From left to right: Between World Graphic, Dawn Weber, Aska Kaneko, Kranzberg Foundation logo, The Kranzberg logo
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ST. LOUIS, MO – Gitana Productions will present its original contemporary dance theatre performance “Between Worlds: An American Journey” from June 8 – June 11 at The Grandel Theatre at 3610 Grandel Square in St. Louis. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, with a 3:00 p.m. matinee and 5:30 p.m. final performance on Sunday. Tickets are $25 general admission. Call Metrotix at 314-534-1111 or visit metrotix.com.
“The performance ‘Between Worlds: An American Journey’ challenges audiences to look within at our shared history as ‘We the people!’ and ask themselves as diverse Americans, what do we want to become together?” said Gitana Productions Executive Director Cecilia Nadal.
The performance will feature St. Louis Poet Laureate Michael Castro, local actors and dancers, and rap artists. Nadal’s concept focused on multicultural influences in music, themes, actors and musicians.
“We needed a diverse cross-section of America that intersects with the past, present and future.”
The original music for “Between Worlds: An American Journey” was composed as a collaboration of international violinist and musical director Aska Kaneko, St. Louis trumpeter Dawn Weber, pianist Phillip Graves, and electronic instrumentalist Christian Oncken.
Nadal also enlisted the talent of choreographer and director Vivian Anderson Watt, a 2017 St. Louis Visionary Award Winner recognized for her many years of work with thousands of young dancers in the St. Louis region. Watt has directed, choreographed and performed as an actress with Gitana since 1997 and was the first artistic director for Gitana’s Faces Of Love series.
“The collaboration for this performance clearly demonstrates that innovation and cross-cultural engagement is not just cultural but crosses creative styles, musical backgrounds and disciplines,” said Nadal, who simply gave the artists the themes that would be addressed in the production. “We are excited to see where these talented local and international artists creatively took those themes using spoken word, original music, rap and drama.”
Aska Kaneko, an internationally known violinist from Japan, and well-known St. Louis trumpeter Dawn Weber collaborated to create a unique, cross-cultural sound that was performed at Gitana’s Faces Of Love Concert to rave reviews in February. Both classically trained artists have ventured into jazz and contemporary styles of music, are talented vocalists and have received critical acclaim for their versatility and quality performances. Christian Oncken, a local electronic instrumentalist, and pianist Phillip Graves joined this unique team to individually and jointly create original music for this event.
Gitana Productions, celebrating 20 years of service to the St. Louis region, is working with local nonprofit community groups to provide access to the production to those who otherwise might not be able to afford tickets. Gitana is offering hundreds of free tickets to disadvantaged children and families through nonprofits such as the St. Louis Dream Center, which reaches thousands of disadvantaged children and families in St. Louis area each year, impacting their neighborhoods and quality of life.
Following performances at The Grandel, Gitana will take the show to neighborhoods and municipalities where theater and dance performances seldom occur, areas Nadal calls “arts deserts” with the potential to evolve through sustained engagement.
Funding and support for Gitana Productions are provided by the Regional Arts Commission, Missouri Arts Council and Arts and Education Council, and The Grandel, which is operated and managed by the Kranzberg Arts Foundation.
ABOUT GITANA PRODUCTIONS
Gitana Productions, Inc. is a minority lead not-for-profit arts and education organization dedicated to creating a diverse and dynamic community through cross-cultural awareness using drama, music and dance. Gitana events present a rarely seen diversity of international and local artists exhibiting an array of traditional and innovative artistic expressions. For more information, visit www.gitana-inc.org or call Gitana Productions at (314) 721-6556.
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