Life Interrupted is a richly-layered, full-length work of contemporary dance, art and music that draws from the experiences of the U.S. citizens of Japanese descent who were interned on American soil during World War II. While rooted in this specific story, the work ultimately creates a universal experience from historical events. The story has deep resonance for what is happening today across the globe with post-war emigration and the xenophobia that erupts in response. Core Dance is committed to the development of a meaningful program of public engagement activities in the communities where we perform. We hope to encourage discussion and raise consciousness about issues including the direct experience of the Japanese-Americans during WWII and, more generally, topics that are contemporary such as the politics of the “other” and social change through art-making; these activities are all developed in collaboration with our presenters to address their community’s needs and interests.
This 10-minute excerpt shares a cross-section of the work.
The project was initiated by its Co-Coordinators Sue Schroeder, Core Dance Artistic Director and Dr. Gayle Seymour, professor of Art History and Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication at the University of Central Arkansas. Schroeder’s creative collaborators are Nancy Chikaraishi, professor of architecture, Drury University (visual artist); Scott Silvey (set design); German composer Christian Meyer (sound design); Gregory Catellier (light design); D. Patton White (costume design) and Erin Weller Dalton (Dramaturg). D. Patton White, who is also the Company Manager for Core Dance, additionally served as Community Engagement Facilitator.
The 2015 creation and touring of Life Interrupted (also performed as Gaman) was funded in part by grants from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program; The Pattillo Foundation; the O Fund for New Work; Alternate ROOTS; and Goethe Zentrum Atlanta.