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Imagine Ellis Island AAPI Heritage Festival, Sunday May 6, 2018

 


Welcome to 2018 Imagine Ellis Island Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Festival

 

MISSION
To celebrate the 2017 AAPI Heritage Month and the 101st year of the National Park Service with traditional and contemporary Asian American & Pacific Islander Music, Dance and Art involving the community in the NJ/NY area.

Date/Time:
Sunday May 7, 2017, 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm

NAI-NI CHEN DANCE COMPANY

in partnership with the

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

Presents the 

Imagine Ellis Island Arts Festival

Sunday, May 6, 2018 at Noon

 

The National Park Service in partnership with Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company presents the Ellis Island Asian American Heritage Festival on Sunday, May 6, 2018, with ceremony and performances starting at 12 noon at The Great Hall of Immigration at Ellis Island, located on the second floor of the main Ellis Island building. A full schedule of performances and educational workshops given by notable speakers will celebrate the 2018 Asian American Heritage Month with National Park Service.  The festival will showcase traditional and contemporary Asian American Music and Dance, with notable performing artists from the community in New York and New Jersey including the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, the Asian American Dragon and Lion Association (AADL), Kindling Sindaw (Philipines), Vietnam Heritage Center, the Kalagangothri Foundation (India), and Hālau Hula O Na Mele ‘Āina O Hawaii'(Hawaii).

This year, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, in collaboration with AADL will perform the opening Dragon Dance, the ending Lion Dance as well as two new, contemporary works that reflect the immigrant identity of the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company. The Kalagangothri Foundation dancers, led by Akhilandeshwari .V and Chetan Hebbar  will perform Indian Classical Dance Panchabhootha Rakshana  (Protection of Life Elements) with Special Guest Artist Ms.Chitra Gopinath from India; Vietnam Heritage Center will perform classical Vietnamese Fan Dance; Kindling Sindaw  will perform Dances from Indigenous Southern Philippines; and Hālau Hula O Na Mele ‘Āina O Hawaii’ will perform traditional and contemporary Hula.

No admission ticket is required for the event. However, audience members must take a ferry to Ellis Island for the festival.  Ferry tickets are available for purchase at Statue Cruises in Castle Clinton in Manhattan in Battery Park, and in the Liberty State Park of Jersey City, NJ or online at www.statuecruises.com.

The Imagine Ellis Island Festival has been supported by Irving and Blanche Laurie Foundation and PSE&G

 

PLAN YOUR VISIT:
Directions
We highly recommend purchasing boat ride tickets in advance. The only on-site location to purchase authorized tickets is the Statue Cruises official ticket office inside Castle Clinton in Battery Park (links to Google Map). Plan ahead if possible, and avoid these scammers selling overpriced and/or fake tickets.

PROGRAM
12:00 PM

Dragon Dance around the Ellis Island main building to open the festival
Performers: Asian American Dragon/Lion Association – Henry Lee, Director

Opening in the Great Hall

Welcome by the National Park Service
Opening Remark by Douglas Treem, National Park Service Ranger

Sponsor Thanks by Nai-Ni Chen and Andy Chiang, Directors of the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company

Remarks from the Philippine Embassy

Dances from the Yakan and Maranao people, indigenous of Southern Philippines

Kinding Sindaw  presents dances from the Yakan and Maranao people. The Magmalam dance is traditionally danced during the Yakan wedding ritual to open the multi-day wedding festivities. The Sarimanok and Paga Apir Apir dances are excerpts from the Maranao epic of Derangen, which was proclaimed by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2005. Sarimanok is about the mythical magical bird that is a symbol of wealth, social prestige, and power in Meranao society. Paga Apir Apir is the dance of the magical butterfly that is the good spirit guide for the Paramata (royalty who are believe to be guided by supernatural spirits in their reign as leaders). The sultanates of Mindanao are the oldest form of governance in the Philippines and is maintained among the indigenous Muslim communities today.

Pretty Fan Girls Mua (Fan Dance from Vietnam)
Performers: Binh Minh Lai, Thu (Lily) Le, Thuy Pham

The Vietnam Heritage Center’s Pretty Fan Girls was founded in December 2015 and aims to preserve and promote the Vietnamese fan dancing tradition while weaving in modern song. Growing into their third year, VHC PFG will be presenting original choreography for this occasion. We hope you enjoy the performance!

Classical Movements of Indian Dance
Performers: Dance Company Kalagangothri

The foot work comprises of numbers and the body movements involves character that the dancer has taken. It is believed to be an auspicious dance which symbolizes victory of wisdom and courage.

Ribbon Dance, Spear Dance, Taiping Drum Dance
Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company

Hālau Hula O Na Mele Āina O Hawaii (Hula Dance)
Performers: Luana Haraguchi and Dancers

The Way of Five – Fire
Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company

Panchabhootha Rakshana (Protection of Life Elements)
Artists: Srinidhi Gopinath , Nityashree Gopinath ,Akhilandeshwari Vasudevamurthy  & Dance Company Kalagangothri

All creations including the human body is made up of five essential elements and that upon death the human body dissolves into these five elements of nature, thereby balancing the cycle of nature.The system of five elements are found in Vedas they are “Bhumi” (earth) “Jala” (water) “Agni” (Fire) “Marut” (Air) and “Shunya” (Space or sky).The basic of all creation including the physical body are the five elements (As the saying goes, “from dust to dust…..” these are also the elements that will form part of our end…).The well being of the body mind and living can be established by protecting the five elements.This process shapes the human race a stepping stone towards ultimate wellbeing rather than being a hurdle.The connection of these five elements is simply because we are made of these. The “Sky” came into being from supreme soul followed with air fire water earth through which vegetation and food came to existence. The earth represents soil Grass River and also head hair our body, water represents seas oceans and also blood tears, fire represents sun volcanoes and also heat and energy, Air represents wind cyclones tornedoes and also our breathing patterns, and the material world is matter arranged in space. These five elements create our sense of sight smell taste and body sensation. The space element represents sky but inside our body represents the exit points. Protecting the 5 living elements out of pollution is the basic responsibility of all human race.

 

End of the Festival

Festival Committee

Michael Amato – Chief of Interpretation of Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty National Park
Regina Andriolo – Board President, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company
Andrew Chiang – Executive Director, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company
Corky Lee – Artist, Historian, Photographer
Ariun Sanjaajamts – Founder, President, Mongolian Connections
Douglas Treem – Ranger, Ellis Island National Park Services

 

SPONSORS:

 

 PSEG-LogoPR_Logo_RGB

NJCU-logo Horizon     

ABOUT THE PERFORMERS

The Asian American Dragon & Lion Association (AADL) was established in 1998 to promote and preserve the art of traditional Chinese Dragon and Lion Dance through education, physical training and performances.  AADL performance teams — based out of northern New Jersey — have graced stages ranging from senior city homes and community centers to wedding halls, for audiences at Lincoln Center to IZOD Center, and at the pleasure of the President of the United States. Henry Lee, Executive Director / Trainer at the Asian American Dragon & Lion Dance Association headquartered in Wayne, NJ has been promoting the art of Chinese Dragon & Lion dance through lessons and performances since 1998. www.aadragonlion.org

Vidwan Sri. Chetan Hebbar and Vidhushi Akhilandeshwari – dynamic and spellbinding dancer couple from India have over the years carved their names as dedicated creative Bharathanatyam artists on the global arena. The duo has been credited with injecting a great deal of innovation, creativity, enthusiasm and imagination to classical dance. Dancing duo are the recipients of prestigious “Purandara Anugraha” Award – 2014 for their services in the dance field by TTD, Trust, Tirupati, India and have received “Nritya Mayuri” & “Nritya Ranjaka” titles by Swara Raga Sudha Kala Academy, New Jersey, USA.  They have honed  skills in ‘Nritta’ – Pure Dance Form, ‘rasabhinaya’ with decades of practice under these great Gurus and also attending different workshops conducted by Legends in Bharathanatyam.  In the year 2005, they established a Dance Company “Kalagangothri” at the cultural capital of Karnataka State – Mysore and runs their company in India & US for the purpose of propagation of Knowledge of Ancient Art & Culture which in turn imbibes Love, Peace and Humanity among the younger generation. Kalagangothri is recognized and affiliated with prestigious Conseil International de la Danse – UNESCO. They have trained & nurtured several young talents in Bharathanatya, Indian Classical Music and Yoga. Their performances, choreographies are aesthetic based on intense research work, filled with in depth ‘Rasabhinaya’, breath taking neat postures and high on rhythmic technicalities. They have performed at top dance festivals across India & abroad sponsored by Government of India and other leading organizations.

Bringing the dynamic freedom of American modern dance together with the elegant splendor of Asian art, the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company is one of the most visible Asian American dance companies in America.  Ms. Chen’s unique choreography transports audiences beyond cultural boundaries to the common ground between tradition and innovation, discipline and freedom, and form and spirit.  Since its inception in 1988, the company has earned a broad base of public support and has toured extensively to major performing arts centers throughout more than thirty states. Presented by some of the most prestigious concert halls in the United States, from the Joyce Theater in New York to the Ordway Center in Minnesota and the Cerritos Center in California, the Company has mounted more than twenty national tours and nine tours abroad.  Ms. Chen’s work has been presented by such acclaimed international festivals as the Silesian International Contemporary Dance Festival and the Konfrontations International Dance Festival, both in Poland, the Chang Mu International Arts Festival in Korea and the Beijing International Dance Festival.  The Company was also honored by a distinctive grant award from both the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities and the Department of State to represent the United States in a seven-city tour arranged by the Tamaulipas International Arts Festival in Mexico.  The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company has the unique honor of having received more than twelve awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and numerous Citations of Excellence and grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.  Other funders include the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; the Fund for US Artists at International Festivals & Exhibitions; the Hyde and Watson Foundation; Horizon Foundation, the Connelly Foundation; the E.J. Grassman Trust; the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust; the Lillian Pitkin Schenck Fund; the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; Verizon; Sony; Live Music for Dance; Chase Manhattan Bank; the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation and others.  In addition to its extensive season of touring and performing, the company has developed Arts in Education residency programs in school districts to bring culture and arts into educational settings.  It’s colorful and engaging in-school assembly program “The Art of Chinese Dance” has been presented in hundreds of schools in NJ, NY, CT and PA, reaching hundreds of thousands of youth.  www.nainichen.org

Vietnam Heritage Center (“VHC”) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the rich history and traditions of Vietnam. VHC seeks to educate the general public and local community on Vietnamese language and culture, as well as to provide support for the Vietnamese immigrant community. We strive to be a resource for all to learn about and celebrate Vietnamese lifestyle and customs.  VHC offers Vietnamese classes; presents cultural events like Tết (Lunar New Year) and Tết Trung Thu (Mid-Autumn/Moon Harvest Festival); and showcases múa (traditional Vietnamese dance).  Please visit www.vietnamheritagecenter.org to learn about class schedules, event photos and our volunteers

Kinding Sindaw  is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that seeks to assert, preserve, reclaim, and recreate the epics, legends, and myths of the indigenous peoples of the Southern Philippine region of Mindanao. They will be presenting dances from the Yakan and Maranao people during this program. The Magmalam dance is traditionally danced during the Yakan wedding ritual to open the multi-day wedding festivities. The Sarimanok and Paga Apir Apir dances are excerpts from the Maranao epic of Derangen, which was proclaimed by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2005. Sarimanok is about the mythical magical bird that is a symbol of wealth, social prestige, and power in Meranao society. Paga Apir Apir is the dance of the magical butterfly that is the good spirit guide for the Paramata (royalty who are believe to be guided by supernatural spirits in their reign as leaders). The sultanates of Mindanao are the oldest form of governance in the Philippines and is maintained among the indigenous Muslim communities today. In addition to their cultural work in the immigrant community of NYC, Kinding Sindaw remains a haven for indigenous Filipinos who seek to continue their traditions abroad and a community resource for those who seek to explore the unique unwritten history of the Philippines as well as the common historic themes that bridge cultures, religions and regions of the world.