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Young Jean Lee Mar 9, 2008

Young Jean Lee's show is the most pleasurable thing I've seen at On the Boards all season. It was a hilarious treatise of love and self-hate as she looks at what it means for her to be an Asian woman. She toys with uncomfortably racist protrayals of traditional Korean women and scenes mocking white people's relationships, juxtaposed with moments acknowledging that she wants to be white, followed by direct threats that minorities hate white people and will one day reign supreme.

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Review of Young Jean Lee's "Songs of the Dragon Flying to Heaven" Mar 8, 2008

The first thing I notice when I walked into the theater space was the stark contrast between the pacifying row of paper lanterns, murals and rock garden, and the barren and austere stage. The set seemed incomplete and I couldn't help but think of ways Young Jean Lee could have made this more "Asian." Design a Pagoda perhaps? Yet the juxtaposition of the entrance and set seemed to suit the similarly contrasting title of the show.

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Inside the Experience w Young Jean Lee Mar 7, 2008

I loved this show because it made me uncomfortable. And not in a "this guy is gonna come out and lap dance on my face" way, but in a way that makes me look inside... gulp.

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Young Jean Lee Mar 7, 2008

So I get to OtB thinking I was running late, and there's a huge pile up at the door of the mainstage. Okay. I see that the only entrance to the seats is to walk all the way around the set. I get it...it's a journey. However, all the people in front of me were walking very slowly. The mood was contemplative. There were lanterns hung above, and paintings in an asian motif on the exterior of the set. I was bored. Everyone around me, in contrast, was seemingly fascinated and walking VERY SLOWLY. Am I being overly cynical? Am I not opening myself up to new experiences?

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Icebreaker | Acoustic/Electronic Interface Jan 29, 2008

I enjoyed this performance very much. But in order to make myself blogworthy beyond the previous sentence, I've latched onto a thesis. So, allow me to bleat this sweeping generalization in reference to five of the six pieces performed in Saturday night's Icebreaker IV: The American Future (Classics of Downtown): The Music of the Future inherently features an interface between instruments of acoustic design and those of electrically based technology.

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Icebreaker IV: The American Future Jan 26, 2008

As the opening to her program message, Elena Dubinets writes, "SCP is committed to supporting the composition and performance of music that elucidates and celebrates, shouts and protests, meditates and contemplates, music written by composers seeking a way to reflect articulately upon these complicated times." The Alex Ross curated program of "Icebreaker IV" certainly meditates and contemplates.

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Icebreaker: World(s) in Collision Jan 26, 2008

I miss the days of new music festivals in Seattle. In the early 1990s, composer Robert Priest produced Marzena, a Festival of Contemporary Music that brought composers such as Toru Takemitsu and R. Murray Schafer to the Northwest. Performances took place in venues that ranged from traditional concert halls to unique places where the audience was encouraged to bring sleeping bags and pillows to listen to music while in repose. Along with well-known contemporary composers, there were over two dozen other composers from all over the world who would converge in Seattle as part of Marzena.

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