‘Falling Flags’: An Evening of Dance, Music and Spoken Word

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Frances Cachapero and Sharon Sato in "Home." (Photo by Colin Hussey)

SAN FRANCISCO — Footloose presents “Falling Flags,” a shared evening of dance, live music and spoken word, on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. at Shotwell Studios, 3252-A 19th St. (near Folsom and South Van Ness), San Francisco.

Award winning Bay Area poet Genny Lim, fresh from travels abroad, shares news and views on her journeys. She is joined by dancers Frances Cachapero and Sharon Sato and musician Lewis Jordan. Acclaimed butoh artist Judith Kajiwara will perform her solo homage to Issei pioneers who immigrated to America.

“Home” is Sato’s movement piece of no borders. She views the ease of being able to travel, trade and have a cultural exchange as evidence that a broader acceptance of immigration rights is needed. Cachapero shares Sato’s view that “the weight of our bones are carried by the winds.” Those words of Lim from her poem “This Is My Country” give reason to each individual to retain part of their home turf no matter where they stay.

Kajiwara will perform her 2006 butoh solo “The Last Omiyage.” The character is alienated from her homeland with memories of war, famine and death. She finds unspoken solace through her connection to family, hope, and spirit. The tradition of presenting omiyage to friends and relatives is honored and the performance is an expression of love and gratitude.

Cachapero and Sato have crisscrossed paths through Pearl Ubungen Dancers to Alleluia Panis’ Kulintang Arts. Sato met Kajiwara through Jill Togawa of Purple Moon Dance Project.  Both of them were members of Asian American Dance Collective, where they met Lim. Mary Alice Fry of Footloose teamed them up after working with Lim in the “Women on the Way” festival in January. This is the first in hopefully many projects between Kajiwara and Sato, who are sharing ideas in a new butoh and taiko collective.

Footloose is funded by Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund and generous businesses and individuals.

Tickets are $10-15. For information and reservations, call (415) 289-2000 or visit http://ftloose.org. Advance tickets with credit card: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/195862 or (800) 838-3006.

Artist Biographies

Judith Kajiwara in "The Last Omiyage." (Photo by MaiYah Matsumura)

• As a life-long dancer, Judith Kajiwara has always strived to bring personal meaning to her dances.  Her history as a third-generation Japanese American woman born in California has informed the themes for many of her choreographed works. After years as a mother and improvisational dance teacher, in 1995 she was able to fully satisfy her passion for butoh. Her first full-length butoh solo performance, “The Ballad of Machiko,” premiered at the NOHSpace in 1995. Her last full-length work, “The Last Omiyage,” was also performed at the NOHSpace in 2006.

Kajiwara considers herself to be a self-taught dancer and teacher of butoh. She stretches her imagination to find innovative paths to bring the deepest and best out of her students and her audiences. Butoh is an integral part of her spiritual life; for by transforming consciousness, butoh raises awareness of the shadows within. Kajiwara is also a certified practitioner of hypnotherapy, reiki, crystal, and spiritual healing. She teaches reiki and spiritual workshops and finds comfort as an occasional writer. She works and resides in Oakland.

• Gypsy poet, playwright, performer and teacher Genny Lim crosses disciplines, cultures and identities. She is the author of two poetry collections, “Winter Place” and “Child of War,” and co-author of “Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island.” Her performance piece “Where Is Tibet?” premiered at CounterPULSE in December 2009 and was performed at AfroSolo Arts Festival in 2010 and the “Women on the Way” festival in 2011.

Poet, playwright and performer Genny Lim (Photo by Bob Hsiang)

Lim’s career includes concerts with Max Roach, Herbie Lewis, Francis Wong, Jon Jang and John Santos; poetry festivals in Venezuela (2005), Sarajevo, Bosnia-Hercegovina (2007) and Naples, Italy (2009). Her award-winning 1982 play “Paper Angels” was performed in San Francisco Chinatown’s Portsmouth Square to packed audiences on Sept. 15-17, 2010 and won the San Francisco Fringe Festival Award for best site-specific work. Her recent collaborations include the world premiere of Jang’s “Portrait of Sun-Yat-sen” at the Chinatown Music Festival and Lenora Lee’s “Reflections” at CounterPULSE.

• Sharon Sato has had the honor of studying with Alonzo King, Alba Calzada and Yehuda Mahor. Joan Lazarus was her mentor at the University of Oregon. During the 1990s, post-modern choreographers Pearl Ubungen, Christopher Pilafian, Duncan MacFarland and Claire Whistler added to her dancing. Other notables are Hiroko and Koichi Tamano, Sachiko Nakamura, Jill Togawa and Alleluia Panis. Sato began her Bay Area career with June Watanabe and Sue Li Jue. She gives a nod to Anna Sun-Fu of the former Asian American Dance Collective for her support.

Frances Cachapero, a native San Franciscan, has performed throughout Europe, the Philippines and the U.S. She is greatly indebted to her many teachers, including the late master Ed Mock, Alonzo King, Barbara Dilley, Augusta Moore, and wushu master Zhang Ling-Mei. She has been a member of Kulintang Arts, a core member of Pearl Ubungen Dancers & Musicians, and a founding member of Deep Waters Dance Theater. She has also worked with Robert Henry Johnson, David Rousseve and Facing East Dance & Music.

• Saxophonist Lewis Jordan is an international touring and recording musician, poet and actor who plays to build bridges. He has focused on creative structures for improvisation, which has led to his work with artists across a range of disciplines. His interest continues to be meeting and working with performers delving into their deeper resources for modes of expression that honor their traditions while speaking to the urgency of the present.

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