Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday updates - 5-23-2010

Sachiyo Ito sent this press release:

Poetry in Motion

Thursday – Saturday, June 10-12, 2010 at 8pm
Joyce SoHo, 155 Mercer Street, New York City (Houston/Prince)
Direction: 6 to Bleecker, R to Prince, B/D/F/V to Broadway-Lafayette
Contact Information
For press ticket requests: Cathy Eilers, Joyce SoHo Program Manager 212-334-9907 or
For non-press ticket inquiries: Sachiyo Ito, Artistic Director 212-627-0265 or
Box Office: 212-242-0800/
Ticket: $20 15 (Student/Senior/Dance Pass)

Poetry in Motion is a collaboration of dance, poetry recitation and music.  Created by award-winning New York City based Japanese dancer and choreographer, Sachiyo Ito, it fuses together music, dance and poetry drawn from ancient and modern sources.  Presented through dance, the language of the soul, it aims to deepen and strengthen the connection within ourselves, with others and the world.

Selected poems include Chieko-sho by Japanese modern poet Kotaro Takamura, Before the Beginning by Rainer Rilke, Please Call Me by My True Names by Thich Nhat Hanh, Summer Day by Mary Oliver and Only Breath by Rumi. Guest singers and musicians include Beth Griffith, Elizabeth Knauer, Egil Rostad, and Yukio Tsuji.

The program offerings include two revivals from the 80s and 90s. Please Call Me by My True Names is a revival of the 1981 Joyce SoHo production originally entitled as An Invitation to Bell- reproduced at Lincoln Center in the same year. The dance is based on a poem written by Thich Nhat Hanh about a young boat refugee raped by a sea pirate. The year 2008 marked the 30th anniversary of the poem, but the condition of our society has changed little and Hanh’s voice of humanism is still resonant today. Day-to-day, we are surrounded by tragedies, the adverse conditions of our own humanity and violence stemming from hatred and prejudice. We are in need of finding inner balance and Please Call Me by My True Names invites the audience to contemplate together on a message calling for compassion, reconciliation and inner harmony-the basis for world peace. Another revival is Chieko: the Element, choreographed to the contemporary poem, Chieko-sho. The piece was originally produced in 1985 at Japan Society and the poem will be sung and recited to a score set by Dan Erkkila.

The ensemble piece, Only Breath, features dancers from various disciplines, cultural backgrounds and ethnicities. The dance calls for the coming together of all humanity on earth to form a global village surpassing boundaries of east, west, and other geographical, cultural, and social differences. 

From The New York Times: Peace Quest, Personal And Global

Sachiyo Ito and Company offered a 'Concert Dedicated to World Peace' on Saturday afternoon at the Clark Studio Theater and made the program artistically meaningful as well as idealistically honorable. …In 'An Invitation to Bell,' a production emphasizing processional movements for Ms. Ito and for an ensemble, Jennifer Kato read poems by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese monk and peace activist. Many celebrated a spirit of renewal, and the choreography was appropriately calm. But poems about violence and tyranny inspired jagged gesticulations from Ms. Ito. Then order was restored and the audience was invited to join the cast in a meditative walk onstage. Most accepted, stepping serenely while guided by the sounds of a gong and a bell. The unhurried progress became a pilgrimage into peace. (Jack Anderson, December 14, 1999)

Sachiyo Ito has brought together East and West through her delicate and powerful performances of classical, traditional and contemporary Japanese dance for the last 40 years. In 2008, she received the Foreign Minister’s Award from Japanese Foreign Ministry. Born in Tokyo, she has taught at major colleges such as the Juilliard School and New York University since 1972. She holds a M.A. and Ph.D. in Dance from New York University. She was awarded the name, Sachiyo Fujima from the Fujima School of Japanese classical dance in Tokyo. She was Kabuki consultant for the Off-Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures, and choreographer for Off-Broadway productions of Shogun Macbeth. Extensive performance credits in Japan, U.S., South America, and Europe include: American Dance Festival, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Japan Society, Asia Society, City Center in New York, Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Dublin Theatre Festival, and Bonn International Dance Workshop.

The creation of Joyce SoHo was made possible by the magnanimous support of the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust.  Joyce SoHo is supported by private funds from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, First Republic Bank, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation and The Shubert Foundation and by public funds from the New York City Council the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.  Special support for Joyce SoHo has been provided by The Harkness Foundation for Dance New York Community Trust Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Foundation for Contemporary Arts.

Three New Tanka Titles published by MET Press

Modern English Tanka Press is pleased to announce the publication of three new collections of fine tanka in English. Two are individual collections and the third is a collaborative effort.

May 1, 2010 – Black Jack Judy and the Crisco Kids: Bronx Memories, by Alexis Rotella, is the latest in a series of fine collections of Rotella’s verse published by MET Press. In a bravura performance, Rotella adopts her husband’s voice to write his “autobiography” in verse. This memorable work evokes a potent sense of time and place, another world, long gone. This is a must read for Rotella fans and for all lovers of fine poetry. M. Kei, editor of Atlas Poetica: A Journal of Poetry of Place in Contemporary Tanka, says, “In Black Jack Judy and the Crisco Kids, Alexis Rotella writes her husband's autobiography as if she had lived it herself. Replete with moments both magical and tragic, she provides a portrait of Italian American life at a time when there were still small farms in New York City, Italians were discriminated against, mothers plotted marriage, and all manner of relatives, friends, neighbors, and coworkers might appear at the dinner table. Each moment is rendered in tanka or kyoka, and occasionally prose or senryu. A piece of broken mirror the shape of Sicily, the curls from a little boy's haircut, a Christmas pizza with a star made of anchovies, and many other details paint a vivid picture of life long ago in a fairy tale country called the Bronx.”

May 2, 2010 – Home to Ballygunge: Kolkata Tanka by William Hart, has been published as a pocket paperback by MET Press of Baltimore, Maryland. Preparations for the book were begun inadvertently in the summer of 1986, when William Hart married his graduate school girlfriend in Kolkata (Calcutta at that time) and met several hundred of his new Bengali relatives. Return visits to India in the years since have convinced Hart that he does indeed have a home in the largely middle-class district of Ballygunge. In writing the poems, Hart tried to portray his Indian family and their city with accuracy, insight, and a bit of magic, as the subjects require. The sixty poems in the cycle borrow from the Japanese waka or tanka for their form. William Hart’s poems and stories have appeared in several hundred journals, newspapers and anthologies, including most periodicals that feature English-language haiku or tanka. Nine of Hart’s poetry collections have been published, along with two well-received novels. One of his haiku collections, Paris, won a Merit Book Award from the Haiku Society of America in 1996. Hart also produces documentary films with his wife for PBS.

May 17, 2010 – Double Take: Response Tanka, by Sonja Arntzen and Naomi Beth Wakan, has been published as a trade paperback by MET Press. It is an extraordinary collection of responsive tanka. Michael Dylan Welch says, “You will surely come back to these poems for a closer reading, returning to each collaborative pairing to dwell in their candor, their echoes, their surprising turns, their drinking in of all it means to be alive.” Angela Leuck writes, “Like the pleasure of a lingering, afternoon tea party, Double Take is a book that you’ll want to read slowly and savour.” Beverley George says, “Double Take demonstrates the power of the compressed poem to delight and satisfy an attentive reader.”

These fine books are available from Publisher information is available online at

About MET Press: MET Press (Modern English Tanka Press) is an independent publishing house in Baltimore, Maryland, dedicated to producing work of lasting literary value, especially fine verse. A family business, we treat our customers and partners in publishing like family. We use modern print-on-demand production and distribution methods. Our special mission is to promote the tanka form of poetry and to educate newcomers about this most ancient poetic form.

Contact: Denis M. Garrison, owner, MET Press / Modern English Tanka Press, 443-559-2776
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