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Koji

Video: Koji Kakinuma: Trancework
Calligraphy artist Koji Kakinuma presents one of his trademark innovations, Trancework, in which he paints countless repetitions of a simple, powerful phrase, producing a giant calligraphic work.
Asia, Visual Arts, World Cultures, Japan, Innovators & Pioneers, Popular Culture

Koji

Video: Koji Kakinuma: Otsukimi
JAPAN! culture + hyperculture was marked by a festive Otsukimi (Japanese moon-viewing) evening featuring a special Millennium Stage performance of Trancework and Eternal Now by shodo performing artist Koji Kakinuma, accompanied by the taiko group AUN.
Asia, Visual Arts, World Cultures, Japan, Innovators & Pioneers, Popular Culture, Music

Shaanxi Folk Art Theater

Video: Shaanxi Folk Art Theater
This side by side video shows the story of the turtle and the crane as seen by the audience and behind the screen as the puppeteers bring the story to life
Asia, Backstage, China, Folklore, Puppets, World Cultures, Theater, Animals

Terra Cotta Warriors

Video: Terra Cotta Warriors
The Terra Cotta Warriors are a collection of 8,000 statues that were buried over 2,000 years ago in the tomb of China's first emperor Qin Shi Huang. Three of the statues - two soldiers and a horse - were sent to the Kennedy Center for display during the Festival of China
Asia, China, Folklore, Visual Arts, World Cultures

Yunnan Singers, Dancers and Musicians

Video: Yunnan Singers, Dancers & Musicians
Artists of the Yi and Wa ethnic groups from Yunnan Province-the most ethnically diverse in China-demonstrate their unique folk traditions in this excerpt from the Kennedy Center's free Millennium Stage show.
Asia, China, Folklore, Music, World Cultures

Beijing Traditional Ensemble

Video: Beijing Traditional Music Ensemble
Beijing Traditional Music Ensemble's extensive repertoire and virtuoso musicians demonstrate the range of distinctive styles that developed in each region for erhu (fiddle), pipa (lute), and other instruments.
Asia, China, Music, World Cultures

Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra

Video: Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra
Join the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra for a lecture and demonstration explaining each of the four sections of the Chinese orchestra as well as some of the individual instruments.
China, Asia, Musical Instruments, Orchestra, Music, World Cultures

El Alto Strings

Video: El Alto Strings
The Bolivian musicians may practice Bach and other classical music at home, but they were eager to share their interpretation of traditional Bolivian music during their performance at the Kennedy Center.
World Cultures, Musical Instruments, Latin America, Orchestra, Music, Young Artists

Modern Dancers

Video: Hip-Hop Meets Modern: Dance is not Dance
What happens when Turkish hip-hop dancers travel to the United States on a modern dance exchange program? Hip-hop dancers discover the transition to modern dance is not an easy one, since the two forms are based on very different styles.
Dance, Hip-Hop, World Cultures, Europe, Young Artists, Physical Activity

Palestinian musician

Video: Palestinian Jazz
Palestinian and Moroccan musicians perform on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, which offers free shows 365 days a year as part of the Performing Arts for Everyone initiative. See how the musicians go from a sound check to actual performance.
World Cultures, Jazz, Musical Instruments, Music, Young Artists

Indonesian Dance

Video: Indonesian Dance
In appreciation for their three days of intense study and practice at the Hubbard Street Dance Center, the Indonesian visitors are happy to share their country’s traditional Javanese dancing with members of the Chicago dance company.
World Cultures, Asia, Dance, Young Artists

Teater Garasi

Video: Teater Garasi in Chicago
Indonesian actors visit with members of the Chicago-based theater companies The Civilians, Silk Road Theatre Project, and Redmoon Theatre
World Cultures, Asia, Theater, Young Artists, Backstage

Pacifico

Video Series: Pacifico Dance Company
Compare and contrast the music and movement of traditional Mexican dances
Dance, Latin America, World Cultures

Video Series: Native Pride Dancers
Watch Native American dancers from the group Native Pride Dancers demonstrate the traditional eagle, fancy, grass and hoop dances
Folklore, Music, World Cultures, Native America, Dance

Tambuco Percussion

Video Series: Tambuco Percussion
Among the finest percussion quartets today, the musicians of the three-time Grammy-nominated ensemble refuse to be tied down to one style, with a repertoire ranging from structuralist percussion music to a wide range of ethnic drum music and avante garde sound interpretation.
Musical Instruments, Folklore, Latin America, Music, World Cultures

tabou combo

Video Series: Tabou Combo: Haitian Kompa
"Rhythm is the essence of Tabou Combo," says Tabou Combo's co-founder Herman Nau. The infectious rhythm of Haiti's national dance music, Konpa (con-pah), has propelled the country's preeminent dance band around the world. By the time Tabou Combo's 12 members left Haiti and relocated to New York City in 1971, they had already established themselves as Haiti's number one group and Ambassadors of Konpa. Tabou Combo now has worldwide fans and followers from Europe, Asia, South America, throughout the Caribbean, and in North America. It is easy to understand why Tabou Combo's relentless and high-energy style of Konpa knows no language barrier.
Music, World Cultures

sogolon-puppet-theater

Video Series: Sogolon Puppet Theater
Sogolon is the puppet show and theatrical company created by Yaya Coulibaly in order to perpetrate and promote the Mali puppet tradition. The group's core mission is to contribute to develop and promote the Bamanan-Somono-Bozo puppet show.
Musical Instruments, Folklore, Music, World Cultures, Puppets, Africa

African Dance

Video Series: African Dance
These five-minute video lessons will help you learn the posture and isolations common in African dance, and about two African drums, the cajon and the djembe
Africa, Dance, World Cultures

Peking Opera

Video Series: China: Arts & Culture
This video series brings you a glimpse of the history and diversity of China's performing arts
China, Dance, Geography, Musical Instruments, Music, Puppets, Theater, World Cultures, Asia

Andes Manta

Video Series: Andes Manta
Andes Manta performs the vibrant music of the Andes on more than 35 traditional instruments. From the lyrical sound of the quena, or Andean Flute, to the haunting tones of the six-foot long pan-pipes, the music of Andes Manta is an experience that never fails to bring audiences to their feet.
Musical Instruments, Folklore, Latin America, Music, World Cultures, Nature

Joseph Bruchac

Video Series: Joseph Bruchac: The Flute and the Drum
Author and storyteller Joseph Bruchac explains the origin and significance of the flute and the drum to Native American culture.
Folklore, Music, World Cultures, Native America, Musical Instruments

Toyota Partner Robot

Video Series: Japan: Arts & Culture
This is your passport to the arts and culture of Japan as experienced through the Kennedy Center's Japan! culture + hyperculture festival (February 2008). This series will help you learn about some of the major art forms in Japan—art, theater, dance, music, manga, anime, robots, and visual art installations.
Architecture, Asia, Music, Visual Arts, World Cultures, Japan, Inventions, Innovators & Pioneers, Science

Keith Bear

Video Series: Keith Bear, Flute-Maker
Musician, storyteller and flutemaker Keith Bear sheds light on the art and tradition of making flutes in the Native American tradition in this series of video clips.
Folklore, Music, World Cultures, Native America, Musical Instruments

The Flying Legs Crew

Video Series: The Flying Legs Crew
The US Department of State and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts offer professional development opportunities to energize the work of emerging international artists in their own countries by bringing them to the United States and providing them with instructive and informative experiences in their arts discipline, exposure to the creation and performance of world-class art, and opportunities to develop relationships with U.S. arts professionals. This video series captures the sights and sounds of performing artists from Venezuela, Turkey, Bolivia, Palestine, Morocco, and Indonesia.
Dance, Geography, Hip-Hop, Latin America, Music, Popular Culture, World Cultures, Young Artists

hands on a djembe

Video Series: Haiti: Music & Culture
This video series brings you a glimpse of the music of Haiti
Geography, Musical Instruments, Music, World Cultures

Shadow Puppets

Flash Interactive: Playing with Shadows: An Introduction to Shadow Puppets
Learn about the ancient art of Shadow Puppetry and find out how to create your own shadow plays!
China, Folklore, Animals, Jobs in the Arts, Puppets, Theater, Visual Arts, World Cultures

Greece

Interactive: City Dionysia: The Ancient Roots of Modern Theater
Designed to support high school studies of theater, literature and world history, this site leads students though the development of Ancient ideas and contemporary theater practice, then on to write and stage their own original play while demonstrating an understanding of the rules and structure of Greek tragedy.
Greece, History, Language, Theater, World Cultures

iPass

Flash Interactive: IPASS: Japan! Culture + Hyperculture
This interactive features a comprehensive study of the arts and culture of Japan, ranging from ancient to modern times. It includes an investigation of Japanese art, theater, dance, music, manga, anime, robots, and installations.
Japan, Asia, Music, Popular Culture, Visual Arts, World Cultures

Sounds of China

Audio Series: Sounds of China
Chinese music dates back thousands of years and sounds different from Western music thanks to important differences in tone, musical scale, pitch, instrumentation and individual instruments.
Asia, China, Musical Instruments, Music, World Cultures

indian wind musician

Audio Series: Maximum India: The Music of India
The music of India is as diverse as its many cultures. India has over a billion people and hundreds of dialects and languages spread across the seventh largest country in the world, but there is still an undeniable “sound” that makes Indian music unmistakable. This 3-part audio series, hosted by PBS journalist Hari Sreenivasan, explores different aspects of Indian music: Indian musical instruments; the styles of music across India; and what makes Indian music unique—and where it is going
Geography, History, Musical Instruments, Music, World Cultures, India

Arabesque Podcast cover

Audio Series: Arabesque: Music of the Arab World
A 3-part audio series that explores different aspects of Arab music: the musical instruments of the Arab World; what makes Arab music unique; and the styles of music in the Arab World
Africa, Geography, History, Musical Instruments, Music, World Cultures

Greece

Audio Series: Music of Greece: Past is Present
Discover how incomplete fragments of papyrus and stone can provide clues to recreating music that has not been heard in thousands of years, explore the far-reaching influence that ancient Greece has had on modern music, and experience the numerous cultural and historical influences that have contributed to the music of today’s Greece.
Opera, Greece, History, Music, World Cultures, Musical Instruments

arts challenge

Everyday Arts Challenge: Casting Call
You’re starring in a movie as a French chef. Get into character by describing what’s in your refrigerator. Remember your accent!
Movies & Movie Stars, Theater, World Cultures, Europe

arts quote

Arts Quotes: A.K. Coomaraswamy
"The artist is not a special kind of man, but every man is a special kind of artist."
India, Young Artists, World Cultures

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Ibrahim Farrah
"Dance is so important in the world. It needs no language. Our bodies speak a language of its own."
World Cultures, Dance, Dance Legends, Choreographers

Fiddler on the Roof

Arts Days: September 22, 1964: Mazel Tov! It’s a Hit!
It was just a simple story of a Russian Jew with five daughters, based on a book by Joseph Stein. But thanks to Jerry Bock’s music, Sheldon Harnick’s lyrics, and Zero Mostel’s unforgettable turn as Tevye the milkman, Fiddler on the Roof became one of Broadway’s most beloved musicals. Tevye tries hard to preserve the traditions of his childhood, but as his daughters grow up, fall in love, and leave the family’s village, he struggles to accept change.

In songs like “If I Were a Rich Man” and “Sunrise, Sunset,” Tevye’s family’s life is recounted with both hilarity and poignancy. Fiddler would go on to be the first musical to break the 3,000-performance mark on Broadway.
Broadway, Musicals, Europe, Folklore, History, Theater, World Cultures

Cave Painting of a Horse

Arts Days: September 12, 1940: The Writing on the Wall
Estimated to be about 16,000 years old, the paintings in a network of caves found by four teenage boys are rare examples of art from the Upper Paleolithic era. Here in a region called Lascaux, hundreds of painted animals are visible on the caves’ walls, ranging from bison to stags to horses.

There are also geometric figures and patterns of dots that some say correlate with constellations. Some of the paintings show a sophisticated grasp of concepts like perspective and depth, too. Art historians say that the paintings indicate some of our oldest ancestors’ ability to express themselves in art.
Folklore, Geography, History, Europe, Visual Arts, World Cultures

King David Kalakaua

Arts Days: February 12, 1874: The King of Aloha
Before Hawaii became America’s 50th state, it was a monarchy ruled by King David Kalakaua I. Kalakaua is credited with helping to revive and support Hawaiian art forms like hula dancing; instruments like the ukelele; and martial arts, like Lua.

You see, some religious missionaries on the Islands thought these activities were improper. They had spent years before Kalakaua was elected to the throne trying to suppress various elements of Hawaiian culture, including its languages and art customs—even surfing!

But Kalakaua believed that these traditions and activities were important for native Hawaiians to learn, enjoy, and share with others to help keep Hawaii’s unique cultural history alive.  For his efforts, he was nicknamed “the Merrie Monarch.”
Dance, America, Geography, History, Musical Instruments, Music, Folklore, World Cultures

Gladiators Fighting

Arts Days: January 01, 404 C.E.: The Day the Crowd Went Silent

Believe it or not, the ancient Roman practice of pitting professional fighters against one another, wild animals, or condemned criminals for the viewing pleasure of a live audience, is considered one of civilization's earliest forms of social entertainment.

The first known gladiatorial competitions were held in Italy in 310 C.E. to impress the public with reenactments of exciting military battles and demonstrations of individual soldiers' strengths.

Over time, the games evolved into a much more elaborate spectacle. The games were popular with members of all social classes, prompting the construction of a new, larger kind of venue--the amphitheatre, or open air arena--a design still used today.

But hold on, not everyone appreciated the gore-filled competitions. Christians objected to the immorality of the viewers who happily observed the violence. Nearing the fall of the Empire, when numerous wars led to an economic recession and Christianity continued to spread, gladiatorial games began to decline.

After the last known gladiatorial competition was held on this day in Rome, Italy, audiences turned their attention to theater performances.
Controversial, Sports, Theater, World Cultures

Rajaharischandra

Arts Days: May 03, 1913: Hooray for Bollywood
“Bollywood” is a catchy term for the Hindi-language film industry featuring big dance numbers, lots of emotion, and many attractive actors. The nickname is a play on the words “Hollywood” and “Bombay,” a city in India now known as Mumbai, where most filming takes place.

When Raja Harishchandra premiered on this day, crowds flocked to see the film about an Indian king who sacrifices his kingdom and family in honor of a wise man named Vishvamitra. The silent movie was such a smash that more copies had to be printed. Overnight, the Bollywood phenomenon was born.

Today’s Bollywood movies typically run for two or three hours; are filled with song and dance; tell interwoven stories about boys and girls falling in love; and almost always have a happy ending. Many have become hits around the world. Outside of India, the highest-grossing Bollywood film to date has been Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, filmed in New York City, of all places.


India, Musicals, Movies & Movie Stars, Popular Culture, World Cultures

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