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APPEX Artists Gear Up for Music, Dance Performances
Photo from July 7 workshop at UCLA by Jorge Vismara (jorgevismara.net)

APPEX Artists Gear Up for Music, Dance Performances

Collaboration by artists visiting UCLA from Indonesia, India, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, and the USA culminates in shows from July 19 to Aug. 11. The Center for Southeast Asian Studies is a co-sponsor.

This article was first published by the India Post News Service.

By Prem Kishore

Eighteen artists from Asia and America will be collaborating in a landmark event at the sixth Asia Pacific Performance Exchange (APPEX) Residency program at UCLA from July 3–August 11 on the UCLA campus.

Balinese and Javanese Gamelan music, Malay percussion, German Tanztheater, music and dance from the Philippines, Japanese Taiko, American jazz, classical guitar and piano, Sundanese dance, modern/postmodern dance, South Indian percussion, India's Bharata Natyam, Kathak and Manipuri dance traditions, Northern Thai dance and Theater will be featured.

This exciting project of the UCLA Center for Intercultural Performance will showcase diverse highly skilled artists, musicians and dancers in a dizzying roster of programs in July and August in Los Angeles.

APPEX provides artists with an energizing and stimulating first hand understanding of Asia and America and has a life changing effect on the development of artistic work. This remarkable series of brilliant and exciting performances will oscillate between the sensory and the spiritual, evolving narratives, establishing and exploring legacies making it an exhilarating experience.

Remarkably creative and expressive works will be presented by artistes from Indonesia, India, Thailand Philippines, Malaysia, and the USA. The live performances will uniquely celebrate innovation, tradition and classicism.

Among the distinguished artists will be Anusha Lakshmi Kedhar, a Bharata Natyam exponent from Irvine, California who is choreographer for Angika, a contemporary Bharata Natyam dance company based in London. Award winning Robert Edward Lent from Annapolis has released 17 CDs of original music and has recently finished 24 original diagrams and illustrations for his forthcoming book on creativity.

Cynthia Ling Lee of Los Angeles creates choreography that dialogues between postmodern dance and Kathak while Mohd Kamrulbahri Hussain, vocalist and percussionist, lecturer at the University of Malaysia, will be a featured performer. Somnath Roy of West Bengal is a percussionist specializing in the ghatam, Sanjeev Bhattacharya of Haryana, India, a classically trained Manipuri dancer who has also trained in Bharata Natyam, Odissi, Kathakali and Kathak. They will regale audiences along with Antonius Wahyudi Sutrisno, from Java, trained in the classical tradition of the Gamelan, and whose works have been featured in major world music festivals; Sriyani Fitri, an acclaimed dancer from Java; and Waewdaoo Sirisook, a gifted dancer from Thailand. The programs suffused with power, vibrance, and originality are sure to attract global audiences in the city of Los Angeles.

Apart from demonstrating their individual skills, the workshop environment during the six week residency will expand the aesthetic range of the artistes through exposure to new performance practices and approaches to creative production. APPEX Fellows will learn to collaborate across discipline and culture; study self-reflective critical techniques; and initiate life-long friendships and professional networks.

The artistes will leave with a more informed understanding of Asia and America as well as valuable insights into their own world view. For five days a week, artists and writers engage in all-day workshops and explore ideas for collaborative projects in classrooms and studios. On weekends and evenings, participants are introduced to the vibrant arts and culture scene in Los Angeles through specially planned field trips and concerts.

An integral part of the UCLA School of Arts and Architecture and the Department of World Arts and Cultures, CIP has become a national and international resource with a special emphasis on international exchange, creative collaboration, research and publications, and film/video documentation.