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Hartnell College Dance Concert to Depict Immigrants' Struggles and the Strength of the Human Spirit

October 16th, 2006

The Hartnell College dancers, along with Lawson Fusao Inada - the college's 2005-06 Steinbeck Chair and considered by many as the poet laureate of Japanese America - will present a program depicting the struggles of immigrants and the strength of the human spirit on Sunday, Oct. 29.

The concert, titled "Existing Without Barriers," will be presented at 7 p.m. in the main theater of the Performing Arts Facility. There is no admission charge, but donations will be accepted at the door. A reception will follow the performance.

The Antique Moving Co. - a group of local dancers - will also be part of the program and played a major role in creating the show.

Directing the production is Megan Morais, Hartnell dance instructor. She says that through dance, poetry, music and multi-media theater, "dancers will partake in the portrayal of Native Americans, Japanese immigrants and the internment camp experience during World War II, Lawson's love of jazz, the upheavals of the 1960s, and Mexican immigrants today."

"The themes of multiculturalism, the trials of immigrants, and the ability to grow in spirit," Morais says, "will run throughout the hour-long production. Audience and performers will be brought together in a culminating celebration led by Lawson Inada himself."

Inada is the author of "Before the War" - the first volume of poetry by an Asian-American to be published by a major firm. His second book of poetry, "Legends from the Camps," received the American Book Award.

A professor of writing at Southern Oregon University, Inada won the Oregon Governor's Arts Award and received two National Endowment of the Arts Poetry Fellowships. He is Oregon's poet laureate.

Inada also is one of 21 poets to be honored at the White House for "A Salute to Poetry and American Poets." In addition, he is an accomplished jazz musician.

For more information on the concert, call Hartnell's department of fine arts at (831) 755-6905.