MSU Asian Studies Center celebrates East Asian traditional performance arts Oct. 25-27

Posted at 9:04 AM, Oct 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-25 09:04:56-04

MSU Asian Studies Center’s most ambitious cultural program, “Join the Beat,” will celebrate East Asian traditional performance arts in a synergistic way Oct. 25-27.

Three groups of traditional performance artists representing China, Japan and Korea will each present a main stage performance at Snyder-Phillips Hall theater throughout the three day period and four workshops will be conducted at various locations on MSU’s campus. The programming includes Rakugo, Nanguan and P’ansori traditional performance arts presentations.

“Storytelling is currently flourishing with the popularity of programs like TED talks and NPR’s ‘The Moth on Stage,’ and such, and it plays a big role in all three of the East Asian traditional performance arts that ‘Join the Beat’ features,” said Catherine Ryu, associate professor of Japanese Literature and Culture. “It’s timely for us to understand how the art of storytelling has developed in different parts of the world over different times, and how it still speaks to us in compelling and powerful ways.”

Organizers see the three days of programming as a combination of education, entertainment, outreach and engagement that enhances the visibility of MSU as a leading force in Asian studies in the U.S. and globally.

“MSU’s Asian Studies Center is designated by the U.S. Department of Education as an all-Asia National Resource Center,” said Julie Hagstrom, assistant director of MSU Asian Studies Center. “What’s perfect for us is the ability to present traditional performance arts from a key region of Asia. Our partnerships with faculty and students, student organization and the community all stand to benefit from this.”

“The College of Arts & Letters is always looking for ways to collaborate with others, and ‘Join the Beat’ is an excellent example of what we can accomplish through creative collaborative endeavors,” Ryu said. “We are sharing a large-scale cultural program supported by 15 MSU co-sponsors and an external co-sponsor with the general public and our students.The positive impact of ‘Join the Beat’ is that it will bring together people of different backgrounds and interests to engage them with East Asian cultural legacies that will be highly informative and transformative.”

For more information, visit or contact Asian Studies Center at (517) 353-1680 or