Blending Classical Ballet and Martial Arts/Fusing Eastern and Western Dance Methodology
Original Music - Special Effects - Fight Choreography
Award-winning ballerina, choreographer and Artistic Director Shoko Tamai returns with her company of five dancers and martial artists for the 2018 Season of NINJA BALLET at The Secret Theatre, 4402 23rd Street, Long Island City, NY. The company will present five performances, from Thursday, June 28 through Sunday, July 1. The company’s new work, “MA,” the Japanese word for negative space, will premiere. Live music.
Founded in 2017, Ninja Ballet Dance Company fuses classical ballet with traditional martial arts, creating an immersive and interactive dance theater performance with original music, special effects and fight choreography. Performers blur the line between what is real and what is possible, using acrobatics, fire and weapons, with new technologies helping to facilitate an interactive theater experience. Ninja Ballet seeks to reconnect people with nature and to create a space where dance, music and visual arts merge as one. “We hope to inspire mindful awareness, forming a connection between nature and humanity,” says Ms. Tamai.
Live musical accompaniment for Ninja Ballet 2018 Summer Season will be provided by six artists: William Catanzaro on percussion (including Shiva Drum,) Alfonso Montiel on Singing Bowl and Gong, Michael Joseph Burdi on flute and Oud, Kento Iwasaki Watanabe on Koto (traditional Japanese stringed musical instrument,) Edwin Rodriguez (percussion, Indian Drum and Native American flute,) and Vladimir Demin on Handpan Drum.
The production features dance choreography by Shoko Tamai, with dancers Rezy Pardito, Nellie Licul, Kirsten Reynolds, Pan Yu and Edward Reyes; fight choreography by martial arts expert Tony Ortiz.
* ABOUT “MA”:
'MA', a Japanese word for Negative Space, or the space between time, occurring in the moment of “Now,” and in the imagination of the human being who experiences these elements. Ninja Ballet Dance Company will explore the concept of 'MA' and how it relates to the ancient Mayan legend of Zopilote, a Vulture God who feasts on the newborn.
Zopilote lives in balance between life and death, consuming the dead and giving birth to new life. When Zopilote devours the child of Subaru, a female Ninja, she creates a mortal enemy: a broken-hearted mother who will do anything to exact her revenge. Subaru makes it her mission to find and kill Zopilote, but at the same moment, in the Negative Space, she herself is being hunted by Scorpion, a Ninja assassin set on finding and killing her in retribution for her clan's murder of his own parents.
The cycle of revenge will unfold and blood will be spilled. Will Subaru find peace in her vengeance? Will Scorpion finally get retribution for the crimes of Subaru's clan against his own? Will Zopilote, the ancient and powerful Vulture God of the Mayans, allow the balance of life and death to be broken, or will they all learn the power of forgiveness and finally bury their hatred in the past? All will be answered in the space between time, the moment of Now, the Negative Space!
ABOUT SHOKO TAMAI:
Shoko Tamai has performed in leading venues and dance companies around the world, including the Royal Opera House in London, Lincoln Center, and Jacob’s Pillow. She received the Solo Seal award from the Royal Academy of Dance in London and was a finalist in the World Ballet Competition. She studied with Jamie HJ Guan, martial arts trainer from Beijing Opera. Ms. Tamai performed with Dance Theater of Harlem, and with Cirque du Soleil at its inception.
Shoko Tamai has been endorsed by world leading artists, including Arthur Mitchell, Founder of Dance Theatre of Harlem and Keith Saunders (Artistic Director, Dance Theatre of Harlem Touring Company), Guy Laliberté, founder of Cirque du Soleil and Abdel Salaam, choreographer at Forces of Nature Dance Theater.
In addition to teaching ballet and other styles of dance from ages 2-86, Shoko Tamai serves as director of “Cosmic Dance Healing,” the practice of exchanging negative energy to positive energy via movement and awareness. Her regular classes at the Montauk Salt Cave, Cosmic Arts in Brooklyn, Studio Oasis in Chinatown, The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (CoSM) and the Brooklyn Academy of Music satisfy her “sincerest intention to use dance to help heal the world and its people, one happy student at a time.”
"Dancers are the athletes of God" - Albert Einstein