Cultural Resonance in Contemporary Bodies Dance Festival
Oct. 14,15,16 2018

UCI campus locations

A new dance festival at UCI

Join us to experience innovative dance performances by three leading Asian American female choreographers who experiment with classical and modern forms of diverse cultural traditions. The festival explores “new narratives” regarding culture, difference and social justice through embodied performances. This event launches the UCI AAPI Womxn in Leadership Initiative, which showcases diverse leaders and career paths as well as foster dialogue to address challenges facing AAPI womxn.

Sunday, Oct. 14  4:30-6 p.m.
Multi-Media Exhibit Opening Reception
Performance by Jodaiko at 4:45 p.m.
Orange County & Southeast Asian Archive Center, Langson Library
Exhibit open Oct. 8 - Nov. 2, 2018

Monday, Oct. 15  8 a.m. | 10 a.m. | 12 p.m.
Master Classes in Dance – FILLED
William Gillespie Performance Studios, Claire Trevor School of the Arts

Monday, Oct. 15  7-9 p.m.
Dance Performance and Q&A
Winifred Smith Hall, Claire Trevor School of the Arts

Tuesday, Oct. 16. 9:30-10:50 a.m.
Multi-Media Presentation and Conversation with Performers
Humanities Instructional Building, Room 100

The Performers

Danah Bella, Chair of the BFA Program in Dance at John Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute, directs the Danah Bella Modern Dance Company and also co-founded Colectivo Caliban, an “artist collective that transgresses disciplinary borders through sound and movement” (danahbella DanceWorks). She has performed and taught dance throughout the U.S., Mexico, and Italy. Grounded in techniques of contemporary modern dance and improvisatory practices, Bella’s choreography integrates quotidien movement from popular culture to present dance as an active social practice.

Miki Orihara is renowned for her 27-year career as a Principal Dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company. She upholds the traditional legacies of classical modern dance in part by teaching the pedagogical methods of her mentor Yuriko Kikuchi (famed Japanese-American Graham Dancer). Simultaneously, Orihara is forging new ground with her solo concert series,Resonance, which synthesizes her intimate knowledge of modern dance history, her personal cultural roots, and her eye for contemporary innovations. In 2017, she commissioned13 Illustrations Out of Order by Charlotte Griffin with the CUNY Dance Initiative at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center in New York. Orihara’s interpretations of past masterworks juxtaposed alongside new voices illuminate the ever-changing landscape of aesthetics, meaning and motion in dance performance. A master teacher, she has given classes worldwide and was awarded the prestigious Bessie Award for Sustained Achievement in Dance in 2010.

Parijat Desai, artistic director of the Parijat Desai Dance Company based in New York City, is an “India-born, U.S.-raised choreographer” and dancer. Invested in challenging ideas of cultural purity, she draws upon movement vocabularies from classical Indian and contemporary dance, theatre and other movement forms to produce work that reflects the fluidity of cultural forms and identity (parijatdesai.org). She also collaborates with musicians of diverse cultural traditions, including jazz, rhythm and blues as well as Japanese Taiko (drumming). The range of dance and music sources that Desai draws upon suggests her conceptualization of her work as a way to challenge the xenophobia and fundamentalism of our current political moment. She has performed and served as artist in residency throughout the U.S., Canada, India and the United Kingdom.

Sponsors & Supporters


Advisory Council

OEOD wordmark

CTSOTA Dance Department wordmark

CTSOTA Drama Department wordmark

Department of Asian American Studies

UCI Libraries wordmark

API Womxn in Leadership logo
South Asian Student Union
Awaken Arts at UCI
Tomo No Kai