Christopher K. Morgan’s “Pōhaku” to Close PS21’s 2017 Chatham Dance Festival

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Contact: Susan Davies, PS21 Administrative Director (518) 392-6121, susan.davies@ps21chatham.org

Christopher K. Morgan’s “Pōhaku” to Close PS21’s 2017 Chatham Dance Festival

[CHATHAM, NY] PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century closes its 2017 Chatham Dance Festival by welcoming dancer and choreographer Christopher K. Morgan, Saturday and Sunday, September 2 and 3 at 8:00pm. Morgan’s solo dance performance incorporates hula, modern dance, classical music, storytelling, chant and projection. Entitled “Pōhaku” (the Hawaiian word for stone), the piece incorporates the story of his own family to reflect on the larger story of Hawaii’s native people. It all takes place under the Tent at PS21, 2980 Route 66 in the town of Chatham.

In addition to being Artistic Director of his own dance company, Morgan has been Director of Omi International Arts Center’s Dance Program since 2006. “‘Pōhaku’ is the first work that I’ve made that fully incorporates my native Hawaiian background and the traditions of that culture with my long history in modern dance,” he said.

Morgan danced hula with his family as a child in California, far from their ancestral Hawaii. As he developed a body of work in modern dance, said to be “charming and poignant” by The New York Times, he longed to connect his Native Hawaiian artistic and personal roots to his contemporary work. “Pōhaku” explores compelling universal themes in the story of Hawaii’s native people, including land loss and fractured identity.

This evening-length solo dance is partly inspired by Morgan’s late cousin John Kaimikaua, a hula master. It features live music by kumu hula (master teacher) Elsie Kaleihulukea Ryder and classically trained electric cellist Wytold. Collaborators also include projection designer Sareen Hairabedian, scenery by Kapa (traditional Hawaiian cloth) maker Dalani Tanahy, lighting by Brian S. Allard, and rehearsal direction by Tiffanie Carson.

Christopher Morgan performs “Pōhaku” at The Tent at PS21 Saturday and Sunday, September 2 and 3, at 8:00pm. Tickets are $35 general admission, $30 members, and $18 students (school ID required for college students). A Talk Back with the artist will follow the performance. Following the Sunday night performance of Pōhaku at PS21, Art Omi is delighted to host a reception in honor of Art Omi Dance Residency Director Christopher K. Morgan, choreographer and performer of Pōhaku.

To order tickets, visit ps21chatham.org or call 1-800-838-3006. For more information, visit ps21chatham.org or call 518.392.6121.

In addition to the evening weekend performances, Morgan will present a Stones and Stories Workshop. Morgan will share stories about the role of stones in traditional Hawaiian culture and in his own life. Participants will gather stones and create short pieces that incorporate storytelling and movement. The workshop is open to all and admission is free. Participants should pre-register for the workshop by going to the PS21 website or calling the PS21 office at 518-392-6121.

PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century is a not-for-profit organization in Chatham, NY, dedicated to the performing arts and to serving a diverse community with concerts, programs and residencies by professional artists and ensembles, youth and children’s programming and cultural education opportunities for all ages.

Thank you to our 2017 season sponsors and supporters: New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo & the New York State Legislature, New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project Touring Award, MetzWood Insurance, Ed Herrington, Inc., Main-Care Energy, and the Lofgren Agency.

Pōhaku was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Pōhaku is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by Maui Arts & Cultural Center in partnership with Dance Place and NPN. For more information: www.npnweb.org. Production residency funded by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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CAPTION:
PS21 closes its 2017 Chatham Dance Festival with dancer and choreographer Christopher Morgan, Saturday and Sunday, September 2 and 3 at 8:00pm. In addition to the two evening concert performances, Morgan will present a Stones and Stories Workshop on Sunday, July 16. To order tickets, visit ps21chatham.org or call 1-800-838-3006.

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