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AUDIENCE REVIEW: Nisei Ballet in NY International Fringe Festival
Covenant Ballet Theatre of Brooklyn
Aug. 9-16, 2014
I was at Covenant Ballet Theatre during Brooklyn's run-through of the Ballet Nisei last Saturday.
Even though there were no costumes, the dancers and live music accompaniment captivated the audience. The story was about the government's discrimination of Japanese-American soldiers and their families during WWII simply because they were of Japanese descent. This is a piece of American history that is not known by most Americans and rarely talked about by those who do, because it's considered as an embarrassment. I feel that the Nisei ballet should be promoted as a must see among the FringeNYC programs and TV and news media should use this occasion to tell the stories about the Japanese-American soldiers who fought for Americaduring WWII. Everyone should learn from history not to discriminate against any group of American citizens living among us.
A search on the internet told me that Olympian figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi's grandparents were sent to internment camp and her mother was actually born in the camp. The Smithsonian has a set of exhibits about the Nisei soldiers. There is a Nisei Week in Los Angeles this month. Marla Hirokawa, the artistic director and choreographer, based the ballet on her father's experience as a Nisei soldier. She did an excellent job using descriptive dance to project the emotion of the story. Don't miss this show at the NY International Fringe Festival from Aug. 8-24, 2014!