Not Your Mother’s Pan-Asian Festival
Not Your Mother’s Pan-Asian Festival (NYMPAF) is a groundbreaking new event that celebrates the breadth of AAPI dance expression. We seek to connect the East and the venerable rest, creating a new style that blends the traditional and the contemporary, honoring our history and our present. (And we mean no disrespect to our mothers–they’re the ones who first taught us how to groove!)
Taking place in the Lower East Side’s Abrons Arts Center Amphitheater, NYMPAF will feature traditional and contemporary works performed by an AAPI roster of Kevin Toyo (The Japanese Folk Dance Institute of NY), Dancers Unlimited, Kelly Tsai, gorno_suzuki_tanabe, Aishwarya Madhav (Indian Classical dance), and Kinding Sindaw (Indigenous Mindanao dance).
The dynamic lighting design (by Kia Rogers) will illuminate dancers as they perform in locations all around the amphitheater.
Aishwarya Madhav is an Indian classical dancer and educator. Trained from the age of six in Bharathanatyam and Kuchipudi, she began her solo performance debut at nine. Since then, she has widely performed across India and the US, independently and with dance companies such as Jiva Performing Arts, at prestigious venues like 92StY, Lincoln center, Yale University, and Battery dance, Drive East, and other dance festivals. Aishwarya has also conducted dance workshops for students at the American Ballet Theater, 92StY, exposing them to the technique and discipline of Indian classical dances. She currently performs and teaches in New York City. You can find her on Instagram.
Linda Kuo is the Director and Choreographer of Dancers Unlimited. As a choreographer, Linda’s work has been presented on stages in NYC, Hawai’i and abroad. Some of her choreographic credits include: Shanghai World Expo 2010, US Embassy in China, The Contemporary Museum of Honolulu, Honolulu Academy of Art, NYC 10 / NYC Dance Week, at Peridance Capezio Center, Triskelion Arts SummerFest, Oahu Fringe Festival, and Honolulu Biennial 2019, International Human Rights Festival, and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Born in Taiwan and raised in Hawai’i, Linda is shaped by cultural diversity and performing arts including dancing the Hula. After graduating from Iolani School, Linda attended Boston College where she first began choreographing professionally. The experience would later propel her to move to NYC to pursue dancing as a career. Since then, Linda has performed with commercial artists Faith Hill, Lil Mama, and Daddy Yankee, choreographed for Dr. Dre’s Beats Campaign (Shanghai), and toured nationally and internationally for musical productions and contemporary dance companies, including Peter Pan and Katrina: A Whole Lotta Water.
Linda’s Hawai’i upbringing is influential in her artistry and creative approach. Dancing the Hula helped cement her belief in dance as the backbone of cultural identity and resilience. Her choreography addresses social and cultural issues while fusing contemporary, Street and cultural dances with a strong emphasis on authentic & diverse storytelling. Her creative vision has shaped DU artistic and community engagement missions. Linda has a versatile dance background in Hula, Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop, House, Swing, Hustle, Voguing and Waacking. She continues House dance and Capoeira training with House Dance Pioneer, Sekou Heru. Recently, she trained as BOLD (Builders, Organizers and Leaders through Dance) by Urban Bush Women and studied at its Summer Leadership Institute at New York University. Linda is also an alumnus of 92nd Y’s Dance Education Laboratory.
gorno (Glenn Potter-Takata) is a Bronx-based artist-person working in sound art and butoh. His work centers a Japanese-American experience, and is preoccupied with the consumer culture runoff from the Japanese archipelago. gorno has been an artist in residence at Gibney Dance, Amanda + James, and Lehman College through CUNY Dance Initiative. Past works have been presented at Gibney Dance, Amanda + James, Triskelion Arts, HERE Arts, Dixon Place, and Arts On Site. He received an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, where he studied multimedia performance.
evan ray suzuki is a choreographer and multidisciplinary performance artist based in Brooklyn. He creates dance that draws gesture from digital sources to explore themes including the sociocultural influence of new media and the evolution of memes. BA, Sarah Lawrence College, with concentrations in Dance, Theatre, Literature, and Cultural Theory. evanraysuzuki.com, @evanxray
Kimiko Tanabe is a fourth-generation Japanese-American artist based in Lenapehoking/Brooklyn, New York. She explores the mediums of performance art, dance, writing, origami and paper, and is in a committed partnership with her .38 Muji pen. She was a competitive gymnast for ten years, making art on the side, until finding herself in the contemporary dance field and transitioning art to the center. She is forever fascinated with Japanese folklore and as a lover of literature she finds herself making important life decisions under the eyes and influence of fiction. For Kimiko, art is intimate and inexact.
Kelly Tsai is an award-winning interdisciplinary performer based in Brooklyn, NY. She is currently working at the intersection of music, dance, photography, film, and VR/AR. For more info: kellytsai.com, instagram.com/kellytsai_nyc, twitter.com/kellytsai_nyc, vimeo.com/kztsai, youtube.com/kztsai.
Kevin Toyo began his education in Japanese folk dance at the age of five, learning traditional dance technique from his mother/founder of the Japanese Folk Dance Institute of NY (JFDINY), Momo Suzuki. He currently serves as Assistant Director for JFDINY, and is the primary instructor for dance and a featured solo/ensemble performer. Mr. Suzuki is an expert of the Tsugaru 5 Dances (Aomori Prefecture), as well as the only dancer outside of Japan to receive permission to perform Nameshida Onikenbai (Demon Mask Dance), a National Intangible Cultural Property. Outside of JFDINY, his solo work as a performer/choreographer includes Riyo Saito’s chamber opera, “Dojoji” (2019), which premiered at Carnegie Hall, as well as serving as choreographer-in-residence at Boston University for Ronald Richardson’s play “Kamioroshi” (2019). In 2020, in reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr. Suzuki created LES (Lower East Side) Dance Crawl. The project utilized art galleries in the LES to produce safe, socially distanced pop-up dance performances. Instagram: @kevintoyo @japanesefolkdanceny
Kinding Sindaw is an NYC-based nonprofit dance theater company composed of indigenous tradition-bearers, Filipino American artists, and educators from all backgrounds founded in 1992. Kinding Sindaw exists to assert, preserve, reclaim, and re-create the traditions of dance, music, martial arts, storytelling, and orature of the indigenous peoples of Mindanao, Southern Philippines.
Founded 26 years ago by Maranao tradition-bearer Potri Ranka Manis, Kinding Sindaw recreates the oral traditions of ancestral art forms from Mindanao and is a resident company of La MaMa Experimental Theater Company. Our mission is to educate and enlighten communities about the history and cultures of the indigenous peoples of the Philippines. Through the use of indigenous music, dance and cultural art forms, we serve as an important educational and cultural resource in New York City. We aim to promote the advocacy for indigenous peoples, as well as increase awareness of universal themes that are part of the human experience. The range of our programs also integrates the health benefits of the ancestral movements that we show and teach to our audiences. Through these cultural art forms, we advocate for the preservation of natural resources that are the livelihood of the indigenous peoples. Wellness and healing rituals are also embodied in the repertoire of Kinding Sindaw to increase health and healing awareness of participants and audiences.
Since its founding, Kinding Sindaw has performed and provided cultural workshops and educational programs at numerous venues throughout the city, including full-scale dance dramas: “Irimun o Banag”, “Agama Niyog”, “Rajah Mangandiri”, “Lemlunay”, “Parang Sabil”, “Sultan Kudarat”, “Bembaran”, “Pandibulan”, “Pag Babalik”, “Tao Marayao”, and most recently, “Mindanao: The Legend of Tabunaway and Mamalu.” Venues include La Mama ETC, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Puffin Room, Riverside Church, Mulberry Street Theater, Wave Hill and NYC colleges. In addition to large scale productions, Kinding Sindaw provides music, dance and storytelling workshops at NYC colleges, libraries, public schools, churches, and other community-based venues. By presenting the rich and varied stories of indigenous peoples of southern Philippines, Kinding Sindaw connects with numerous community organizations and groups — bridging cultures, religions and regions of the world. We serve as a community resource that helps children, youth and adults explore the unique history and traditions of the Philippines, draw parallels to other communities, explore common historic themes, and motivate audiences to learn more about their own history and culture.
Kinding Sindaw’s vast offering of programs have been funded and supported in part by the Reginald Lewis Foundation, the New York City & Company Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts Folk Art Fellowship, the New York Department of Cultural Affairs, the Citizens Committee of New York, the New York State Council on the Arts, Lotus Fine Arts Productions, Inc., and individuals from the community.
This program is presented in conjunction with The Japanese Folk Dance Institute of NY and presented at Abrons Arts Center as part of the @Abrons Series. NYMPAF is made possible by The New York City Artist Corps.