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Charya Burt (Sonoma County), Vishnu Tattiva Das (Marin County), and Melody Takata (San Francisco) collaborating with the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center (San Francisco)

Award: $35,000 Traditional Arts Grant awarded in 2007

Premiered: May 2009

 Cambodian classical dancer and choreographer Charya Burt collaborated with Vishnu Tattiva Das, Melody Takata, and the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center (APICC) to create Of Spirits Intertwined, exploring the rituals that three different Asian cultural dances use to make offerings to their spiritual ancestors. The project included symposia, dance workshops, and outreach projects as well as performances.

Of Spirits Intertwined  brought together three highly accomplished artists. Charya Burt is a former dance faculty member of the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  An expert in traditional male and female roles and folk dance, she has performed throughout the United States. Vishnu Tattiva Das is the artistic director of the Odissi Villas: Sacred Dance of India, a dedicated artist and devotee renowned for his masterful and refined presentation of Odissi Classical Dance, a form of worship and offering. Melody was trained in Taiko, shamisen, and Odori both in the U.S. and Japan. She is a multidimensional artist who integrates music and movement of Taiko and Odori with elements of modern dance and contemporary music forms.

APICC’s mission is to support and produce multi-disciplinary art reflective of the unique experiences of Asian Pacific Islanders living in America.  APICC collaborates with both emerging and well-established groups allowing these groups access to its wealth of production experience. The Center seeks to showcase and support the broad range of Asian Pacific Islander artistic talents in the Bay Area.

Photo: R.J. Muna