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Fusion Afoot-An imaginative world

By Chen Nan  (China Daily)

09:57, April 07, 2013

An imaginative world of youth unfolds at the rehearsal of the modern dance The White-Night. (China Daily / Zou Hong)

Artists make modern dance a multimedia show with young performers. Chen Nan follows the choreography.

When Willy Tsao met Wang Yuanqing, who was studying at Beijing Dance Academy majoring in modern dance choreography, he was impressed by the young man's unconventional vision.

Wang sat on a desk, that has four wheels. He slid around to the sound of music, with a devotion that reflected the music's strong religious flavor. The movements were simple.

"His approach was very different from the traditional choreography at Beijing Dance Academy then. It could be considered weird at that time," recalls Tsao, an influential figure who has pushed the development of modern dance in China. "I was sure that his choreography wouldn't pass the test, but I bore him in my mind and knew I would cooperate with him one day."

Tsao is the founder and artistic director of the Hong Kong City Contemporary Dance Company, Beijing Dance/LDTX as well as the managing director of Guangdong Modern Dance Company.

Trained in the US, Tsao has conducted intensive modern dance workshops since 1987 in China.

Though it's still a minority taste. Tsao has seen the potential of modern dance in China while watching works of young choreographers and dancers like Wang.

Years later, Tsao has invited Wang, who is now working as both graphic designer and choreographer, to create a modern dance production, The White- Night, which will be staged from April 12 to 14.

"It's been eight years since Beijing Dance/LDTX founded, and it's a platform to mix artists with different personalities and art visions to come together," says Tsao. "Wang is such an artist, with a clear art language and courage to experiment."

The latest modern dance, a performance around 70 minutes, features nine young dancers of Beijing Dance/LDTX, who range from 20 to 28 years old.

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