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Vanishing Acts in Reverse: Preserving Endangered Dances of the World

Joseph Houseal, Asian Dance specialist, preservationist, curator and scholar, visits U-M Department of Dance for two presentations on Friday, March 13, 2009 at the Betty Pease Studio A Theater, Dance Building, 1310 N. University Ct. (adjacent to CCRB)

10am-noon: Research in Action Series: Preservation and Documentation
4pm-5:30pm: Performing the Archive Series: The Dragon’s Gift: The Sacred Arts of Bhutan

Joseph Houseal is Executive Director of Core of Culture Dance Preservation, an organization committed to safeguarding Intangible World Heritage, with an emphasis on ancient dance and endangered movement traditions. A graduate of St John's College, Annapolis, Maryland, he obtained a Masters in the Philosophy of Dance from the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance in London, under the late Dr Peter Brinson. Houseal was trained for 7 years in Japanese Noh under Kita Master Matsui Akira. Former Artistic Director of Parnassus Dancetheatre in Kyoto, he has also worked as Artistic Director for soul singer Chaka Khan. An Emmy nominee for he PBS work on a Kabuki dance, "Ancient Elegance" , Houseal has also produced TV pieces on the reconstruction of Nijinsky's "La Sacre du Printemps by the Joffrey Ballet. He was honored with the Banff Mountain Culture Award in 2003. Core of Culture has recently produced a DVD for dance restoration in Tibetan monasteries, which debuted in 2003 at Oxford University. Houseal lead Core of Culture in a ground-breaking expedition and exhibition of dance and art from the Kingdom of Bhutan sponsored by the Honolulu Academy of Arts, "The Dragon's Gift, The Sacred Arts of Bhutan". The exhibition featuring dancers from Bhutan opened in Honolulu, toured to the Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art in New York City, and it currently showing at the San Francisco Museum of Asian Art. The Dragon's Gift will continue touring to Koln, Zurich, Paris and Turin. Houseal is now creating "A Day of Rare Buddhist Dances" for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; a celebration of the new Robert HN Ho Family Foundation Gallery of Buddhist Sculpture. Buddhist ritual dancers from Japan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Tibet and Ladakh will perform. Houseal is a contributor to Ballet Review, New York.

Core of Culture was given the Global Vision Award for Cultural Preservation, and recognized by the Dance Heritage Coalition as an example of Best Practices in dance research and production. Core of Culture website: http://www.coreofculture.org

For more information, contact Prof. Peter Sparling at petespar@umich.edu