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(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) — Desi Rainbow Parents and Allies along with coLAB Arts are celebrating pride month by honoring the Desi Rainbow Community with an original dance piece created by Kathak artist Joungjin Won and directed by Texas State University Professor Yong-Suk Yoo, to be performed at the historic State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick on Saturday, June 25, 2022 at 7:00pm.

Inspired by the motif of the transformative process of the cocoon into a butterfly, the interdisciplinary live performance titled ‘The Butterfly’s Dream’ suggests a personal rite of passage through self-actualization and enlightenment by integrating Kathak dance, sound collage, and theatrical storytelling with a flavor of Korean shamanism aesthetics.

The 30 minute live dance performance will be followed by a Q&A session with the artist and light refreshments. Also, an expert panel discussion on the intersections of AAPI and LGBTQ+ advocacy in the State of NJ will be held shortly after. Grant funding has been provided by the Middlesex County Board of County Commissioners through a grant award from the Middlesex County Cultural and Arts Trust Fund.

Witness a transformative journey through LIVE dance by NJ based, Korean Kathak artist Jin Won

Tickets: This is a Free Event with limited seating; RSVP here. State Theater  New Jersey is located at 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Jin Won (Choreographer) – Praised by the NY Times as “an exuberant dancer whose musicality transform[s] her dancing into something primal,” dancer and percussionist Jin Won is a one-of-a-kind artist in the field of Indian performing arts who explores the sonic and visual possibilities of rhythm through dance and music.

An accomplished Kathak dancer and tabla player of South Korean origin, she spent over 15 years in India training in Indian classical percussion and dance under the tutelage of ‘Guruji’ Pandit Divyang Vakil and Smt. Shubha Desai, respectively. During these artistically formative years, Jin began working with renowned Indian choreographers, established herself as a solo dancer, and performed internationally in countries such as Belgium, Canada, and Korea.

While equally adept at traditional and contemporary presentations of Kathak and Tabla, Won’s latest endeavors are explorations of rhythm as a unifier across cultural expressions. Since moving to the United States in 2011, Jin has collaborated with Korean and Arabic traditional artists and incorporated a multitude of percussion instruments from around the world into her work.

Witness a transformative journey through LIVE dance by NJ based, Korean Kathak artist Jin Won

In 2013, Jin and her Guru Pandit Divyang Vakil collaborated on an experimental Kathak production featuring world percussion that was focused on rhythm as the primary mode of expression. Entitled Pradhanica, which translates as “female leader”, this production highlights the commanding presence of Jin as a solo dancer. After debuting at the Drive East Festival in NYC to much acclaim, the prestigious Princeton Festival invited Jin to present Pradhanica as their first venture outside the realm of the Western Classical tradition. In conjunction with the festival, NJ PBS released a short documentary on Jin’s life and artistic journey along with her team.

Taking its name from her debut work, in 2018 Jin founded the “Pradhanica Dance and Music Company” to harbor her growing repertoire of projects and choreography.

Her latest work includes 2 dance films: Willow, which was commissioned in 2021 by the World Music Institute; WMI for their annual “Dancing the Gods” festival, and Beyond the Seas, which is selected for presentation at the “Women in Dance” conference to be held in Chicago in October of 2022. As well, her original 20-minute contemporary dance piece was commissioned by the New Narrative Film Festival in Taipei, Taiwan as their closing finale.

Jin has performed at venues such as Battery Dance Festival (Battery Park, NYC) Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), Symphony Space (NYC), and Lone Tree Arts Center (CO) among many others. She has also conducted master classes and workshops at arts institutions across the US such as the University of Illinois, Middlesex County Cultural Arts and Heritage Commission (NJ), Quad City Arts (IL), and Darke County Center for the Arts (OH), Lincoln Center Atrium (NYC).

Yongsuk Yoo (director) is an international director and educator who focuses on interdisciplinary work and the integration of technology into the performing arts. His experimental work includes multimedia theater productions of When Spring Comes to Hills and Dales, Oedipus the King, immersive theater productions of A Dream Play and Love and Information, as well as the Korean premiere of Nassim Sloeimanpour’s White Rabbit, Red Rabbit. He has also written his own pieces, such as A Silent Table, which used live broadcasting technology, immersive performance, and four-sided holo-film projection mapping. He is currently an assistant professor of directing at Texas State University, and former faculty at Daeduk University and Hanyang University in South Korea.

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