Olympic Performance Group presents Immigration Stories

Immigration Stories
A choreographic historical odyssey retelling a family's forced migration
Created by Alex Ung

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Olympic Performance Group is proud to bring The Guild Dance Company of Seattle to perform newly created choreography by this dynamic new group. Immigration Stories, a choreographic odyssey by Artistic Director Alex Ung, traces the journey of his immigrant Tai Dam family from war-torn Southeast Asia to Iowa, from the 1940s to the 1970s.


Immediately following the performance, the audience is encouraged to join in a conversation with the choreographers and dancers.

Traditional Tai Dam dance accompanied by drum, string, and pipe along with a blend of hip and hop and contemporary dance styles set to contemporary music will complete the narrative of this engaging and timely historical reflection. Portraying the fears and challenges of escaping one’s homeland alongside the satisfaction of creating a new place to call home in America yield current and compelling messages that build understanding.

Local youth dancers will open the show with new choreography, also by Ung, to convey the immigration experience through the eyes of young people. Experiencing these stories through the artistry of dance will make for a very special evening.

Alex Ung, born and raised in Iowa, got his start teaching dance with the ISU Dub H Dance Club and working with several high school dance teams. For several years he served as the lead hip hop instructor at Bainbridge Ballet, as well as the head coach of the dance team, winning several top overall awards for his choreography. He has also been involved with projects such as A Chorus Line, Elf, and Xanadu at Bainbridge Performing Arts, Seussical the Musical at Seattle Children’s Musical Theater, The M.A.P. of the Snow Leopard with Director Steven Fogell, the Snow Leopard Trust Fund in conjunction with the Woodland Park Zoo, and several other smaller independent works. He also served as assistant director, production manager, and performer with Olympic Performance Group. He currently teaches at several different venues in Seattle including PNB Bellevue and Seattle Children’s Theatre. He formed The Guild, a collaborative dance company in 2018. Visit online at www.theguilddance.com.

All-ages show, with some graphic situations.


“...beautifully told a wrought story of a people forced from their home and the battles raging around them. In Immigration Stories, Alex Ung, the Guild’s artistic director, choreographed the show tracing the repeated forced relocations of his Tai Dam family in Southeast Asia, before their eventual arrival in the U.S. The piece forces an intimate survey of having a homeland (“our beloved region”) constantly under threat or siege. The choreography and design work were very well done.

“A particularly memorable scene, in which all the elements (including performers) came together beautifully, was a dangerous river crossing, in which a huge panoramic view of the river and effects summoned feelings of an actual crossing; a later crossing, just as powerful, was overtaken by gunfire enveloping the sweeping natural beauty.

“The piece, overall, was a robust, clear, and powerful journey, in which the siege from outside actors and the forces driving them out were palpable (aided in that demonstration by strong design work). It’s a dynamic collage of how forced migration and two regions shaped the artist and his family.” – NWTheatre.org

“...the most moving parts for me were the crossings of the Mekong River, the mime/encounter with the soldier, and the bullying scene in Iowa.  At first all of my prejudices came forward, and I thought the soldier represented the evil soldier who forces out the family, ...  Sometimes the soldiers were just that, and sometimes they were the people who pointed them in the right direction, away from the fighting and/or to where they could find safety.  As the scene repeated, it made me think of the possible variations of intent.” - Helene Kaplan, Ballet Alert

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Adults - $22.00 USD

Senior - $20.00 USD

Youth/Student - $15.00 USD


September 14, 2019