Ping Chong

47 Great Jones Street, New York, NY 10012
T: 212 529 1557 F: 212 529 1703
[email protected]


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Deshima, 1990 - 1996


Deshima is a prismatic exploration of East-West contact from the arrival of Dutch traders in Japan in the 16th Century to the height of the Japanese “bubble” economy in the late 1980’s. Deshima is composed of a series of intersecting aural, visual and choreographic "poems" inspired by historical incidents and archival documents in the often bloody legacy of contact between Europe, America, Japan and Asia. The original Dutch production of Deshima was performed in a site specific configuration in which the audience was seated in a moving riser system that traveled between two performance installations. The American production was adapted to proscenium theatres. Deshima included spoken and projected text, European, Asian, American and contemporary dance, recorded sound and projections.

Deshima is the first work in Ping Chong’s East West Quartet.

PRODUCTION (Utrecht, Holland – April 1990)

Director: Ping Chong
Producer: Mickery Workshop
Text: Ping Chong, Michael Matthews, Christel Gouweleeuw, Jan Zoet
Dramaturge: Jan Zoet
Lighting Design: Johan Vonk
Sound Design: Robert Bosch
Projection and Video: Chiel Snijders
Production Manager: Guus van der Kraan
Set and Prop Design: Ruud van der Akker, Ed Bezem, Robert Bosch, Klaas Paradies
Costume Design: Adreienne Henriet, with Christel Gouweleeuw, Coby Bruijne
Backdrop Design (cornfield painting): Henry Verboket, with Richard Berlin Mayer


Josepha Dumatubun, Kristin de Groot, Arnaud Kokosky Deforchaux, Nita Liem, Jur Londt-Schultz, Michael Matthews, Rop Severien

Premiered as a site specific production as part of the Springdance Festival at the Sterrenbos Studio in Utrecht, Holland (April 1990)
European Cultural Capital Festival at The Tramway in Glasgow, Scotland (June 1990)


Director: Ping Chong
Producer: Ping Chong and Company
Writer: Ping Chong, with Michael Matthews
Choreography: Deena Burton and Ping Chong
Lighting Design: Thomas Hase
Sound Design: Robert Bosch and Brian Hallas
Set Design: Watuko Ueno, Ping Chong
Costume Design: Carol Ann Pelletier
Projection Design: Jan Hartley and Ping Chong
Stage Manager: Virlana Tkacz


Deena Burton, Barbara Chan, Ching Gonzalez, Brian Liem, Larry Malvern, Michael Matthews, Emerald Trinket Monsod, Dawn Saito, Perry Yung

Voice over by Margaret Hoyt


Illusion Theater, Minneapolis, MN (November 1992)

Premiere, Proscenium theatre version:
La MaMa ETC in (January 1993)

John Jay College Theatre in New York (December 1993), Weis Center, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA (March 1995), the Tokyo International Festival of the Performing Arts, The Nagoya Festival and the Nagasaki Public Theatre in Nagasaki, Japan (October 1995), the Lied Center of the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS (April 1996) and the Singapore Festival of the Arts, Victoria Theatre, Singapore (June 1996)


A Performance Montage of East-West Troubles, New York Times, Jan. 06, 1993
Getting in Dutch, Village Voice, Jan. 1993
Cultural Exhange, Village voice, jan. 18, 1994


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Commissioned by the Mickery Workshop in Amsterdam, Holland

1993: National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The AT&T Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Margate Foundation, The Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Foundation, Con Edison, The Philip Morris Companies, Inc., Waters Design Associates, Materials for the Arts, the Netherlands Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Joseph Hoyt Foundation, NYSCA, McKnight Fellowship; Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Arts International Fund for US Artists at International Festivals, US/Japan Friendship Commission

Special thanks to Ritsaert ten Cate