06/01-06/06 The 2015 International Cultural Festival by Black Ensemble Theater


A cultural montage on music, theater, film and dance from around the world !
Featuring Tsukasa Taiko (drumming/Japanese), Empanada For A Dream (Theater/Colombian and Caribbean), The World Before Her (film/Indian), After The Fall – HIV Grows Up (film/Romanian), Ase (Story telling/West African), Muntu Dance Theater (dance/African).
Monday, 06/01 7:00pm Tsukasa Taiko (drumming/Japanese) |  Tsukasa Taiko is a leading community Japanese taiko ensemble based in Chicago.  It is the largest multigenerational community ensemble in the Midwest performing in traditional and contemporary forms.  The ensemble aims to strengthen Japanese-American/Asian-American communities and reflect a shared culture through taiko performances infused with contemporary expressions.
Tue 06/02 7pm Empanada For A Dream (Theater/Colombian and Caribbean) | Downtown on Allen Street everybody’s blasting music – bacchata, merengue and salsa. Everybody’s cooking – plantains, paella, and empanadas. Boys play baseball and football on the street while the most beautiful girl watches from a window. In his living memoir, Empanada For A Dream, Juan Francisco Villa uncovers the treasures of his family’s dark legacy in the streets of New York’s Lower East Side. A poignant and funny portrait of family and neighborhood – set against a secret that destroys it all. An inspiring tale about growing up by getting out and coming back home.
Wed 06/03 7pm The World Before Her (film/Indian) | A Canadian documentary film released in 2012, written and directed by Nisha Pahuja, the film explores the complex and conflicting environment for young girls in India by profiling two young women participating in two very different types of training camp — Ruhi Singh, who aspires to become Miss India, and Prachi Trivedi, a Hindu nationalist with the Durga Vahini. Produced in partnership with Chicago South Asian Film Festival.
Thurs 06/04 7pm After The Fall – HIV Grows Up (film/Romanian) | In 1989, as communism fell across Eastern Europe, doctors and nurses in Romania quickly discovered they were dealing with an epidemic of Pediatric AIDS in their hospitals and institutions. With a lack of medicine and very limited knowledge of the disease, many health care workers risked their lives to help the nearly 13,000 children infected with HIV and AIDS. This highly motivational film takes a look back with those who were on the front line, and a look forward at the hopes and challenges for those who, against all odds, are growing into independent young adults.
Fri 06/05 7.30pm Ase – Presented by the Chicago Association of Black Storytellers (West African) | ASE is a term from the Yoruba people of Nigeria, West Africa. ASE affirms, as we express our spiritual devotion, that there is power in our words; not just the words we speak, but the words and feelings we express in our stories.
Sat 06/06 8pm Muntu Dance Theater (dance/African) |Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago was founded in 1972 and performs authentic and progressive interpretations of contemporary and ancient African and African-American dance, music and folklore. The company is known for bringing audiences out of their seats and into the aisles with its unique synthesis of dance, rhythm and song. Muntu is highly regarded for its innovative repertory, which preserves traditional African dance while creating new works that build on African, Caribbean and African-American cultural traditions. Now in its 43rd year, Muntu is the oldest, continuously operating African dance company in the Country. The Company’s performances for the International Theater Festival will include selected works from its repertoire, including traditional West African and contemporary dances.

The Black Ensemble Theater will present a week-long cultural montage of music, theater, film, and dance from around the world. By highlighting a variety of art forms with a worldwide perspective, the International Cultural Festival and the Black Ensemble Theater will open up a global-scale dialogue about how we, as human beings, can help diminish the injustices of a racist world.

Details and tickets

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