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You are here: Home Theatre Reviews & Features 2015-16 Reviews 2010-11 Theatre Press Releases La Mama to Present Benefit for Japan, Mon, Apr 25
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 20:45

La Mama to Present Benefit for Japan, Mon, Apr 25


Monday, April 25 at 7:30pm

(April 19, 2011) New York, NY – La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club will present A Prayer For Japan, to benefit relief efforts in Japan, on Monday, April 25, 2011 at 7:30pm at La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theatre, located at 66 East 4th Street, between 2nd Avenue & the Bowery in New York City. There are no reservations required and admission is free. For more information please call 212-475-7710 or visit

La MaMa has a deep and ongoing history of presenting the art and culture of indigenous groups. La MaMa has gathered many of these performance groups, whose traditions honor the power of nature, to perform spiritual prayers, chants, and ritual dances, to help us reflect upon and bring attention to the recent natural disasters in Japan that have brought suffering to so many. The evening’s events will include spiritual prayers and chants to Mother Earth, and hope for the victims of the Tohoku region, where the earthquake hit.

A Shinto Ritual By The International Shinto Foundation
Chanting by Masafumi Nakanishi (Shinto priest) and dancing by Reina Hayashibara (Shrine maiden), along with court music, is integrated with the performance of “Urayasu No Mai,” a prayer and sacred offering for peace, dedicated to the deities. (

Kinding Sindaw
A resident company of La MaMa since 2000, this traditional Filipino dance-theater ensemble performs dances that originate from the royal court dances of the Maranao Sultanate. Their repertory includes sacred, classic, and secular dances, combining grace and vigor, which directly reflect their rich natural environment. (

Ataahua Papa, Tiokasin Ghosthorse, Charley Buckland and Donna Kelly will present an honor song of tribute to those who have passed. The song includes a prayer in Lakota, a traditional Maori chant, Native flute music, acoustic guitar, percussion and haunting vocals.

Emi Toko, singer of Ainu traditional music
Recording artist Emi Toko will contribute a video performance singing Ainu music, accompanied by traditional musical instruments. As an Ainu cultural advisor, she conducts Ainu workshops throughout Japan. In 1997, she was invited by Tonkori player Oki to join the band Marewrew. In 2007, she created the group Riwkakant, with Takeshi Kainuma, and has recorded with Tonkori player, Nobuhiko Chiba, on Hunter, Riwkakant, and Double Fantasy/Riukakanto. (

The Silver Cloud Dancers & Singers
This intertribal Native American singing & dancing troupe, which weave traditional with contemporary Native song & dance, will perform honoring prayer songs and drumming. Silver Cloud has been honored to perform at the commemoration ceremonies for the Year of the Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations, the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, The Public Theater, The Apollo, Roseland and many other New York venues. (

Vicky Holt Takamine
A hula video participation by kumu hula, Vicky Holt Takamine, includes chanting and dance for the victims of the earthquake. Vicky is the founder and kumu hula of Papa Laua‘e O Makana, on the island of Kaua, and is the co-founder and executive director of PA‘I Foundation, an arts organization established to preserve and perpetuate Hawaiian cultural traditions for future generations.

In the La MaMa tradition, the hat will be passed to help support Japan’s relief efforts. All donations from the evening will go to “Make The Heaven,” a Japanese NGO in Japan working with the Japan Me group, a non-profit organization that is providing ongoing relief for victims in the area of Ishinomaki. Japan Me transports supplies to the disaster area and delivers these needed supplies directly to victims. In addition, the group places victims with volunteers across the country; and transports aid workers to the affected areas for rescue missions. For more information please visit

Corporate sponsors include Miyazaki Brewery ( from Yokkaichi, Japan, who will be donating sacred sake that will be served to attendees as part of the live Shinto ritual. This sake has been dedicated to the Ise Shrine. The Japanese restaurant Sobaya ( will be donating food for the evening.

La MaMa is a unique theater institution with a worldwide reputation for daring work created by emerging and established artists performing a wide repertory of theater, dance, performance art, and music. Founded in 1961 by theater pioneer and legend, Ellen Stewart, La MaMa has produced and presented more than 3,000 theatrical productions to date and is a vital part of the fabric of cultural life in New York City and a beacon to aspiring artists from all over the world.

La MaMa provides a fully supportive home for artists and takes risks on unknown work. Artists such as Sam Shepard, Lanford Wilson, Philip Glass, Robert Wilson, Harvey Fierstein, Blue Man Group, David and Amy Sedaris, - and others whose names you haven't heard of yet - began their careers at La MaMa. International artists introduced to America by La MaMa include Tadeusz Kantor, Andrei Serban, Kazuo Ohno and, more recently, the acclaimed Belarus Free Theatre. Over the course of our 50 years La MaMa has been honored with more than 30 OBIE Awards, dozens of Drama Desk and Bessie Awards and, in 2006, the late Ellen Stewart was recognized with a special TONY Award for “Excellence in the Theatre.”

La MaMa values its long relationship with Japan and was the first American theater organization to invite Japanese avant-garde artists to bring their work to New York in 1970. Founder Ellen Stewart was awarded the “Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Rosette” by the Emperor of Japan in 1994, and also received the Praemium Imperiale, a global arts prize awarded by the Japan Arts Association, in 2007.

The running time will be approximately one hour. Train access via the F to 2nd Ave. or #6 to Bleecker St.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 10 May 2011 15:44