“Looking for Sarasvathi” was created and produced by Yuko Hamada, President of Japan Performing Arts, Inc. The show was performed at the United Nations Headquarters (October, 2008) and Pace University in Manhattan, New York City (November 2008).
The story is about five indigenous water goddesses connected and transformed along the Silk Road (based on an academic hypothesis). It starts from the disappearance of Sarasvathi River in India about four thousand years ago.
The on-stage interaction of the live violinist and the African American performer made the show more unique and lively.
JPA views traditional dances from each region and country reflect cultural characters. JPA also considers that neighboring cultures are connected by the influences from other cultures.“Looking for Sarasvathi” is Yuko Hamada’s original story along with introducing the five connected cultures of Asia (Persia, India, China, Korea, Japan) via traditional dances from these cultures.
“Looking for Sarasvathi” was created for the awareness of cultural diversity and of the importance of water issues all around the world.
JPA conducted workshops with dancers from the five countries in 2007 and 2008. In April 2008, a video-shooting was done to test and prepare the stage setting visualization.
The role of storyteller was an African American dancer, Akim Funk Buddha. Initially, the script had lots of lines for him, but most of the lines were eliminated to adjust to his strength of visually conveying the story with his performance.
One of the production’s music members, Chern Hwei Fung (Violin) was in charge of arranging the traditional music from the five countries for “Looking for Sarasvathi.” The show’s music was mostly recorded, but some of the on-stage violin tunes were his actual live performances.
The back screen projected the map depicted the line of the Sarasvathi River (near the Indus River), which was said to have dried up around four thousand years ago.
JPA is currently in a preparation phase for “Looking for Sarasvathi” for the next opportunity.