Monday, December 28, 2009

Photography by Wazha Dube

TCK Wazha Dube submitted a series of photographs for this project. Take a look at the sampling below.

All photographs & descriptions are copyright of Wazha Dube

1. Act of God

I wouldn't say I'm a religious person, if anything i'm spiritual. We often spend our lives running around from one pace to the next with few opportunities to stop and 'smell the roses'. When I'm able to capture pictures like this it's hard not to believe in something greater than yourself and even harder to not to stop appreciate the beauty of the world that we live in.

Location: Kane'ohe, O'ahu, Hawai'i

2. Empire State of Mind

I've had the opportunity to live in a series of different countries in everything from a urban to rural area and everything in between. Some say that if you can make it in New York City, you can make it anywhere. Some also say that New York City is the ultimate TCK city... For many TCKs, life is a constant search for somewhere were we can be comfortable without thinking about our moving average, for me NYC is one of those places.

Location: New York, New York

3. Forward into the Unknown

For most of us, we have little to no control over the first eighteen years of our lives. We are often giving a destination and then we're sent into somewhere in the world that can be so foreign from what we're used to it almost feels like another planet. This photo represents the fact that we are so often en-route to the unknown that after a while you just start going with the flow. Just like the river, life is always changing and you won't know where you're actually headed until can actually see the end destination, but even when you get there, it's not the destination that matters but the journey itself.

Location: Yangtze River, China

4. No matter where you go, don't ever forget where you're from...

We spend our lives hopping from one place to the other, adopting more cultures and and histories of countries that we are not part of. So often do we see the beauty of other countries that we sometimes forget what makes the places we actually come from so amazing.

Location: Chobe Game Reserve, Botswana

5. Celebrate Originality

As TCKs, our lifestyles allow us to get along with anybody, whether TCK or Non-TCK. Nevertheless, even with our own TCK peers, we all come from different places, with different backgrounds and different stories. The fact that no one has a life that is an exact copy of our own is always something to be proud of, so it's only natural to be proud of not only our heritage and background but also everything that makes us so different.

Location: Beijing, China

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sign up with iGive and support this project! is going to attempt to donate $5,000 in just 24 hours to Alaine Handa & dancers and other causes.

For each person who joins iGive using the special link below and does just one web search on our site between now and noon Thursday, They are going to give Alaine Handa & dancers a dollar.

5,000 new members, $5,000. No purchase necessary.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Promo pictures by Michael Mastroianni

A couple weeks ago, our multi-talented multi-tasker photographer/company manager came to rehearsal and took some Promo Pictures of us.

All photography belongs to A.H. Dance Company and Michael Mastroianni.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


A.H. Dance Company will be performing at the 60x60 Festival at the World Financial Center on Nov. 13, 2009 at 12 pm and 7 pm. 60 choreographers & 60 composers are paired at random for 60 seconds of collaboration.

Holiday Fundraiser for this project will be at Stone Creek Bar & Lounge on Dec. 5th, 2009 from 7-10:30 pm. There will be amazing raffle prizes. More details coming up soon!

Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) conference in New York City. A.H. Dance Company will be doing a short segment of this project (Dance & film) at Dance New Amsterdam on Jan. 8, 2010 from 9-9:30 pm

A.H. Dance Company & University Settlement will present this project on May 13-15, 2010.
More details will be added at a later date.

Enjoy the pictures from our performance at the Long Island Pirate Festival in September 2009!

Photography is copyright of Di Zhang (

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A solo of many layers

Solo #1 from Alaine Handa on Vimeo.

This solo is a mixture of different cultures. Korean traditional dance are mixed into the modern dance vocabulary. The costume that my dancer, Yoonjung Choi will be wearing is a Indonesian inspired Batik wrap around skirt. The spoken word in the music is from David C. Pollock and Ruth Van Reken's book Third Culture Kids. There is also a Swedish poem by Edith Södergran. She is also dancing to French accordian music from the soundtrack of Amelie.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rehearsal # 4

Rehearsal # 4 from Alaine Handa on Vimeo.

Here's a short section for "Memories Revisited" that we've been working on... we'll see what it will evolve into.
Dancers in this video Anna Louise Herzog, Emily Mercer, Ivilisse Esguerra

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Rehearsal # 2

This is a very rough idea that we created in our second rehearsal.
The two dancers in this video are Emily Mercer and Anna Louise Herzog. We ended up creating this short little duet after writing reflections after reading two poems by TCKs and quotes from TCKs.

Rehearsal # 2 from Alaine Handa on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Definition & characteristics of Third Culture Kids - courtesy of

“A third culture kid is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside their parents’ culture." - Ruth Van Reken, David C. Pollock

What are the Characteristics of TCKs?

There are different characteristics that impact the typical Third Culture Kid:

* TCKs are 4 times as likely as non-TCKs to earn a bachelor's degree (81% vs 21%)

* 40% earn an advanced degree (as compared to 5% of the non-TCK population.)

* 45% of TCKs attended 3 universities before earning a degree.

* 44% earned undergraduate degree after the age of 22.

* Educators, medicine, professional positions, and self employment are the most common professions for TCKs.

* TCKs are unlikely to work for big business, government, or follow their parents' career choices. "One won't find many TCKs in large corporations. Nor are there many in government ... they have not followed in parental footsteps".

* 90% feel "out of sync" with their peers.

* 90% report feeling as if they understand other cultures/peoples better than the average American.

* 80% believe they can get along with anybody.

* Divorce rates among TCKs are lower than the general population, but they marry older (25+).
o Military brats, however, tend to marry earlier.

* Linguistically adept (not as true for military ATCKs.)
o A study whose subjects were all "career military brats"—those who had a parent in the military from birth through high school—shows that brats are linguistically adept.

* Teenage TCKs are more mature than non-TCKs, but ironically take longer to "grow up" in their 20s.

* More welcoming of others into their community.

* Lack a sense of "where home is" but often nationalistic.

* Some studies show a desire to "settle down" others a "restlessness to move".

* Depression and suicide are more prominent among TCK's.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Attention all TCKs! (and CCKs)

I have been interviewing NYC-based TCKs lately and want to extend my invite to the rest of you. The video is for the documentary film I am currently putting together.
Everyone will be credited in the film and programs of course! If you live in the NYC area, I would love to set up a time to interview you in person. In person interviews are much more efficient b/c I also ask other questions in addition to the following questions. I am very interested in YOUR story. If you want to share YOUR story with other TCKs/CCKs this is an outlet for you to do so.

-Please make sure there is enough light.

-Talk clearly and enunciate every word loudly into an external microphone or the built-in microphone to your camera/computer.

-Fuzzy videos will not be included in the final film.

-Upload all videos to - sign up for an account, its free. I can download the .mov or quicktime movie version directly from the site.

-Please title the video your name followed by AHDanceCo. example: Alaine Handa AHDanceCo

-Send me the link at

Here are your list of questions:

1. What is your name?

2. Where were you born?

3. What is your heritage?

4. Where have you lived & how long at each place?

5. What is your definition of "home" and how is it different from those around you?

6. Where do you consider "home" and why?

7. Do you have interests in the following: foreign languages, international
relations, travelling, international politics, different cultures of the
world, etc... Yes/No
If so, do you think your background has helped you develop these interests?

8. What are your thoughts on globalization? Current political situation?

9. How are your thoughts on world affairs different from those around you?

10. Do you plan on incorporating a large amount of travel with your career?

11. Any last comments to future Third Culture Kids/Cross Culture Kids, any words of wisdom?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Free write & choreographed improv...

I was at a dance educators seminar held by the City Center here in NY a couple weekends ago and the theme was Nijinksky's Afternoon of a Faun since it is the centennial anniversary of the piece. We had workshops with Mark Dendy and another lady who teaches the repertory of the original Nijinsky ballet. In the afternoon, the City Center hosts came up with exercises to unleash our own personal adaptions and inspirations from the ballet. We had to listen to the music, read the poem, and free writes. I wanted to share my free writes because I ended up writing about birds in flight and travel.

"These flocking swans, these naiads, rather, fly or dive." - Mallarme (Read the whole poem here)

The vast lake of flocking birds fly high into the sky of the blue abyss. Like a giant white cloud they soar through the skies in search of a better place because the winds are changing and the weather is getting cooler. The colder months brings sorrow for those not travelling. Flying to a climate more favorable.

Free write about a time that was a moment of awareness or monumental for you:

Unsettled and constantly pining for memories, I lie awake at night longing for my memories of a home that no longer exists. Friendships I have gained and lost. Returning to an already familiar pattern of constant change. I gather. I seek. I travel. Meeting. Saying good-bye. The cycle of impermanence continues.

Alaine in the Studio from Alaine Handa on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"I am a TCK" (2005)

This is a mash-up of the project I did as a senior at UCLA's Department of World Arts & Cultures. This project premiered at the Electric Lodge in Venice, CA in May 2005.

The interviews/documentary film, and the dance pieces are being recreated and explored more in depth currently.

My hope is that this current project will bring the cross cultural, multi cultural, third culture kids, cross culture kids, global nomads, bi-cultural, internationally-minded, expatriates, recent immigrants, families, travellers, sojourners, wanderers all together. Its a big dream but I think we can do it.

- Alaine

Monday, September 14, 2009

Author Lauren Weisberger acknowledges TCKs

Award winning author Lauren Weisberger (#1 New York Times bestselling author of The Devil Wears Prada) acknowledges Third Culture Kids in her book Chasing Harry Winston by introducing one of the main characters to a TCK.

I was reading this "chick-lit" book on my bed a couple nights ago and came across that scene. I hope that the main character ends up meeting more global nomads.
I want to share with you an excerpt.

p.73-78 (highlighted passages which I thought was relevant)
...Paul spoke English with an American accent. He was undeniably born and raised in the States, or perhaps - at the most exotic - Canada. She was bitterly disappointed.

"I'm glad I could help. The first time I stayed here, I was a paranoid wreck. My parents used to drag us all over the world - I practically grew up in hotels - but it only took a day here to make me feel like a bumbling idiot," he said.

"Why did your family travel so much?"
"This is where I should say 'army brat' or 'diplomat's son,' but really, there's not one reason. Mostly my parents are schizophrenic about where they live, and they're both writers. So we were always on the move. I was actually born in Argentina."

"Does that make you Argentinean?"
Paul laughed. "Among other things."
"Meaning that I'm an Argentine because I was born in Buenos Aires while my parents were both working on books. We lived there off and on for a couple of years before heading to Bali. My father is English, so I'm automatically conferred UK citizenship, and my mother is French, but their citizenship laws- like their customer service- tend to be tricky, so I've never claimed that one. It may sound interesting, but I assure you, it's a colossal mess."
"It's just that you sound so...American."
"Yeah, I know. I went to American Schools my entire life, literally from kindergarten on, in whatever country we were in. And I went to university in Chicago. It kills my dad that I sound like a born-and-bred American."

Things were quite flirtatious, actually, until Emmy asked - casually, she thought- how Paul felt about kids.
His head snapped up. "Kids? What about them?"

Something about this conversation seemed to remind Paul that he was late for his previously unmentioned plans.
"Yeah, I guess. Listen, Emmy, I'm actually really late meeting up with some friends," he said, staring at his watch.

"Oh. Really? Where's home?" She realized she didn't even know where he lived.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Over Land and Water by Katherine Lung

Over Land and Water (2009)

Choreographer: Katherine Lung

Filmmaker: Alexander Brown

TCK Voices: Wazha Dube, Alan Garcia, Suzanne Leung, Katherine Lung, Albert Wang, Stephanie Yiu

Dancers: Elizabeth Bernal, Kurt Blomburg, Mallory Dykema, Jin-Ming Lai, Luke Olson-Elm, Duncan Schultz, Renee Starr, Chrysetta Stevens

Music: Clogs, Followed by Ghosts, Unwed Sailor

Special Thanks: Alaine Handa, Ian Knodel, Paula Mann, Aaron Rice, Collin Sherradin, Joanie Smith, Stephanie Yiu, University of Minnesota Theatre & Dance Program,

Friday, August 21, 2009

Photography by Rob Oandasan

I received the following pictures (Amazing!) and titles/captions from TCK photographer Rob Oandasan to be included in my Families in Global Transitions proposal and TCK/CCK multi-arts production next Spring 2010. Enjoy!
- Alaine

1. There is always someone less fortunate than you.
As TCK's, we sometimes we forget we are the fortunate ones. We might get lost in our personal problems, but we just have to remind ourselves that there's always someone less fortunate than us.
Picture: A makeshift home on a boat on Pasig River in Manila, Philippines.

2. Don't be picky with what you eat.
I used to be a picky eater. I quickly realized how much I would have missed out on if I continued to be a picky eater. The world offers so many delectable dishes - be adventurous and keep trying on new things to eat!
Picture: Sashimi at the famous Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo Japan. It was so fresh, the fish head was still moving.

3. The world is a beautiful place we need to preserve.
I have been fortunate enough to be able to travel to many beautiful and pristine locations. Being a city dweller all my life, the difference between places that are man-made and those that miraculously remain untouched for me is more pronounced.
Picture: White sand beaches in Boracay, Philippines.

4. Respect other cultures, in all its aspects.

We are all taught to tolerate people who are different from us. But to actually go through the culture shock and learn how to live with these differences makes you learn this lesson in a more personal way.
Picture: Different bathroom settings in Singapore.

5. Slow down and enjoy the view.
TCK's daily lives can be very hectic. With so many different things to keep track of, we can often forget how important to is to take a breath and just enjoy the view.
Picture: Ice Skating in Central Park, New York City.

6. Look at the bigger picture/Keep an open mind.
It is sometimes easier and cognitively more convenient to look at things through one view. Our experiences as TCKs force us to look at some things from a broader perspective.
Picture: A view of a couple of churches through a hole in the wall at the Emperor's Palace in Rome, Italy.