Gibney Presents: Dohee Lee Puri Arts

Feb. 23, 8:00 pm EST

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Gibney Presents is Gibney’s premier presentation series, offering a rich blend of dance and performance in fully-produced, evening-length commissions. This performance is part of the 2022-2023 season at Gibney Center and was curated by Eva Yaa Asantewaa.

February 23-25, 8:00 PM EST

Gibney, the New York City-based dance and social justice organization, presents the world premiere of Chilseong Saenamgut (Duringut): Ritual for Sickness, created by award-winning traditional and contemporary arts performer Dohee Lee, artistic director of Puri Arts. The work is a performance ritual inspired by the sacred rituals originating in the artist’s hometown of Jeju Island, Korea. The ceremony, which features Lee performing along with three musicians, and a ritual altar, continues the exploration of ritual performances she began in 2004.

“My motivation for creating rituals is to address needs…community needs, nature needs, ancestors needs and our own needs for healing and reconciliation,” said Lee. “I want to call upon this ritual to name out the sicknesses which we are challenging our community, our country and our world. This ritual is a way to use the body, mind and spirit to encounter and heal and transform.”


This ritual allows participants to identify and confront challenges, purge destructive and monstrous spirits (Heomaengyee-허맹이), and invite vital spirits (Chilseong-칠성신) back to humanity and land.

 

CAST AND COLLABORATORS

Altar Installation: Dohee Lee
Ritual performance: Dohee Lee
Music composition: Adria Otte
Ritual Drummers: Adria Otte, Judy Jaeeun Jun, Emily Encina
Lighting design: José María Francos
Ritual Garment: Dana Kawano, Dohee Lee

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Dohee Lee weaves her multiple virtuosities in drumming, dancing, and singing into immersive ritualized theatrical creations. Born on Jeju Island, Korea, she trained at the master-level in music and dance styles rooted in Korean shamanism. In 1998, Dohee moved to Oakland, CA to create a new art form. Since then, she has become an award-winning traditional and contemporary arts performer, collaborating with Anna Halprin, Kronos Quartet, Amara Tabor Smith, Pauchi Sasaki and many others. Dohee’s work ranges from solo performances to full-scale theater productions. Dohee utilizes cutting-edge wearable wireless controller technology to seamlessly integrate acoustic and electronic sounds, video projections, dance, vocals and rhythm. She emphasizes the mythical, experimental, ritualistic, historical and healing aspects of performance and installation, catalyzing new relationships between identity, nature, spirituality, and the political.

Dohee is Artistic Director of Dohee Lee Puri Arts; Director of Art and Healing with refugee rights collective, Asian Refugees United and is teaching faculty at Tamalpa Institute.

Recent awards include: 2021 Creative Work Fund; 2021 California Arts Commission; 2021 Rainin New Program; 2020 Svane Foundation Artwork Commission; 2019 East Bay Community Foundation; 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship; 2018 NEFA National Dance Project Production Grant; 2018 MAP Fund; 2017 Hewlett 50 Arts Commission in Music.

puriarts.org

ABOUT THE PURI ARTS TEAM

Adria Otte creates music inspired from a diverse musical background that includes classical violin studies, rock bands, traditional Korean drumming, free improvisation, and experimental electronic music. As a multi-instrumentalist, she has performed improvised and composed works on violin, electric guitar, and both digital and analog electronics. As a sound designer and composer she contributes to dance and theater productions as well as collaborations with video and visual artists.

José María Francos (Lighting Designer) After a short career as a dancer and forced to leave his native Argentina for political reasons, Francos made the Bay Area his home. He has designed for Opera, Ballet and Theater among them Oakland Opera, Oakland Ballet, The Wall Flower Order, Joseph’s Papp  NYC/San Francisco Festival Latino, June Watanabe In Dance, Vanessa Redgrave’s Amnesty International Festival, Ellen Bromberg Ensemble, Joanna Haigood’s Zaccho Dance Theater, Robert Moses KIN, Dance Brigade, Dohee Lee Performance Projects, Amara Tabor Smith, Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe, NAKA Dance Theater and The Eastside Arts Alliance Artist In Resistance showcases and residencies. He worked for many years as Director of Production and Technical Director for Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco from which he retired in 2017. Since then he has continued to work as a freelance theatrical designer.

Dana Kawano (Ritual Wear Designer and Scenic/Installation Visual Artist) is versed in a multitude of artistic mediums. Her focus is to create ‘visual landscapes’ of elaborate wearable and/or scenic art that incorporate textiles, found materials and traditional mediums while integrating cultural/ritual layering to tell the story.

Emily Encina is a queer, mixed Corean in diaspora. For the past 5 years with the support of Dohee Lee, they have been cultivating a relationship to ancestors and spirit through community ritual, traditional Corean drumming, movement arts and videomaking.

JaeEun Jun (they/them) is continually exploring what liberation, decolonizing and wholeness means as a corean person in diaspora on turtle island through music and sound, legal advocacy with communities impacted by incarceration, and building relationships with plants, seeds, ancestors and their stories.

FUNDING CREDITS

Chilseong Saenamgut (Duringut): Ritual for Sickness is supported by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, REDCAT, Hewlett 50 Arts Commission in Music, NEFA National Dance Project, MAP Fund, Guggenheim Foundation, California Arts Council, and the Puri Arts community.

COVID-19 Safety Policies at Gibney Center

Masks are required for all audience members attending live performances at Gibney Center. Proof of vaccination is no longer required. Nonetheless, Gibney encourages all who are eligible to maintain up-to-date vaccination status in accordance with CDC Guidelines.

Photo by Scott Tsuchitani.