Brown Bag Lunch Seminar: Soil: Performing the Southeast Asian Body in Crisis by Michael Sakamoto
Conceived as a reflection on cultural tensions and humanitarian crises in three Southeast Asian countries and their historical relationship with the West, “Soil” is a dance theater work collaboratively written and choreographed by director and scholar-artist Michael Sakamoto with three dancers: Chey Chankethya (Cambodia), Nguyen Nguyen (Vietnam/USA), and Waewdao Sirisook (Thailand). Based on the performers’ lives, “Soil” addresses issues of contested social values and body politic; authorial agency around cultural heritage, commodification, and sustainability; and “East-West” transnational identity. In this presentation, Sakamoto speaks on the work’s background and development into a commentary on the writing, dancing, and circulation of diverse identities across transnational landscapes, climates, and other contact zones. After the talk, there will be an open discussion with attendees with a light lunch provided. Presented in association with the UI Center for Asian and Pacific Studies.