Call for the right moves

Updated 2016-11-23 10:33:39 China Daily
<
The ongoing dance festival at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing includes Israel's Batsheva Dance Company's DecaDance, Zhang Jigang's dance drama Thousand-Hand Bodhisattva, Jin Xing's Shanghai Tango and New York-based Shen Wei's modern dance piece Folding (above).

The ongoing dance festival at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing includes Israel's Batsheva Dance Company's DecaDance, Zhang Jigang's dance drama Thousand-Hand Bodhisattva, Jin Xing's Shanghai Tango and New York-based Shen Wei's modern dance piece Folding (above).

A dance festival that started on Oct 9 and runs through Dec 11, is in full swing at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing. It has been held annually for several years now and is surprisingly popular, says Jiang Dong, despite research showing dance generally trailing concerts and theater in attendance at the iconic egg-shaped venue.

"The choice of repertory is important," says Jiang, vice-president of the dance institute, a branch of the Chinese National Academy of Arts. "Audience acceptance is top priority." Two calling cards have been Yang Liping with her Yunnan folk dance and Lin Hwai-min with his Taiwan-based modern dance. The two are absent from this year's lineup, though.

Jiang does not think Yang and Lin represent the best in Chinese dance, but he admires their marketing skills. "That does not mean they pander to public tastes. They operate on a high artistic level, but there are other, equally good dancers who do not know, or care about, the art of selling." He cites Lee-chen Lin and her Legend Lin Dance Theater and Wang Mei of the Beijing Dance Academy. The former is not prolific and the latter has no intention of taking her work beyond the campus.

<
The ongoing dance festival at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing includes Israel's Batsheva Dance Company'sDecaDance, Zhang Jigang's dance drama Thousand-Hand Bodhisattva (above), Jin Xing's Shanghai Tangoand New York-based Shen Wei's modern dance pieceFolding.

The ongoing dance festival at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing includes Israel's Batsheva Dance Company'sDecaDance, Zhang Jigang's dance drama Thousand-Hand Bodhisattva (above), Jin Xing's Shanghai Tangoand New York-based Shen Wei's modern dance pieceFolding.

He also calls Zhang Jigang's early work Dedicated to My Parents a masterpiece and a contemporary classic, but that was before Zhang got into the establishment. "Zhang used simple movements from folk dances and ended up conveying complicated ideas more often associated with intellectuals of the country." Zhang's dance drama Thousand-Hand Bodhisattva was staged over Nov 18-20.

Jiang also praises choreographer Wang Ge for his narrative technique. "We used to believe that dance excels in conveying emotions, but Wang demonstrates that dance can tell stories in very effective ways. If you can find the right method, dance can be more effective than regular plays." Unfortunately, Wang creates only short pieces, he adds.

Speaking about the blurring of traditional divisions between regular theater and dance, Jiang says some theater actors may have been trained in dance and have very strong expressive abilities. It is, therefore, natural for them to incorporate elements of dance into their new creations.

See Also

Most Popular

Sky Running Comes to Asia

This February saw the first ever Asian Sky Running Championship race come to Hong Kong. The competition is one of the most physically demanding a runner can put their body through.

Travel Videos

Photo Gallery

Worship Season in Lhasa

Lhasa, capital city of Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region, has entered the worship season. Buddhists from across Tibet come to the Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple for worship.

Hello Kitty Theme Park Opens in Zhejiang

The first Hello Kitty theme park outside Japan officially opened on Thursday, the first day of the year in the Anji county, Huzhou city, East China's Zhejiang province.

News:
China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
Video:
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
Photos:
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Travel:
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Lifestyle:
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords