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South of Gold Mountain is an interpretation based on the images and oral histories of the Chinese that settled in the southern states prior to WWII. Early Chinese settlers refer to the United States as “Gold Mountain”, a term deriving from the Gold Rush era. Lesser known were the Chinese who came to the southern states to work on plantations, widen the Augusta Canal or build the railroads. Starting from the diaspora that led the Chinese to the South, this piece is a collective journey of these individuals. Through the power of faith, tradition, work ethic, as well as the bonds to other Chinese families in the South, these individuals experienced, endured and overcame their hardships.
South of Gold Mountain was supported through a touring grant from New England Foundation for the Arts which helped bring the production to Cleveland, MS, Birmingham, AL and Tempe, AZ. Additional tours included Martha’s Vineyard, MA; Williamstown, MA; Buffalo, NY; Clinton, NY.
New York Dancers: Gary Champi, Stephanie Chun, Lisa Chow, Renouard Gee, Joanie Johnson, Sean Nederlof, Ari Someya, Keyasha Williams-Bailey with Kelly Butterworth, Maki Shinagawa, Ezra Goh, Torrey McAnena.
CHILDREN: Charlotte Hamm, Alexander Leung, Ava Luan, Nicola Hsu, Zoe Chun
H.T. Chen & Dian Dong
Costumes: Caprice Esser
Lighting: Joe Doran (Premiere); Stephen Petrilli (Tours)
Music: Jew family recordings, Michael Wall, Son House, Jack Hsu, Lady Smith Black Mambazo
Set: Eric Harriz