NWAAT presents Afest 2000

Below is your guide to the best kept secret on the West Coast: The Northwest Asian American Theatre's A-FEST 2000, a month-long festival of contemporary art with innovative MUSIC, PUPPETRY, DANCE and MULTI-MEDIA performances featuring INSPIRING, PROVOCATIVE, CONTEMPORARY artists from the United States and Asia.

May 4-7/11-14, Traces

May 18, 19 LOUD and Degenerate Art Ensemble (aka Young Composers
May 20 Queer Asian Arts Extravaganza
May 21 Seattle Kokon Taiko

May 25, 26 Cry of the Rooster Theater and Andrew Kim with Andy McCormick
May 26, 27 Pork Filled Players
May 27 Cambodian Youth Project
May 27, 28 Ku'ulei Miura, Michael Sakamoto and Cheronne Wong

Thurs-Sat, May 4-6/May 11-13, 8pm; Sun, May 7 & 14, 4pm; Tickets $9-15

Asian American filmmaker John D. Pai and Malaysian choreographer/dancer Mew Chang Tsing create a multi-media work where performers swing dreamily through a suspended jungle gym, paint calligraphic signals, vividly embody mythological beings, and much more in this daring, exploration of ancestral and contemporary identity. NWAAT is honored to present the culmination of this year long international collaboration that features some of Seattle's hottest contemporary Asian American performers includingByron Au Yong, Susie Kozawa, Melody Liu, Ku'ulei Miura and Yoko Murao.

LOUD and DEGENERATE ART ENSEMBLE (aka Young Composers Collective)
Thurs & Fri, May 18 & 19, 8pm; Tickets $6-12

LOUD, the instrumental trio of electric guitarist Elaine Stef, and taiko players Eileen Kage and Leslie Komori, has dazzled the alternative music scene with their blend of edgy electric instrumentals and driving acoustic percussion. Traditional and alternative music aficionados alike will be drawn into LOUD's swirling and evocative riffs. www.TaikoElectric.com

The DEGENERATE ART ENSEMBLE transports us to the surreal "Toy Laboratory" and the depths of a corrupted microcosm to witness the unfolding of a hypnotically strange tale. Three dancers and a big band garage orchestra bring fast-paced, emotionally raw music-movement-theater with the talents of Haruko Nishimura, Joshua Kohl, Kevin Nortness, Ian Rashkin and others. Their show "Razor Stitch plus Destruction Etude (the sequel) is an opportunity to experience one of Seattle's most innovative groups as they explore new frontiers in experimental art. www.DegenerateArtEnsemble.com

Sunday, May 21, 4pm; Tickets $6-12

Taiko is a dynamic synthesis of rhythm, movement and spirit that originated in Japan. Come experience how this percussive folk art is evolving in Seattle, as one of our finest taiko troupes seamlessly combine ancient and contemporary performance elements in a vigorous style that is uniquely their own. home.talkcity.com/nonprofitblvd/sktaiko/

Thurs & Fri, May 25 & 26, 8pm; Tickets $6-12

CRY OF THE ROOSTER specializes in creative and provocative presentations of world folklore. The collective performs with intricately carved shadow-puppets, live music and actors to tell stories that have universal appeal. www.geocities.com/~cryofrooster/

In his virtuoso solo work "Want," Minneapolis-based puppeteer ANDREW KIM transforms into extraordinary masked characters who wrestle with their obsessions. Kim expertly uses mask-clowning, puppetry and object theater with musician Andy McCormick. Trained in Korea and Bali, Kim has worked with such celebrated companies as Bread and Puppet Theater and the San Francisco Mime Troupe.

Fri & Sat, May 26 & 27, 10:30pm; Tickets $8

In their second irreverent appearance at A-Fest, PFP complements their trademark slapstick and politically correct silliness with some honest-to-goodness 10-minutes plays. PFP is the Northwest's only multicultural/multi-ethnic/multi-you-name-it sketch comedy group. The Northwest Asian Weekly says, "This bacon should not be passed up!"

Saturday, May 27, 2pm; Free Admission

Combining traditional dance, monologues and poetry and oral histories,
members of the Rainier Vista Cambodian Youth Program relate shared and individual experiences of war, relocation and family history. Directed by Manuel Cawaling with writing and performances by the youth, this honest and compelling original work speaks to all audiences. Co-sponsored with the Wing Luke Asian Museum, Rainier Vista Cambodian Youth Program and the Seattle Housing Authority. www.wingluke.org

Sat, May 27, 8pm & Sun, May 28, 4pm; Tickets $6-12

Los Angeles-based performer MICHAEL SAKAMOTO presents a haunting reinterpretation of butoh. His captivating solo work, "The Look of Love," combines contemporary theatrical aesthetics and pop culture themes with a wry blend of humor, tragedy and dreams. The LA Weekly calls him "Unquestionably compelling fascinating Sakamoto speaks entire passages with a single movement, subtly striking deep chords." www.geocities.com/SoHo/2788

Like an enchanted painting that comes fleetingly to life, choreographer KU'ULEI MIURA's "A Loose Leaf of Love," contains a sweet and lingering wistfulness. Her work is part lyrical dance, part meditation on the ephemeral quality of our existence.

A native of Malaysia, internationally recognized choreographer/dancer CHERONNE WONG presents her dance odyssey "2020 Flight." Meditating groups at dawn, surfers in harmony with the waves, a ritual harvest and fiery partner dancing vivify her journey to the sounds of Japanese techno pop, African drumming and folk melodies.

ALL PERFORMANCES at the Theatre Off Jackson, 409-7th Ave S, in Seattle's International District. BOX OFFICE: (206) 340-1049.

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