“Form within a Form: Echoes and Reverberations” is Kennedy Theatre’s largest dance production of the year. Although their opening weekend has passed, there are still three more shows left to attend this upcoming weekend. 

The performance is a transformative dance concert with a cast of 60 dance majors and minors; it features dynamic, interactive and powerfully innovative collaborations between original dance, music, mixed media, scenic art and costume design. This production highlights internationally renowned choreographers from the Korea National University of the Arts, in addition to original contributions by local Hawaiʻi artists, UHM Dance faculty and UHM Music faculty.

With crystal bowls, harpsichords, hip-hop and vocalizations as the background music, dancers swing on the streets of Korea and jump between landscapes of ink-wash paintings. “Form within a Form” combines a wide range of dance genres that captivate audiences with creative choreography, evoking emotional reactions from the audience.

Kara Jhalak Miller, director of “Form within a Form” as well as Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Dance at UH Mānoa, revealed that the inspiration for the mixing-and-matching of music and dance elements came from the physical expression of listening to the environment and community. 

"We are thrilled to be dancing together in person on stage again,” Miller added. "So many talented choreographers, composers and designers came together to make this show possible. We are honored and thrilled to have so many talented and excellent artists and performers involved in this production."

The production highlighted two dance pieces created by guest artists like Samjin Kim (김삼진) and Jae Hyuk Jung (정재혁), who received the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Award. The two works focus on Indigenous contemporary dance with traditional Korean works. 

Both Kim and Jung looked to captivate their audiences with the beauty and grace of dance. “I want the audience to simply enjoy the moment and realize how people used to have fun," Jung said. Jung's piece “Hangout” (Noleum) mixes Baroque music and the traditional Korean Dongnae Crane dance. Kim’s piece, The “Battle Against Invisible Fear”(출정/Chuljeong), convinces the audience to leave behind their stresses from their daily lives as they watch the dance. 

The largest dance piece of the concert, known as “Elements,” incorporates the entire cast of dancers, singers and musicians. The accompanying music is an arrangement composed of crystal bowls, guitar, nose flute and vocalizations. Performers representing the five elements (metal, air, water, fire and earth) rise and dance, intending to inspire the audience into becoming one with their internal universes. 

"Composer John Signor and musician Sam Willis devised a music score for the production, along with a group of our graduate student singers," Miller said. "The dance is a moving meditation about our life force and the energy that flows through our bodies." 

“Form within a Form” has three remaining performances at the UH Kennedy Theatre on Nov. 18, 19 and 20. The Friday to Saturday shows start at 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday show at 2 p.m. Ticket sales are $25 for general admission, $8 for UH students with a valid UH student ID, $22 for UH faculty, senior citizens and military and $15 for non-UH Mānoa students. A pre-show chat that features representatives from the production will begin at 6:45 p.m. on Nov. 19.

For more information, check out their website.