This year's Lincoln Center Festival, opening July 8, has booked Israel's Batsheva Dance Company and Daedong Gut, a Korean shaman ritual, which includes a performer born in North Korea. "Kim Keum-hwa. She's 72. We've got a fair number coming from Korea and I don't know which ones were born where," says festival director Nigel Redden.
He's not sure if he'll have to travel to the State Department, as he did last summer "to plead the case" for the Iranian artists in Ta'ziyeh, a Persian theatrical epic.
"The law is, the individual consular officer has the absolute right to turn down an application. The president of the United States cannot reverse the determination of the consular officer. The superior of the consular officer can say, 'Why don't you look at this again?' but it was very painful when nine of the Iranians couldn't come. The performances would have been better. It's essential that we know something about the people in countries with which our government has an antagonistic relationship.
One of the best ways of finding out about a people is through their culture, especially if you don't speak the language. I don't know if [by summer] France or Germany will be on the watch list. Frankly, we'll be able to bring in Bulgarian artists and people from Spain and Britain." (Preventing Performances by Kate Mattingly: Village Voice) (via greg at greg.org : On The Cultural Price Of Homeland Security)