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OCTOBER 3-5

In his latest multimedia performance piece, Ping Chong is more absent than present. The writer-director of After Sorrow (Viet Nam) doesn’t ever appear onstage, yet the work manages to create the sense that a very personal encounter with the artist has taken place. After Sorrow, actually four short pieces blended together, touches on many themes: war, the status of women, American and Asian attitudes, identity politics. It can be heavy-handed at times and inexplicable at others. But what ties the disparate themes together is its carefully designed aesthetic. Thanks to the costumes, lighting, and props, and the precise movements of choreographer/performer Muna Tseng (pictured), the piece is always visually arresting. Elaborate projected images transform, darken, and fade, like photos developing in a darkroom. What looks like a sky with abstract clouds becomes a photo of a man half hidden by trees. The highlight of the piece is Tseng’s “duet” with Chong, who is present only as a pre-recorded voice; the two poetically describe it as “a dancing voice against (Tseng)/her dancing body (Chong).” At 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday at Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. $15. (202) 269-1600. (Holly Bass)