Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2008
April 22, 2008
Contact: Daniel Phoenix Singh
Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company celebrates Asian Pacific Islander Heritage
Highlights include Sokolow’s September Sonnets and As I Remember (a suite of 3 solos)
along with the company’s signature Bharata Natyam and fusion works.
Washington, DC —Dakshina will celebrate Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month with events throughout May,
headlined by a weekend of traditional Indian and modern dance at Dance Place on May 10 and 11. The month’s
events will feature a diverse range of performances, a reflection of Dakshina’s mission and commitment to use
the arts to build social and cultural awareness. Lorry May from the Sokolow Foundation will be in residency
with the company and will reconstruct four Sokolow masterpieces for the company repertoire. Other events
include a sitar concert, and a closing performance at the Atlas Theater as part of the Asian Dance Festival.
Dakshina’s Dance Place program features Bharata Natyam, and modern dance pieces, with Bell Song being the
featured work from Singh’s choreography. Bharata Natyam is one of the oldest dance forms of India. This
form, nurtured in the temples and courts of southern India, is known for its use of symmetry, angular lines,
rhythmic footwork and interpretative mime that explores spiritual and philosophical themes. Dakshina is unique
with its diverse programming and is one of the few companies that is able to perform several different genres in
Following the traditional dance forms, the program shifts to Bell Song, a piece that blends the essence of Indian
dance with western movement concepts. Singh says, “This is the ‘so what?’ part of the evening. I had to answer
the question, now that I know this traditional form, so what? How can I make it relevant?” Out of this question
came the soft and sensuous Bell Song. Bell Song has been nominated for Dance Metro DC’s Emerging
Choreographer and Best Costume Design awards. In this piece, Singh synthesizes dance styles from the East
and the West to create a unique movement vocabulary of intricate gestures supported by breathy and lush
In an ongoing effort to bring the best of modern dance to the DC area, the company is acquiring three new
works by Anna Sokolow: September Sonnet, Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter, and Ballad in a Popular
Style. Jennifer Dunning of the New York Times writes that “Ms. Sokolow’s gift for summing up loss and
loneliness is captured in Kaddish with a searing simplicity and intensity.” In contrast, Larry Warren describes
Ballad in a Popular Style as “a wistful, lyrical excursion into jazz, at once subtle and exuberant, pure dance with
no reason for being other than its rhythm and beauty of motion.” Singh has worked hard and long to make
these performances possible in the DC area and is excited to continue developing the partnership with the
Sokolow Foundation. Lorry May, a former principal dancer with Sokolow will be restaging the works and will
also be teaching classes at Dance Place during the residency.
The performances take place on Saturday May 10, 2007 at 8:00 pm and Sunday May 11 2007 at 7:00 pm at Dance
Place. Tickets can be purchased at www.danceplace.org or by calling 202-269-1600.
Other Events Include
On May 4, Dakshina will host the first of three free public events: a Sitar Concert featuring Alif Laila.
On May 17, Dakshina will perform at the Atlas Theater as part of the Asian Dance Festival.
If your media organization would like to attend any of our events, please contact email@example.com.
Dakshina’s Asian Pacific Heritage Month events are made possible by financial support from the DC
Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, Dakshina’s founding sponsors, and
friends of Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company. For more information about Dakshina and
upcoming events, visit www.Dakshina.org.
Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company offers artists and audiences the unique opportunity to
experience dance as a movement that links the arts, cultures, and social causes. Dakshina means “offering” in
Sanskrit. Our company explores the definition of dance within the United States and connects it to Indian,
Latin, Social, and Modern dance forms. We hope to provide participatory opportunities in which audiences can
experience dance as a system of communication, one that transcends boundaries, cultures, and time. We are
particularly committed to engage in dance not only as a means for aesthetic and artistic growth, but also as a
vehicle for social change and community development.
About Daniel Phoenix Singh
Daniel Phoenix Singh is the Artistic Director and President of Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance
Company. Singh holds an MFA in Dance and a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of
Maryland. He also holds a Laban Movement Analyst Certificate from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of
Movement Studies in New York City. He received a baccalaureate degree in Dance and Computer Science at the
University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Singh trained in Bharata Natyam with Guru Meena Telikicherla of
Nrityanjali, MD for several years.
Singh’s most recent explorations in dance include Cuban/Colombian variations of Salsa and Merengue with
Javier Varela and Shawn Malone. He is currently on the faculty at Joy of Motion, Maryland Youth Ballet, and
Results the Gym. He is also a member of the Board of the Maryland Youth Ballet. Singh is active in KhushDC,
a Washington DC organization serving the South Asian LGBT community and its friends. His works have been
the critic’s pick in Washington City Paper and The Washington Post, and Voice of America profiled his dance company
in the fall of 2005. His piece, Songs of My Life, was a finalist in the Metro DC Dance Awards, and Singh was a
finalist for the Mayor’s Emerging Artist award in 2006 and 2007. Most recently, he was recognized by Dance
Metro DC with the Founder’s Award for Innovation in Dance.