WEEKEND: Port Townsend’s own acrobatic troupe headlines Saturday show; other Fort Worden events earlier
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Nanda from left, Chen Pollina, Kiyota Sage, Tomoki Sage and Misha Fradin will celebrate its 10th anniversary with plenty of juggling, vaudeville and other frolic this Saturday night. --Photo by Joshua Sage

By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News

Fort Worden’s day

In addition to Nanda’s 10th anniversary celebration Saturday night, Fort Worden State Park will host an afternoon of free activities for all ages this Saturday.

Among the highlights are the Kids’ Play Zone, opening Saturday at 2 p.m. with an obstacle course, hula hoops, face painting, juggling, parachutes and birdhouse-making with the Port Townsend School of Woodworking.

A half-hour youth yoga class will start at 2:15 p.m. on the Fort Worden Commons lawn, DJ Caleb Peacock will play dance music from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., the Lobo del Mar band will play world music all afternoon and the Unexpected Brass Band will strike up at 4:30 p.m.

Snacks and soft drinks will be served on the Commons lawn while a beer, wine and cider garden will be set up from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. First Federal and Friends of Fort Worden are cosponsoring these and many other free activities at the fort, 200 Battery Way, along with the Fort Worden Public Development Authority.

More information can be found at FWfriends.org.
PORT TOWNSEND — Once upon a time, four teenagers thought it would be fun to do a show full of acrobatics, vaudeville, comedy and juggling.

The attitude, according to then-18-year-old Tomoki Sage, was “let’s see if we can pull this off.”

The four pulled it off, but good, for the next 10 years.

The performing ensemble called Nanda — that’s Japanese for “what!?” — will celebrate it all with a show Saturday night at McCurdy Pavilion at Fort Worden State Park — appropriate since the fort is where the young men debuted a decade ago with a show titled “Once Upon a Time in P-Town.”

The ensemble — brothers Kiyota and Tomoki Sage and their friends Chen Pollina and Misha Fradin — plan on mixing material from the distant past with some brand-new vignettes in the 7 p.m. show.

And Nanda won’t be alone up there.

Guest performers will range from Dr. Calamari & Acrophilia, an acrobatic duo from Seattle to the rock band Fenbi International Superstars to Port Townsend magician Joey Pipia and dancer Erin O’Meara.

This is Centrum’s kickoff event for its summer season of festivals at Fort Worden State Park, so tickets are available at Centrum.org and 800-746-1982.

Seats in Section A include admission to the after-party at Fort Worden’s USO Hall, and cost $40 for adults and $30 for youth 18 and younger. Section B seats are $20 for adults and $15 for youth.

Remaining tickets will be sold at the door of McCurdy Pavilion, the former balloon hangar inside Fort Worden at 200 Battery Way. Doors will open at 6 p.m.

Nanda, like its members, was born and raised in Port Townsend.

After the troupe staged a musical circus show at Fort Worden’s Wheeler Theater circa 2004, local dance studio operator Joan O’Meara offered them rehearsal space.

Nanda took off from there, doing shows locally, touring and, in one instance, flying off to Cancun, Mexico, to perform at a gathering hosted there by Microsoft.

Three-fourths of Nanda still live here, but Fradin has moved to Ashland, Ore., so a lot of advance rehearsal isn’t feasible.

The men get together a few days ahead, warm up and practice the new material.

But there have been times, Pollina said, when “we could just get together and rehearse a couple hours, and nail the show.”

After 10 years, those moves are “ingrained in our minds and our bodies.”

The performers want to head out next to summer festivals and, Pollina said, do more of that “corporate work,” such as company retreats and other meetings.

For now, though, they’re looking forward to a reunion at Fort Worden, a night of what they call “acrobaticalism,” that term they invented for the Nanda brand of performance art. For more about the troupe and its skills, see www.Nandatown.com.

Last modified: May 29. 2014 6:07PM
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