What: GaNADa, a performance in many media

When: Friday, May 18 & Saturday May 19, 8PM

Where: 934 Brannan St. (between 8th & 9th)

How Much: $15 in advance, $20 at the door, advance tickets recommended

GaNADa, which is part of Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center’s 15th United States of Asian America Festival, is the project by Dohee Lee intertwines the theme of self-discovery with elements of Korean mythology. Through the combined media of dance, live music, animation and installation, Lee takes the audience on the journey of her own self-discovery while exploring the myth of the goddess Mago (as was told in the ancient text the Budoji), connecting the realm of dreams, past and present lives, karma and destiny.

Mago is the creator goddess in ancient Korean mythology, central to the practice of mudang. The legend of Mago outlines this piece, which aims to express the interconnectedness of dreams and reality, past and present lives, karma and destiny, microcosm and macrocosm. Through an exploration of the myth of Mago and my own story, revealing this interconnectedness and its implications in one’s life. The work itself will be a cleansing/purging ritual, an intensely personal journey of birth, self-discovery, confrontation, action, and re-birth, and like all of my work, will embrace spirituality, politics and healing.

The ocean and peaches are two symbols that are threaded throughout the piece. The ocean is the dwelling place of Mago, and is omnipresent in the lives of the residents of Jeju Island, my hometown. Jeju’s strong shamanic tradition is centered on rituals involving the ocean. The ocean is Mother, mystery and life. In Korean folklore, the peach is a symbol of the creation of humanity. Also, my given name Dohee means “bright peach.” Curiosity about the history and meaning of my name was one impetus for this project.

“Ga,” “Na” and “Da” are the first three letters of the Korean written language, much like “ABC” in the Roman alphabet. But unlike the latter, each of the symbols have their own meaning; “Ga” means Go, “Na” means Me, or Myself, “Da” means All, or Everything. So together, this could mean, “Let all of myself go.”

GaNADa will be performed by Dohee Lee, Tatsu Aoki, Adria Otte and Jamaesori (Yeri Shon, Codie Otte). The Future is NOW and GaNADa are supported by the California Arts Council, San Francisco Arts Commission and the Zellerbach Family Foundation.