The purpose of this memo is to describe the opening of FLASH: A New Choreography presented by the Department of Theatre and Dance and analyze the role of the play for the Asian Americans in the USA.
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On March 7, 2013, there was the opening performance of FLASH: A New Choreography directed by Qudus Onikeku, the choreographer with the Nigerian roots. According to Onikeku, FLASH: A New Choreography conveys the idea of personal memories and personal heritage which can make people suffer and feel pain (“Granada Artist’s Flash”).
In his choreography, Qudus Onikeku uses the combination of strange and unexpected movements as a result of the trained choreography and improvised elements. Performers demonstrate their feelings not only with the help of dance but also singing and narrating the story. The symbolic movements of the performers to illustrate their inner world are observed at the background of some obscure panels and with black soil under their feet.
The main message of Onikeku’s work is the accentuation of the person’s heritage as well as memories which can be negative, but they form the individual’s personality. This message is also reflected in Onikeku’s approach to choreography and training performers. F
LASH: A New Choreography can be discussed as the representation of the minorities’ feelings and experiences because the director not only stresses on the significance of his own identity but also focuses on the experiences of each performer. It is important to note that there are several Asian Americans performing in the play, and Onikeku refers to their heritage and experience as well.
Onikeku intends to create the complex and full picture of the dance using the personality of each performer that is why the theme of painful memories and experiences is close to each performer and the group as the whole to represent the definite image created by the director.
From this point, those Asian Americans who perform in FLASH: A New Choreography seem to represent the story which is close to a lot of people who try to find the answers to questions of their personal and national heritage.
In spite of the fact Qudus Onikeku relates to his own experience and personal feelings in the performance, these feelings can be discussed as common for representatives of different minority communities in the USA. Thus, the Asian American performers reflect the fears and feelings typical for migrants.
However, Onikeku uses the personal approach in his work, and the performance based on the common ideas begin to reflect the personal, intimate feel of the Asian American performers. Thus, the experience of participating in FLASH: A New Choreography is important for the Asian Americans not only because of the theme and idea of the play but also because of the director’s distinctive and personal approach to the performers and their work.
As a result, the Asian Americans have a chance to consider themselves as the part of their ethnic group, as the part of the American nation to discuss the problems close to everyone, and as personalities to accentuate their individuality in spite of their identity.
FLASH: A New Choreography provides a helpful experience for the Asian Americans to stress on their identity from the viewpoint of the director with the Nigerian roots. Qudus Onikeku’s choreography is significant to demonstrate the balance between the group and individual consciousness as well as group and individual vision of oneself.
Granada Artist’s Flash Explores How Man Can Live and Love with Painful Memories. 2013. Web.