Sandaya: Burmese Lessons
is the story of a young American pianist learning the Burmese language and the culture's unique piano style (sandaya). When the piano first arrived in Myanmar, the Burmese musicians adapted the instrument to their own traditional music styles, rather than learning to play in a western style. This resulted in a completely unique technique of interlocking fingering and percussive strikes. On her journey, the pianist forms relationships with U Ko Ko, her piano teacher and a Burmese performance artist, and all three are caught up in the struggle between artistic expression and tyranny. This multimedia performance incorporates Burmese dance, drumming, puppetry and music by composer Kit Young into the theatrical performance to tell the contemporary tale of the resilient Burmese culture and its artists.
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