To complement and commemorate the upcoming opening of its new center for Asian art, the Ringling Museum announced a special line-up for Ringling International Arts Festival 2015, bringing all seven performances from the varied cultures of the Asian continent, retaining the international and contemporary spirit, but in a more focused manner than before.
“It’s not very often that what you should do is what you want to do and that you are able to do it,” said Dwight Currie to the crowd assembled last night at the Historic Asolo Theatre. With the arrival of the center for Asian art and a growing feeling that Asian art was underrepresented, Currie reached out to Stanford Makishi, vice president of programming at New York City Center and associate producer of the Center’s Fall for Dance festival, to help craft the roster for RIAF 2015.
The roster includes Phare: The Cambodian Circus, a professional touring circus that grew out of a program for at-risk youth in Cambodia. Combining theater, music, dance and feats of strength and balance, it’s a spectacle that seems both familiar and excitingly new. “It would be the perfect thing for Ringling,” said Makishi. “This is an extremely rare opportunity.” Also performing in the Mertz Theatre, Tao Dance Theater is one of China’s most acclaimed contemporary dance troupes, combining abstract choreography with technical precision.