Opening Night of American Dance Guild Festival 2013

Kiori Sherwood-Kawai, Atsunori Umihei Hayamizu

Article by Yvonne Lo
Photo by Whitney Browne & Niko

The American Dance Guild’s annual performance festival, Cross-Pollination, returned this fall on November 8-10 at the 92nd Street Y. 92Y is a world-class nonprofit community and cultural center that connects people at every stage of life to the worlds of education, the arts, and wellness. Their extraordinary programs, enrich lives, create a community and elevate humanity.

The American Dance Guild has served the dance field in many capacities over the past 57 years, including performance opportunities that range from gala productions to bare-bones and on-site events. The Festival 2013 continues the Guild tradition of bringing together artists from across the nation and internationally for performances and master classes. The festival featured thirty-three artists/companies that participated with special tributes to modern dance luminaries including Lar Lubovtich, Marilyn Wood, and the late Remy Charlip. There were quite a few Asian dance companies that were invited to perform at this year’s American Dance Guild Festival including Nai-Ni Chen Company, H.T. Chen and Dancers, Yung-Li Chen Dance Group, Adriane Fang and so on.

Emi Ueda, Kiori Sherwood-Kawai

On opening night of the festival, one particular dance company that caught our attention was the works of Yuki Hasegawa, artistic director and choreographer from Azul Dance Theatre. Yuki presented with her choreography, Mugen, that was truly mesmerizing.

Mugen is about a young swordsman named Munehiro, who wrote a letter to his fiancé, Wakana, that he might not see her again, as he is about to fight with his enemy due to his master’s order. Although, he knows that fighting is his destiny as a swordsman, he is struggling and is confused. The movement is subtle but the inner demon struggle and impact is powerful.

Kiori Sherwood-Kawai, Atsunori Umihei Hayamizu

Performers Atsunori Hayamizu, Kiori Kawai, and Emi Ueda did a wonderful job telling the story though the movements of their body. Their costumes were colorful and the music from Sanzemon Takara set the tone of the dance. It is a unique piece unlike any other. The performance will keep you at the edge of your seat with sword fighting, silence for a dramatic effect, curiosity on their actions, and the story itself.

Artistic director and choreographer Yuki Hasegawa is a native of Japan and has lived in the US since 1998. She graduated from New York University with her MA in Dance and Dance Eduation in 2002. Her dance works have been seen in New York venues, such as Peridance Salvatore Capezio Theater, Dicapo Opera Theater, John Ryan Theater, Dance Space Center, Merce Cunningham Studio, United Nations D.H.L.A. Auditorium, and Frederick Loewe Theatre, and Green Space.

What a great night and we absolutely enjoyed all the amazing dance performances!

Marilyn Wood, Gloria McLean, Nai-Ni Chen, Yuki Hasegawa

Andy Chiang, Nai-Ni Chen

Yuki Hasegawa, Gloria McLean, Emi Ueda

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