Dance: THE VOICE WITHIN — FEATURING SEIBI LEE (Leela Dance Collective in SF, LA & Edmonton)

Post image for Dance: THE VOICE WITHIN — FEATURING SEIBI LEE (Leela Dance Collective in SF, LA & Edmonton)

by Nia Liat on February 25, 2022

in Dance,Theater-Los Angeles,Theater-Regional,Theater-San Francisco / Bay Area

Leela Dance Collective presents The Voice Within, featuring veteran kathak artist Seibi Lee in an intimate performance exploring the themes of duality and paradox. Lee renders two ancient stories – Houyi and Chang’e, a heart-rending Chinese story about the love between a mortal hero and an immortal beauty, and Yuki no Onna, a Japanese tale evoking the mystery of the Snow Woman, both in the traditional kathak style. Pulling from two different cultures and traditions, the stories speak to the duality of the material and spirit worlds. Houyi and Minokichi, our mortal heroes, fall in love with Chang’e and Yuki no Onna of the spirit world and experience the beauty and intensity of a love that can never be realized. Rather than interpret these stories as tragic, Lee, a dynamic kathak artist known for her exceptional mastery, sophisticated musicality, and dramatic brilliance, articulates us to embrace the beauty of these emotions and to look closer to find their deeper meaning and beauty and the longing inherent in unattainable love. This experience is a birthing place – a place where one begins to discover oneself.

San Francisco
March 31 at 7pm | $25-$50 (tickets)
Taube Atrium Theater, 401 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center

Los Angeles
April 3 at 5pm | $25-$50* (tickets)
UCLA Little Theater, Macgowan Hall, Macgowan Hall, 245 Charles E. Young Drive
*VIP ticket includes the best seats in the house, free parking,
and an exclusive pre-show digital concert guide

April 8 at 7pm (tickets on sale March 1)
Betty Andrews Recital Hall
11110 104 Ave NW, Edmonton, Alberta
*This concert is a fundraiser in support of
Chinatown Multi-Level Care FoundationAnne Burrows Music Foundation

Artists:Seibi Lee, kathak
Jayanta Banerjee, sitar
Ben Kunin, sarod
Jay Gandhi, bansuri
Satyaprakash Mishra, tabla
exclusive Artist Talkbacks following the performances
feature an interactive Q&A session with the artists

SEIBI LEE. Photo by Brooke Duthie.

Lee’s personal journey – navigating her mixed Chinese and Japanese heritage and her love of Western classical music and Eastern classical dance – is expertly interwoven throughout the two stories. In her own life she has struggled with being of many cultures and in some ways of none. This struggle gave way to possibility only when she learned to befriend the feeling of longing. Over time, she began to develop her own voice – a voice that transcends the conflict and confusion that often comes with navigating personal and cultural identity. The Voice Within is a profoundly personal yet universal story of the search for one’s own true self.

Seibi Lee is an ACTA master artist and gandabandhan disciple of Pandit Chitresh Das, and a consummate kathak artist known for her powerful mastery, refined musicality, and dramatic brilliance in character portrayal. As a Founding Artist and Artistic Director of Leela Dance Collective and former principal dancer of the Chitresh Das Dance Company, Seibi Lee has toured worldwide, earning accolades and deep respect for her artistry. She received an Isadora Duncan Dance Special Award as part of the performing ensemble in Das’s East As Center and received two subsequent nominations for performances in Pancha Jati and Shabd. As principal dancer of the Chitresh Das Dance Company, Lee evolved a singular perspective and style through the development of virtuosic character roles in several of Das’s critically acclaimed works. Her outstanding portrayal of Hanuman became the inspiration for the central character and creation of Leela Dance Collective’s Son of the Wind – the full-length dance drama bringing to life Hanuman’s rarely told heroic and valorous adventures from the epic Ramayana.

• Leela Dance Collective on YouTube

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