FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Luhrs & Associates, Publicist, 201-592-9126, luhrsassocpress [at] verizon.net
Carlos Fittante, Artistic Director, 646-361-9183
BALAM Dance Theatre Announces Bali Tour 2010
--Celebrates 20 Years Collaborating, Performing with Ubud’s Semara Ratih Gamelan--
(July 12, 2010—New York, NY) – BALAM Dance Theatre (BALAM) will embark on a full company tour, Bali Tour 2010, from July 26 to September 2. The tour celebrates BALAM’s 20th anniversary performing and collaborating with the renowned Semara Ratih Gamelan of Ubud, Bali. For this tour, BALAM will present three new pieces and also the signatures works, “Ramayana-Abduction of Sita” and “Tigerlily, and the Dragonfly”.
Founding Director Islene Pinder, Artistic Director Carlos Fittante and BALAM’s dancers/artists of Toshinori Hamada, Shelley Lynne Cummins and Robin Gilbert will bring to the Balinese audiences and the island’s visitors around the world the company’s new vision of contemporary dance fusing ballet and modern with Balinese theatre and diverse cultural dance styles.
New Work to Premiere
BALAM’s program will include the premiere of three new pieces exploring the themes of nirvana, loyalty and play. “Sleeping Buddha”, choreographed by Cummins, is an entrancing quartet inspired by the life of Buddha and the four archetypal art depictions of his life. It utilizes a hypnotic Shaolin breathing technique as a fundamental rhythm and movement phrase for the choreography. “Sunda Upasunda-NYC Brothers”, choreographed by Hamada, is based on a popular Balinese myth and fuses karate and Spanish dance for two warrior men wearing Baroque masks.
The last piece, “Harlequin’s Charade”, is choreographed by Pinder, and presents a party-like gathering of absurd masked characters. In this full company work, Pinder will also dance the role of Coo, a BALAM invented sidekick for the Commedia dell’Arte character, Harlequin.
In BALAM’s favorite signature works, Gilbert will perform on point as Tigerlily in the fantasy courtship, Tigerlily and the Dragonfly. This work is inspired by the traditional Balinese duet, Oleg Tambulilingan (Love Dance of the Bumblebees).
The second piece, Ramayana-Abduction of Sita, is an action packed story ballet inspired by the Hindu epic that artfully fuses Balinese, ballet, karate, and belly dance movements to reveal the deeper meaning of this dance-drama. Hamada defines Rahwana, the evil demon, through his powerful kicks and punches and Cummins shimmies and undulates as the seductive Golden Deer. Fittante assumes the role of the noble prince Rama, supporting and lifting the beautiful air bound princess Sita, played by Gilbert, as she expresses her delight through the use of Balinese darting eye movements.
Pinder Returns to the Stage
At eighty-one years of age, Founding Director Islene Pinder returns to the stage after a ten-year hiatus since her last performance in the company’s Bali Tour 2000. “The company has reached a level of perfection that just thrills me! I couldn’t miss this special opportunity to be on stage with my beloved artistic family and the Balinese. What better way to celebrate my life’s work than by performing together,” she said.
BALAM has a long history of artistic collaborations in Bali dating back to the company’s inception in 1979. This year, the company commissioned three original gamelan scores from the Semara Ratih Gamelan under the directorship of Anom Putra to accompany the world premieres. BALAM will add to the Semara Ratih Gamelan’s repertoire and co-create a new work, a contemporary interpretation of the traditional Balinese masked solo, “Hanuman the Monkey King”, for the gamelan’s upcoming fall tour of the Netherlands, Belgium and Turkey.
BALAM’s Bali Tour 2010 Schedule
To date, the tour’s schedule includes four performances in four different villages.
• August 3 - Pura Desa of Kutuh
• August 7 - Pura Dalem of Ubud
• August 14 - Village of Tegalalang
• August 18 - Village of Batuan
For more information about BALAM Dance Theatre’s Bali Tour 2010 and ongoing updates throughout the tour, visit http://www.balamdancetheatre.blogspot.com
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, belly dance, Lester Horton, Baroque, Latin, 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 Cancún, Mexico.
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.
For further information about BALAM Dance Theatre, go to http://balamdance.org/
or call 646-361-9183.