Acclaimed interdisciplinary artist and San Gabriel Valley native Michael Sakamoto marks his first turn as a mainstage presenter at UCLA Nov. 20-21, with “Vestiges of Creation.”
Presented by the UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures Upstarts Series, this is Sakamoto’s first full-length stage work in three years. It will be performed at the Glorya Kaufman Dance Theater on the UCLA campus on Friday and Saturday at 8pm.
Supported in part by a grant from the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts, “Vestiges of Creation” separate but interconnected stories. An emotionally-challenged theater director rediscovers his inspiration by destroying his prized possession. An exoticized Thai dancer finds her only solace in a desperate moment of karaoke. An African-American actor escapes his minstrel past by acting like an ape.
Combining avant-garde theater, contemporary dance, and conceptual performance, Sakamoto engages viewers in a show that calls itself-and their role in it-into question. Four performers find themselves caught between desire and truth, their minds and bodies, and their “true” nature and the social “masks” they wear. Probing the relationship between stage, performer, and audience for understanding and communion, “Vestiges of Creation” attempts to enact a ritual experience of tragedy, absurdity, and transcendence.
Featuring a versatile cast of acclaimed performers: actor/playwright Paul Outlaw, Thai folk/contemporary dancer Waewdao Sirisook, performance artist/dancer Allison Wyper, and Sakamoto himself–and a live musical score by avant-garde composer/musician, Amy Knoles (California EAR Unit).
Michael Sakamoto is an interdisciplinary artist active in theater, dance, performance, media art, and photography. His ensemble and solo works have been performed in dozens of festivals, theaters, and alternative venues worldwide, including the Florida Dance Festival, San Francisco International Butoh Festival, Ex-Teresa Arte Alternativo in Mexico, Audio Art Festival (Krakow), and Chiang Mai University (Thailand). He has received numerous local and international awards and grants, including from Asian Cultural Council, Japan Foundation, Meet the Composer, James Irvine Foundation/DanceUSA, California Community Foundation, and many others.
Tickets are $15 general, $8 students, available through the UCLA Central Ticket Office, (310) 825-2101 and www.cto.ucla.edu. The Glorya Kaufman Dance Theater is located at 120 Westwood Plaza on the UCLA campus. Parking in Lot 4, enter Sunset Blvd. and Westwood Plaza.
More info at www.michaelsakamoto.com.