China (mainland), NEWS, Released docs — 07/19/2012 6:27 PM

China’s Modern Dancers Emerge on Screen (Wall Street Journal)

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Choreographer Tere O’Connor flails his arms and gyrates an invisible Hula-Hoop, struggling to convey the idea of improvisation to members of the Beijing Modern Dance Co.

The dancers, already grappling with the language barrier, simply mimic his moves — not the point, as he tells them in the new documentary “Taste of Body.”

It is one of several cultural collisions between the American choreographer and the dancers he worked with in 2008, which Wang Fan captured in her directorial debut. “Taste of Body” premiered at the recent Beijing International Film Festival and moves on to the Festival du Cinema Chinois de Paris in September and the China Image Film Festival in London in October.

The film is a rare moment in the spotlight for modern dance in China. The art form is relatively new in the country and has long been upstaged by such genres as theater and music. With recent upticks in corporate sponsorship and media coverage, it has built up an audience that can sustain professional troupes such as the Guangdong Modern Dance Company and Beijing-based TAO Dance Theater.

Ms. Wang, 36 years old, grew up in Xi’an, located in central China, where she trained in traditional Chinese dance from age seven. Visiting New York in 2006, she was inspired by Mr. O’Connor’s “Baby” — described by one reviewer as “a theatrical representation of distraction” — and decided to document his process.

Source: chinarealtime (06/06/2012)


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