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Nuance: An Immigration Story

  • Mills College 5000 MacArthur Boulevard Oakland, CA, 94613 United States (map)

DAC proudly welcomes back choreographer and dancer Aisan Hoss and Dancers and musician Basma Edrees and their new collaboration, Nuance: An Immigration Story.

Nuance is a piece that incorporates Aisan and Basma's immigration experiences as it tells the story of their coming to the US from their respective countries; Iran and Egypt. The piece incorporates Iranian and Egyptian influences, portraying their roots; as well as contemporary and western classical influences portraying their artistic training in the US. Artistically, they are both: Eastern and Western, but does society allow you to be both or does it seek to put you in a categorical box that is simpler than the nuanced reality of the human experience? This piece seeks to dwell upon the struggles that come along with immigrating to a new land, the questions surrounding identity, leaving all that one knows, and the courage needed to face the new. These ideas are brought together and illustrated in Nuance through music and dance.


Basma Edrees:

Originally from Cairo, Egypt, violinist Basma Edrees is a graduate of the Juilliard school where she received her Masters in Western Classical violin performance. Basma served as Associate Concertmaster of the Oakland Symphony during their 2015-2016 season. She has performed under the batons of many great conductors including Alan Gilbert, Daniel Barenboim and James Levine. Basma currently holds a substitute position with the San Fransisco Ballet Orchestra as well as the Santa Rosa Symphony Orchestra. Basma has performed internationally at festivals in Egypt, Spain and Montenegro. She strives to use her music to bring people together and has performed in Ethiopia before the Ethiopian Foreign Minister and other dignitaries at an event seeking to further strengthen the relations between Egypt and Ethiopia. Equally at home with Arabic music, Basma has performed with renowned musicians from the Arab world and is currently the Music Director of the Aswat Women Ensemble -an all female community ensemble whose goal is to introduce the American public to Arabic music. Besides her performance career, Basma is currently a Part Time Collegiate Professor of Music Theory at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Aisan Hoss:

Aisan Hoss produces Iranian/Contemporary dance pieces that explore human themes through sharing stories and aesthetics from the Middle East and Iran within international contexts. For Aisan (Choreographer/Founder), her passion for dance and choreography has been a means for gaining insight into her identity as an Iranian living outside of her home country. Specifically, several of her choreographies have explored how the physical distance from her home country provides a deeper sense of intimacy. Hoss’s primary choreographic objective is to create joy within darkness.

Aisan Hoss is a dancer and choreographer from Tehran, Iran. She started studying and performing Iranian dances at the age of twelve and teaching at the age of eighteen. While doing her BS in Business Management from Azad University in Tehran, Aisan attended a study-abroad English language program in London where she first encountered contemporary dance. She became drawn to the form’s unlimited possibilities for individual self expression and for experimentation of form and content. After graduating, she moved to London to pursue contemporary dance as her career. At the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Contemporary Dance in London, Aisan completed a one-year diploma in dance followed by a BA in Dance Theatre. At Trinity Laban, she found her passion in choreography and dance pedagogy, which inspired her to spend one year teaching contemporary dance in Iran and to then pursue her MFA in Dance and Choreography at Mills College in Oakland, California. While at Mills, she received an Innovator Award sponsored by E.L. Wiegand Foundation.Nuance is made possible by the generous support of the Zellerbach Family Foundation

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