group, a resident company of La MaMa Experimental Theater in New York, will perform "Dream Bridge" April 27 to May 13. The work is an original, experimental theater piece featuring Yara artists from New York, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine. The production, created by Virlana Tkacz, is based on a Ukrainian poem "Dream" by Oleh Lysheha and uses fragments from Shakespeare’s "Midsummer Night’s Dream" (mentioned in the poem), as well as the dreams and nightmares of the participants. It features Kyrgyz traditional music, as well as an electronic score by Kyiv composer Alla Zahaykevych. Interweaving performances in English, Ukrainian and Kyrgyz, "Dream Bridge" is highly visual show and completely accessible to all audiences.
The core text of "Dream Bridge" is the poem "Dream" by Ukrainian poet Oleh Lysheha and its English translation by Virlana Tkacz and American poet Wanda Phipps. Oleh Lysheha is acknowledged by many to be the best contemporary poet in Ukraine, a "poet’s poet." In 2000, he was awarded the PEN Translation Prize for his book published by Harvard University Press. For their translations, Virlana Tkacz and Wanda Phipps have won numerous awards and prizes, including the coveted National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Translation Fellowship.
Yara Arts Group is presently in Kyiv, spending much of March working on the production. Yara actors Andrew Colteaux, Brian Dolphin and Christopher Ignacio and Artistic Director Virlana Tkacz are rehearsing at the Pasika Theatre of Kyiv Mohyla, where they will perform the piece March 27 and 30. The cast also includes Kyrgyz actors Kenzhegul Satybaldieva, Ainura Kachynbek kyzy and Ukrainian actor Mykola Shkaraban. Last July, Yara worked in Kyrgyzstan to create the first draft of "Dream Bridge."
Virlana Tkacz, creator of "Dream Bridge," writes, "For several years, I have been interested in creating a piece based on dreams. Our dreams can bring to light the mystery which swirls silently inside. At night, our brains, freed of their burdens, soar like music. Space turns fluid, as we swim through the universe and through time: into our past and even the future. Dreams become bridges into our childhood, where we can find answers to life-long questions, or stumble upon new enigmas."
The play's company includes Watoku Ueno, recipient of NEA/TCG design fellowship and the current NYSCA design commission, Yara artists Andrew Colteaux, Brian Dolphin and Christopher Ignacio, Kyrgyz actors Kenzhegul Satybaldieva and Ainura Kachkynbek kyzy and musician Nurbek Serkebaev, who performs on traditional Kyrgyz instruments. The production has recently received the Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Fund grant from ART/NY for projections by Mikhail Shraga, last year’s Innovative Theatre Award nominee.
Oleh Lysheha's poetry has been central to several of Yara Arts Group's productions. In 2003, Yara staged his poem "Swan" at La MaMa and at Harvard. Dzvinka Matiash, a critic of Komentar, wrote, "The production of 'Swan' is a virtuoso translation of Lysheha’s text – it is not simply a literary translation into English, but rather a translation of poetry into the languages of music, light, image, movement of the human body, human voice (that can sound sharp, hoarse, strained, tired, lonely), and of course, stage space… This is what art should be like – in the glare of the stage lights you suddenly see the essence." Last spring, Yara created a new theater piece based on Oleh Lysheha’s poem "Raven." NYTheatre.com (Amy Lee Pearsall) wrote, "'Raven' incites this ensemble to glorious flight. The path flown by ‘Raven’ is, by turns, intoxicating in both its simplicity and complexity. I encourage you to follow where it leads."
Virlana Tkacz, director of this piece, is the founding director of Yara Arts Group and has created twenty two original theater pieces with the company, all of which had their American premieres at La MaMa in New York. The Village Voice described Yara’s production of "Circle" as "stunningly beautiful work that rushes at your senses, makes your heart pound, and shakes your feelings loose." Off-Off Online (Michael Bettencourt) labeled Yara’s "Scythian Stones," with the world renowned Ukrainian singer Nina Matvienko and Kyrgyz artists, "Pick of the Week" and wrote, "The performance builds what good theatre should always build: an alternate world that allows us to re-learn and reflect upon the great questions at the core of our being human."
Yara Arts Group, founded in 1990, is a resident company of La MaMa Theater in New York. The troupe transforms original material into experimental theater productions in a signature style that uses multilingual dialogue and music supported by evocative visuals and projections. Timely issues are explored through the diverse cultural perspectives of the group’s members, bringing together poetry, song, historical materials and scientific texts, primarily from the East, to form what one critic described as "extended meditation on an idea." The company has created eleven pieces based on materials from Ukraine and Eastern Europe, six theater pieces with Buryat artists from Siberia, three with artists from Kyrgyzstan and two based on Japanese material.