The Set Up: Saya Lei is the 6th installment in a series of 8 full-length dances that displace contemporary practice by living temporarily within a distinct tradition of mastery. Initiated in 2012, each installment launches with “American contemporary” artists meeting a “master of a traditional”, sometimes “ancient”, form. The most recent installment began in Mandalay, Myanmar, with Saya Lei (“Young Teacher”), a 70-year-old dance master who has devoted his life to preserving the Mandalay-style of Burmese classical arts.
This event is free and RSVPs are required. The RSVP forms for this event is not open yet. We will be providing an update very soon once the RSVP forms are active!
In each installment, a master artist is invited to teach Wally Cardona, what he or she deems most important about the form in which they have dedicated their lives. It is a unique construct for learning; although it is immersive, it is also finite. It calls into play a combination of historical authority and personal authority of a form, carrying within it the personal dimension behind knowledge.
This period – its effort, failure, disorientation, re-orientation – is the root of all that follows. This is true for collaborator Jennifer Lacey too, as she holds her own distinct experience of this period, outside of Cardona’s involvement in learning/embodying. Their dissimilar roles are a purposeful attempt to incorporate different ways of knowing – intellectual, physical, imaginative, projected – into the process with each master.
The Set Up: Saya Lei is commissioned by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and developed as part of LMCC’s Extended Life Dance Development program made possible in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Performances dates and times:
Wednesday, June 24 at 6:00pm
Thursday, June 25 at 8:30pm
Friday, June 26 at 8:30pm