FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Luhrs & Associates, Publicist, 201-592-9126,
Carlos Fittante, Artistic Director, 646-361-9183
Theatre to Perform Action Packed Hindu Epic
in Coalition of Asian-Pacific American's 30th
Annual Asian/Pacific American Heritage Festival
Free Dance Event
May 3, 2009
at Dag Hasmmarskjold Plaza (47th Street and 2nd Avenue)
(New York, New York---April 14, 2009) -- BALAM Dance Theatre (BALAM)
will perform its signature work inspired from the Hindu epic -- Ramayana-Abduction
of Sita -- in the Coalition of Asian/Pacific American’s 30th
annual Asian/Pacific American Heritage Festival in New York City on
Sunday, May 3, 2009 from 1:55 to 2:15. The free event, from 12 to 6
p.m., is open to the public and will be presented at Dag Hasmmarskjold
Plaza (47th Street and 2nd Avenue).
BALAM, a New York City-based ensemble that creates a new vision of
contemporary dance by fusing Balinese theatre with diverse cultural
dance styles, is celebrating its 30th anniversary year. The
presentation of Ramayana-Abduction of Sita, a story ballet using fused
Balinese, ballet, Baroque, karate, and belly dance movements, is one of
several programs presented through the dance company’s community
initiative, Out and About.
“The Ramayana, an ancient story told in literature, art and dance
throughout India and southeast Asia, is steeped in symbolism and
philosophical meaning. Its archetypal characters represent polarity,
consciousness and the interplay between light and darkness, as they
eventually awaken into a world of unity,” said Carlos Fittante,
artistic director, BALAM Dance Theatre.
The featured dancers, appearing in Balinese inspired costumes and
dancing to gamelan music, are BALAM’s definitive cast of Toshinori
Hamada, as Rahwana the evil demon; Robin Gilbert, as the radiant
princess Sita; and Carlos Fittante, as the noble prince Rama. BALAM's
action-packed piece highlights new choreographic segments for the
company's Balinese resident guest artist Nani Devi, as Dewi Mimpi
(Angel of the Dreams), and Shelley Lynne Cummins, back in her role as
the alluring, deceitful Golden Deer.
“Nani Devi’s role represents the presence of the gods in guiding and
protecting the protagonists Rama and Sita. Her role as Dewi Mimpi
features her special qualities as BALAM’s resident guest artist with
movements taken directly from classic Balinese dance vocabulary,” said
The Coalition of Asian/Pacific Americans unites the Asian American
community in New York for a daylong celebration known as the annual
Asian/Pacific American Heritage Festival. Since its inception 30 years
ago, the annual Heritage Festival has become a growing sensation to
celebrate the diverse artistic and cultural experiences of Asian
Americans. For further information about the festival, go to
BALAM offers a new vision of contemporary dance that emanates from
a cutting-edge fusion of diverse cultural dance styles and movement
techniques. The company’s fusion repertoire presents an opulent dance
theatre that blends contemporary choreography, eclectic music, striking
masks, imaginative props, and vibrant costumes to create a performance
that appeals to audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
Under the directorship of Spanish-American choreographer Carlos
Fittante, BALAM’s fusion repertoire blends boldly divergent dance
styles and movements, including ballet, Spanish, Lester Horton,
Baroque, Latin, belly dance, Afro-Caribbean, hip-hop, Noh, and karate,
as well as Balinese.
BALAM has been featured at several distinguished festivals and
venues, such as First Night New York; Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors; La
Mama Experimental Theatre, New York, New York; Jacob's Pillow Dance
Festival, Lee, Massachusetts; and many others. The company has also
appeared internationally at the Bali Arts Festival in Denpasar, Bali
and the 2nd Encuentro Internacíonal de Danza Contemporánea in
The company’s work has received critical recognition from the New
York Times and Village Voice. The Governor and people of Bali and the
Indonesian Consulate of New York have highly commended its performances.
Dag Hasmmarskjold Plaza (47th Street and 2nd Avenue).
Toshinori Hamada, as Rahwana. Photo: Neil Sapienza.
(Publicity by Luhrs & Associates)
For further information, call 646-361-9183, or visit BALAM Dance
Theatre at www.balamdance.org