He and U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) stood with community leaders at Flushing Town Hall Tuesday to announce the arrival of the Taiwanese Wind Dance Theatre just in time for the Lunar New Year festivities Saturday.Although considered to be one of Taiwan's leading contemporary dance troupes, it is the first time the troupe will perform overseas in its three-year existence.The performers, who speak both English and Mandarin, will perform two works from their current repertoire as well as workshops with interested community members, which will ultimately lead to another performance. Flushing Town Hall Artistic Director Harvey Seifter said he decided to enlist the troupe as part of the hall's two-week residency East Asia Cultural Exchange program after witnessing their unorthodox combination of modern dance with the Beijing opera. "It's really an artistic stew," he said. "They approach dance combined with the movement of everyday life. It's very rich, powerful and beautiful."The performances include "Encounter:" an integration of Beijing opera with movement and modern dance on Feb. 3 at 8 p.m. and "Let's Dance:" a concert featuring three pieces combining modern dance, contemporary imagery and music by the critically acclaimed Flux Quartet on Feb. 5 at 3 p.m.The exchange program was funded through the state department, thanks to $100,000 in funding secured by Ackerman, who touted the program as a chance for people from all walks to life to come together and experience the entertainment and artistic expressions of other cultures."I have more Asians in my district than any other district on the mainland," Ackerman said. "There are Latinos, all these groups within close proximity. A melting pot we are not. We really have a mosaic. We see so many people who come here from places with shared values, that of freedom and liberty."Liu said the City Council will prepare a proclamation to award to the Wind Dance Theater in honor of their visit.Those interested in signing up for the workshops should call 718-463-7700, or visit the Web site at www.flushingtownhall.org.Reach reporter Scott Sieber at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.
©2006 Community News Group
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