Hamilton College Performing Arts Series To Present Ping Chong's After Sorrow

The Hamilton College Performing Arts Series opens the 1997-98 season with a performance of After Sorrowby multi-media artist Ping Chong on Saturday, October 11 at 8 p.m. in Wellin Hall of Schambach Center for Music and the Performing Arts. After Sorrowis a dance theatre work in which Ping Chong and Muna Tseng probe theirChineseness and what it means to be Chinese in America. This work, like otherparts of Ping Chong's East/West trilogy, explores the fragile place wherepersonal histories intersect and are transformed into universal truths.

The evening features four long dance pieces depicting Asians in severalcountries and historical periods. "L'histoire Chinoise" is a meditation onduty, family an longing based on the experiences of a 19th century Chinesewoman. "Whisper of a Stone" evokes the mysterious interconnection betweenpeople and events across time and culture using the ancient Chinese traditionof "scholar rocks" as its central image. The third part, "98.6: a convergence in 15 minutes," is a duet between Muna Tseng, performing live andPing Chong, heard on tape, about their lives as artists, eventuating in an ode towhat the text calls "holy mortality." "After Sorrow," from which the eveningtakes its title, provides a portrait of Viet Name today - after the French,after the Americans, after the war and facing an inconclusive future.

Ping Chong is the recipient of an Obie Award, six National Endowment for theArts Fellowships, a Playwrights USA Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, twoMcKnight Playwrights Fellowships, a TCG/Pew Charitable Trust National TheatreArtist Residency Program Fellowship, a National Institute for Music Theatre Award and a1992 New York Theatre and Dance ("Bessie") Award for Sustained Achievement.

In 1990, Ping Chong created Deshima, the first in a series of worksexploring East-West relations past, present and future. Deshima, which was commissioned by the Mickery Workshop in Holland, received its American premiere at LaMama, ETC in 1993 and was presented last season at festivals in Japan and Singapore.Chinoiserie, the second in the East-West series, premiered at the LiedCenter of the University of Nebraska and was featured as past of the BrooklynAcademy of Music's 1995 Next Wave Festival. The third in the series, AfterSorrow, premiered in January, 1997 at LaMama, ETC.

In developing After Sorrow, Ping Chong teamed up with internationally renowned choreographer Muna Tseng and composer Josef Fung to create a stark,elegant dance theatre piece that uses music, recorded texts, projections andspoken word to explore what is quintessetially Chinese in the collaborator'slives. After Sorrow uses dance, music, spoken and recorded texts,dazzling projections and lighting effects, and evocative costuming and stagingto create "an environment of wonder."

This tour of Ping Chong/Muna Tseng/Josef Fung is made possible in part by a grant from MidAtlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.  Tickets are $15.00 for adults and $5.00 for students and may be obtainedby calling the Hamilton College Performing Arts Ticket Office at (315)859-4331.

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