Leela Dance Collective presents THE VOICE WITHIN at UCLA Little Theater

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Leela Dance Collective presents The Voice Within, featuring veteran kathak artist Seibi Lee in an intimate performance exploring themes of duality and paradox.

Lee renders two ancient stories – Houyi and Chang’e, a heartbreaking Chinese story about the love between a mortal hero and an immortal beauty, and Yuki no Onna, a Japanese tale evoking the mystery of the Snow Woman, both in the traditional Kathak style. Drawing from two different cultures and traditions, the stories speak of the duality of the material and spiritual worlds.

Houyi and Minokichi, our mortal heroes, fall in love with Chang’e and Yuki no Onna from the spirit world and discover the beauty and intensity of a love that can never come true. Rather than interpreting these stories as tragic, Lee, a dynamic Kathak artist known for her exceptional mastery, sophisticated musicality and dramatic brilliance, articulates us to embrace the beauty of these emotions and look closer to find their deeper meaning, their beauty and the inherent desire for unattainable love. This experience is a place of birth – a place where one begins to discover oneself. The Voice Within takes place on Sunday, April 3, 2022, at 5:00 p.m., at the UCLA Little Theater located in the San Francisco War Memorial Veterans Building (part of the War Memorial Performing Arts Center).

Lee’s personal journey – navigating his mixed Chinese and Japanese heritage and his love of Western classical music and Eastern classical dance – is expertly intertwined throughout the two stories. In her own life, she struggled to belong to many cultures and in some ways none. That struggle only gave way to possibility when she learned to befriend the feeling of longing. Over time, she began to develop her own voice – a voice that transcends the conflict and confusion that often accompanies navigating personal and cultural identity. The Voice Within is a deeply personal yet universal story of finding oneself.

Lee is joined on stage by critically acclaimed musicians Jayanta Banerjee (sitar), Ben Kunin (sarod), Jay Gandhi (bansuri) and Satyaprakash Mishra (tabla). Don’t miss the exclusive Artist Talkback directly after the performance with an interactive Q&A session with the artists.

Seibi Lee is a Master Artist of ACTA and a Gandabandhan disciple of Pandit Chitresh Das, and an accomplished Kathak artist known for her powerful mastery, refined musicality, and dramatic brilliance in character portrayal. As the founding artist and artistic director of Leela Dance Collective and former principal dancer of the Chitresh Das Dance Company, Seibi Lee has toured the world, earning accolades and deep respect for her artistry. She received an Isadora Duncan Dance Special Award as part of Das’s East As Center Performing Ensemble and received two subsequent nominations for performances in Pancha Jati and Shabd. As the principal dancer of the Chitresh Das Dance Company, Lee developed a singular perspective and style through the development of virtuoso character roles in many of Das’ critically acclaimed works. His outstanding portrayal of Hanuman became the inspiration for the central character and creation of Leela Dance Collective’s Son of the Wind – the all-around dance drama bringing to life the seldom-told heroic and valiant adventures of Hanuman from the epic Ramayana. . An interview with Seibi Lee can be found here: https://leela.dance/blog-seibi-lee/.

Tickets for The Voice Within are $25 for general admission seating and $50 for VIP tickets which include premium seating, free parking and an exclusive pre-show digital concert guide. Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-voice-within-featuring-seibi-lee-los-angeles-tickets-249955442457 or via Leela Dance Collective at https://leela.dance/thevoicewithin/. Don’t miss the exclusive Artist Talkback directly after the performance with an interactive Q&A session with the artists.

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