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“Ms. Lee has wedded Zen meditative practices to Western

modern dance and new music, fashioning with

admirable creativity, a dance genre of her own.”  

Anna Kisselgoff, New York Times


  • Call for Auditions:

Saturday, March 3
12:30-2 pm

  • Practices:

Saturdays & Sundays:
March 10 – April 29
12:30-2 pm

April 27 & May 4
7:30-10:00 pm

May 5
7:30-10:00 pm – Dress Rehearsal

  • Performance:

May 6, 7 pm


Zen Dance represents the integration of Seon, or Korean Buddhist meditation, with the movements of modern dance accompanied by avant garde improvisational music, creative visual imagery, and audience participation.  

In bringing Zen Dance to Hawaii, Sun Ock Lee, its creator, choreographer and artistic director blends the contemplative movements of Zen Dance with the ancient traditions of Hawaiian culture, creating a unique blend of modern dance and Hawaiian movement and spirituality.

Ms. Lee’s vision is to create a total sensory experience of sights and sounds based on movement, visual imagery, free improvisational music, and total audience engagement.

Sun Ock Lee is one of the world’s greatest Korean modern dance choreographers in the 20th Century, according to Cherif Kanznadar of World Music and Dance, Paris.  She first founded the Zen Dance Company in 1974 in New York City and has performed in major venues in New York, Paris, Florence, Rome, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Bangkok, and Seoul.

The dancers, in addition to Ms. Lee, include Malia Helela, a renowned kumu hula, dancer and chanter, and Kaiehu Helela a performer of hula, oli, Hawaiian drumming and Zen Buddhist mudras, plus dancers from the local community.

The musicians include: Steve Rosenthal, composer, sculptor, and instrument builder; Lina Kim, an accomplished komungo (a Korean instrument similar to the Japanese koto) player; and Gregory Pai, percussionist and artist.

The set and costume designs are created by Ms. Lee.  The visual images are based on landscape paintings by Gregory Pai. Rainsticks, or the instruments used by the dancers, are created by Steve Rosenthal.  


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