On Saturday, May 18, Ba Ban Chinese Music Society of New York will celebrate Asian American Heritage Month at Flushing Town Hall with Changes, an immersive music and dance performance that explores the relationship between people, community, and nature.
Ba Ban’s experimental original work will configure Flushing Town Hall’s theater into a shape of a bagua, a Chinese religious motif that incorporates the eight trigrams of the I Ching (Book of Changes), arranged around a symbol denoting the balance of yin and yang.
The performance will incorporate ancient Chinese music, dancing, singing, and tai chi to explore the power of change and the universal energy that emanates from humans and nature. In this site-specific show, eight performers will improvise based on audience response and interaction.
“May is Asian American Heritage Month, a celebration of the culture, traditions, and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders,” says Flushing Town Hall Executive and Artistic Director Ellen Kodadek. “Flushing Town Hall is proud to elevate Asian and Asian American artists and groups like Ba Ban through our extensive global arts programming, and we are thrilled to present Changes this month.”
Led by pipa virtuoso Zhou Yi, Ba Ban is dedicated to the preservation, creation, and presentation of Chinese traditional and contemporary performing arts. Named after an ancient piece of folk music, Ba Ban means “eight beats,” which is the structural basis for the grouping of notes in traditional Chinese music.
“We are thrilled to be presenting our original work at Flushing Town Hall,” says leading pipa and qin soloist Zhou Yi. “It will immerse the audience in the resonance of thousand-year-old Chinese musical instruments, swaying silken water sleeve dance, the pleasant fluctuation of singing sound waves, and the refreshing energy flow of tai chi.”
Ba Ban’s ensemble includes highly accomplished artists who perform on silk and bamboo instruments, including dizi (bamboo flutes), sheng (mouth organ), pipa (lute), ruan (alto lute), guzheng (zither), huqin (fiddle), and yangqin (dulcimer). For this performance, Ba Ban will be joined by guest dancers Ling Tang and Guanglei Hui.
Since its founding in 1999, the group has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York University, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Peabody Conservatory of Music, Eastman School of Music, and the Longy School of Music.
Tickets are $16 for members $10 for students, and free for teens. Tickets can be purchased at www.flushingtownhall.org or by calling (718) 463-7700 x222.
Flushing Town Hall is accessible by car, bus, train and foot – located a short distance from the 7 train – at 137-35 Northern Blvd, in Flushing, Queens. Access for wheelchair users and individuals with limited mobility is available.
Once again, Flushing Town Hall is opening its doors to teenagers – for free. Under the “Teen Access Program,” all 13- to 19-year-old teens (whether a member or not) will be welcomed to attend any performance for free. The program is designed to appeal to students and help foster a greater love for arts and culture.