Robin Gilbert and Carlos Fittante in "Tigerlily and the Dragonfly". Photo: Julie Lemberger

"Sunda Upasaunda-NYC Brothers", A Bali Tour 2010 Duet

Toshinori Hamada and Carlos Fittante wearing Baroque masks rehearse "Sunda Upasunda-NYC Brothers".

Balinese mythology provides ample material for new work. Sunda Upasunda-NYC Brothers", a new duet choreographed by Toshinori Hamada (Toshi) for BALAM Dance Theatre’s Bali Tour 2010, is inspired by the popular Hindu myth, "Sunda Upasunda" enacted in dance throughout Bali.

The upcoming tour provides Toshi and I the opportunity to fulfill a long-held dream of creating a duet for the two of us. In our hearts, we consider ourselves “dance brothers” and appreciate each other’s talents.
We have movement skills that are similar. For example, Toshi is not only a Kabuki and Noh theatre actor, but he also holds a black belt in karate and has studied Iaido (a Japanese sword technique) and modern dance. I am a Baroque dancer, with a strong ballet background, who has studied classical fencing, mixed martial arts, and Spanish folk dance. We both have a background in Balinese dance and mask work. All these specialized skills are featured in Toshi’s new duet and I expect the Balinese will be thrilled to see their myth so distinctively enacted. Imagine an Akira Kurasawa film delving into on a Balinese theme.

"Sunda-Upasunda"-The Story Synopsis
Two brothers gain tremendous powers from the gods due to their austere regimens. They become so potent that they conquer the world and even intimidate the gods. Braham, the supreme Hindu deity, cannot renege on the boons the brothers have received from him and to stop their rampage, he sends a beautiful celestial nymph to disrupt them. Each brother falls passionately in love with the nymph and when blinded by desire and jealousy, they fight each other until they kill one another.