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Performance of Movement and Mime at UB Will Feature Japanese, Argentine Influences

Release Date: November 14, 2007

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Asian Studies Program at the University at Buffalo will sponsor an unusual cultural event on Nov. 28 -- a performance that will employ the silent languages of movement and Japanese mime as articulated by the internationally acclaimed Yass Hakoshima Movement Theatre in collaboration with Buffalo's Neglia Ballet Artists.

The performance will take place at 7 p.m. in the Drama Theater in the UB Center for the Arts on the North (Amherst) Campus. Tickets are available through the Center for the Arts box office for $24 (general admission), $20 (seniors) and $12 (students).

The Yass Hakoshima Movement Theatre is the creation of Japan-born Yass Hakoshima, a ballet dancer trained in Noh Theater, modern dance and corporeal mime, who has appeared in hundreds of American cities and arts festivals throughout the world for more than three decades.

His work is a fusion of East and West, as well as many moods from hilarity and childlikeness to provocative dramatic themes and the fatalism that marks Japanese theater. Past performance pieces include those about an eagle that is shot but is determined to fly again, a dictator suppressing mass revolt, a man searching in vain for a woman and a parable of Buddhism told through the image of climbing on a spider web.

Hakoshima uses minimal props, costume changes, masks, slide images and intriguing music, holding the audience's attention from beginning to end at each performance.

He has said he believes "the nature of expression and gesture in each country is dependent upon and has been influenced by its long history, as well as its climate, customs, language, culture and religion."

He points to the many similarities in gesture from one country to another, as well, and says that this is what makes mime a universal language.

Neglia Ballet Artists takes its name Argentine-born ballet dancer Sergio Neglia, himself the son

of celebrated Argentine dancers, who trained with George Balanchine's School of the American Ballet and has performed with Chile's Santiago Ballet, the Miami City Ballet, the Slovak Ballet and Japan's Nishina Ballet and Okamoto Ballet.

He performs with his wife Heidi Halt, a Buffalo-trained dancer who has performed with the Oakland Ballet, Berkeley Ballet Theatre, Ballet Randolf, Cincinnati Ballet, Scapino Ballet of Rotterdam and with Buffalo's highly regarded Pick of the Crop dance company.

The event will be co-sponsored by the Buffalo-Kanazawa Sister City Committee, and is funded by Astellas Pharma Manufacturing, Mentholatum Co., and the office of the UB Vice Provost for International Education.

For more information, contact the Asian Studies Program at 645-3474 or asian-studies@buffalo.edu.

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