LOS ANGELES, CA: Leela Dance Collective presents "The Voice Within" Featuring Dynamic Kathak Artist Seibi Lee
Leela Dance Collective
Leela Dance Collective presents
The Voice Within
Featuring Dynamic Kathak Artist
April 3, 2022; 5 p.m.; UCLA Little Theater, Los Angeles
Leela Dance Collective presents The Voice Within, featuring veteran kathak artist Seibi Lee in an intimate performance exploring the themes of duality and paradox. Lee renders two ancient stories - Houyi and Chang'e, a heart-rending Chinese story about the love between a mortal hero and an immortal beauty, and Yuki no Onna, a Japanese tale evoking the mystery of the Snow Woman, both in the traditional kathak style. Pulling from two different cultures and traditions, the stories speak to the duality of the material and spirit worlds. Houyi and Minokichi, our mortal heroes, fall in love with Chang’e and Yuki no Onna of the spirit world and experience the beauty and intensity of a love that can never be realized. Rather than interpret these stories as tragic, Lee, a dynamic kathak artist known for her exceptional mastery, sophisticated musicality, and dramatic brilliance, articulates us to embrace the beauty of these emotions and to look closer to find their deeper meaning and beauty and the longing inherent in unattainable love. This experience is a birthing place - a place where one begins to discover oneself. The Voice Within takes place on Sunday, April 3, 2022, 5:00 p.m., at the UCLA Little Theater located at the San Francisco War Memorial Veterans Building (part of the War Memorial Performing Arts Center).
Lee’s personal journey - navigating her mixed Chinese and Japanese heritage and her love of Western classical music and Eastern classical dance - is expertly interwoven throughout the two stories. In her own life she has struggled with being of many cultures and in some ways of none. This struggle gave way to possibility only when she learned to befriend the feeling of longing. Over time, she began to develop her own voice - a voice that transcends the conflict and confusion that often comes with navigating personal and cultural identity. The Voice Within is a profoundly personal yet universal story of the search for one’s own true self.
Lee is joined on the stage by critically acclaimed musicians Jayanta Banerjee (sitar), Ben Kunin (sarod), Jay Gandhi (bansuri), and Satyaprakash Mishra (tabla). Don’t miss the exclusive Artist Talkback directly following the performance featuring an interactive Q&A session with the artists.
Seibi Lee is an ACTA master artist and gandabandhan disciple of Pandit Chitresh Das, and a consummate kathak artist known for her powerful mastery, refined musicality, and dramatic brilliance in character portrayal. As a Founding Artist and Artistic Director of Leela Dance Collective and former principal dancer of the Chitresh Das Dance Company, Seibi Lee has toured worldwide, earning accolades and deep respect for her artistry. She received an Isadora Duncan Dance Special Award as part of the performing ensemble in Das’s East As Center and received two subsequent nominations for performances in Pancha Jati and Shabd. As principal dancer of the Chitresh Das Dance Company, Lee evolved a singular perspective and style through the development of virtuosic character roles in several of Das’s critically acclaimed works. Her outstanding portrayal of Hanuman became the inspiration for the central character and creation of Leela Dance Collective’s Son of the Wind – the full-length dance drama bringing to life Hanuman’s rarely told heroic and valorous adventures from the epic Ramayana. An interview with Seibi lee can be found here: https://leela.dance/blog-seibi-lee/
Tickets to The Voice Within are $25 for general admission seating and $50 for VIP tickets which include premium seating, free parking, and an exclusive pre-show digital concert guide. Tickets may be purchased through Eventbrite or through Leela Dance Collective. Don’t miss the exclusive Artist Talkback directly following the performance featuring an interactive Q&A session with the artists.
Seibi Lee, kathak
Jayanta Banerjee, sitar
Ben Kunin, sarod
Jay Gandhi, bansuri
Satyaprakash Mishra, tabla
When: Sunday, April 3, 2022, 5:00 p.m.
UCLA Little Theater, Macgowan Hall, 245 Charles E. Young Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90095
(From Hilgard Ave enter the east side of campus at Wyton Dr and turn right onto Charles E Young Dr East and follow signs to Parking Structure 3. Directions can be found here: https://www.tft.ucla.edu/facilities/little-theater/)
General Admission: $25
VIP: $50, includes premium seating, free parking, and an exclusive pre-show digital concert guide
• https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-voice-within-featuring-seibi-lee-los-angeles-tickets-249955442457 or https://leela.dance/thevoicewithin/
• For more information please call 323-201-7330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
• Leela Dance Collective on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/LeelaDanceCollective
• Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/leeladanceco
The health and safety of our artists and audience is important to us. We will be following CDC COVID guidelines as well as venue protocols for this event. More information will be sent a week prior to the event.
About kathak dance:
Kathak (pronounced cut - tuck) comes from the word katha, meaning story, and a kathaka is a storyteller. The dance form can be traced back to kathakas from 400 BCE who were the traveling storytellers and artists of ancient India. During the Mughal Empire (1526-1857), kathak was a form of entertainment for the great emperors of India. In modern times, the art form has emerged on the presidium stage and traveled outside of India, finding expression in diasporic communities throughout the US and beyond. It is one of the eight classical dance forms of India and encompasses a wide range of performance styles that can be divided into two main categories, storytelling (nritya), and dance without explicit narrative (nritt). One of kathak’s most notable characteristics is the fast, percussive footwork dancers perform by striking their bare feet on the floor using various techniques. In addition, it is known for swift pirouettes, a dynamic movement vocabulary, and compelling character portrayal. Kathak is typically performed with North Indian classical Hindustani music, which provides an exhilarating soundscape and a very collaborative environment for the artists. Dancers wear a string of 150-200 bells around each ankle to ornament their footwork and movements, and to highlight the rhythmic sophistication of the artform.
About Leela Dance Collective:
Founded by senior disciples of legendary kathak master Pandit Chitresh Das, it is the only one of its kind Indian-American dance company that brings together leading and emerging kathak artists. The collective has created and performed critically acclaimed works that are at once grounded in tradition and boldly innovative, including SPEAK, a sensational kathak and tap collaboration, and Son of the Wind, a theatrical dance drama based on the Ramayana. With home season performances in San Francisco and Los Angeles along with national and international touring, the collective performs for more than 10,000 people annually. In addition, Leela Dance Collective’s arts education programs reach more than 5,000 K-12 and university students, introducing them to India’s rich artistic traditions. Through its performances and educational programming, Leela Dance Collective brings the joy of kathak dance to audiences and communities worldwide.
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