Find It... Every Dream | APAHM Closing Performance

“America is created by people from different parts of the world.  We came here bringing the threads of our culture that have been woven into the fabric of our great country, the American dream. 

Our country’s fabric is rich with color, texture, contrast, and aesthetics.  The color of our traditional costumes and the textures of native material are starting points for the contrast of old customs, to the evolution of the next generation. 

Honoring traditions and acclimating to a new country, is one of the challenges of life.  We eagerly take on new ways and ideas to try to “fit in” but we want to keep our traditions alive so that our identity is not lost for ourselves and our future generations.  Asia encompasses many different unique nationalities and cultures. Each bringing arts that are rich in history, and spirituality. If we choose to see the metaphors and symbolism of the cultures, we can begin to understand our commonalities and differences.” 

Find It... Every Dream, the closing performance of the DIA’s 2021 Asian Pacific American Heritage Month celebrations, draws attention to these metaphors and symbolism in the performances of regional arts and cultures organizations led by Asian/Pacific Islander-Americans including the following: 

Weaving the Threads | Morin Khuur Center in North America, ArtLab J, Michigan Tai Chi Center, Sakura Japanese Instrumental Group and Spinnovation Detroit 

Bookending this production are performances depicting how the threads of tradition are woven into the fabric of modern American culture. The ancient musical practices of the Mongolian Murin Khurr and Japanese Koto and Taiko influence a Cyr Wheel performance and a dance piece expressing the balance of Tai Chi movements with the movements of contemporary dance. 

Kotojishi, The Dancing Lion | Sakura Japanese Instrumental Group 

Japan has a long tradition of a festival featuring a dancing lion called a Shishimai. The lion depicted is a male from the Tokyo region. The art of this style dance has been passed down for many generations and demonstrates moves that bring out a very lively looking personality for this mythical animal. 

Ongkor Festival | Michigan Chinese Folk Dancing Group 

Ongkor Festival is celebrated in the farmlands of Tibet typically in August when crops are waiting for harvest. Meaning surrounding the farmland, Ongkor demonstrates people's wishes for a good harvest and creates time for them to relax and rest. Major activities of the festival include horseracing, shooting, singing and dancing.  

Giring-giring Dance | Bhineka Tunggal Ika 

Giring-Giring dance is a typical dance originating from the Dayak Maanyan tribe who inhabit Central Kalimantan Province in Indonesia. Giring-Giring dance is an expression of joy and a sense of love. Usually the Giring-Giring dance is performed to welcome special guests. Sometimes it is even used as a social dance for young people in Kalimantan. 

Dunhuang | Sunshine Teen Chinese Dance Group 

Dunhuang dance is a form of Chinese dance that draws sources form body movements depicted in artifacts found in Dunhuang Mogao Caves. Located in Gansu Provinces of China, along the Silk Route, the 735 caves are famous for their statues and fresco paintings, spanning 1000 years of Buddhist art. 

Where East Meets West | Mathangi Dance Company 

Dappanguthu is a folk dance and music genre with an emphasis on percussion performed in the South Indian states. With roots from Therukoothu (theru meaning “street,” koothu meaning “performance”) an ancient storytelling practice infused with song, dance, and music, Mathangi Dance Company brings two different cultures together—Western break dancing and Indian koothu music. 

Find It Our Dream is produced by Sharon Dow.

 

Watch this performance on the DIA’s YouTube Channel > 

 

This program presented in partnership with Friends of Asian Arts and Cultures.

Logos for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Friends of Asian Arts and Culture