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City Contemporary Dance Company (Hong Kong) - 365 Ways of Doing and Undoing Orientalism - poetic dance

by Robert Abrams
October 13, 2005
Kaye Playhouse
695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
(212) 772-4448

City Contemporary Dance Company (Hong Kong) - 365 Ways of Doing and Undoing Orientalism - poetic dance



Presented at
The Kaye Playhouse
kayeplayhouse.hunter.cuny.edu
695 Park Avenue
New York, NY

Robert Abrams
October 13, 2005

Act I - Earth - Water - Fire - Wind
Block of ice, fire in pebbles

    Ray of light through darkness, caress the floor
      Gaunt man supplicates

In balance, curved spine, cupped hands
    Wind picks up, elasticity crosses the stage
      Brighter, two men reference each other

Five high stepping cocktail party
    Fireman's carry off
      Gaunt man, contortions

Tutus, barefeet, slap clap
    Gaunt man, hands like snake
    Dragonfly waits

Act II - Spring - Summer - Autumn - Winter
Act II had four parts, each different from the other. The first part used a procession of classic Chinese props, such as a feather/antennae headdress, flags, swords, long sleeves, spears and long hair. The second section featured takes on folkloric dance, including a lion and a dragon dance. Plus lanterns, fans and paper umbrellas. The third section featured two dancers on a bed surrounded by a corps of fanatically emoting revolutionary ballet dancers with some rhythmic gymnastics thrown in for good measure (use of long red ribbons). The couple on the bed got one heck of a workout. In the fourth section, the dancers brought out objects from the first three sections and placed them on the stage. The movements were fluid and modern with nice holds. There were also some sharply accented movements I particularly liked. And even a modern take on a moonwalk. Finally, all of the dancers were on stage, twisting and then still. They paid their respects to the symbolic objects and walked off, one by one. This act showed the versatility of CCDC's choreography and dancers. It was energetic and uplifting.

Act III - Nothingness - Humankind - Heaven - Void
Forward to back
Roll to the floor, projected
Rods sway
Roll to the floor, real
Almost naked


Also see Willy Tsao's notes on the show.

For further information on CCDC, please visit www.ccdc.com.hk.


Act II Summer
Photo courtesy of CCDC



Act II Autumn Flag
Photo courtesy of CCDC



Act III
Photo courtesy of CCDC



Act II Feather/Antennae Headress
Photo courtesy of CCDC



Act II Autumn Flag
Photo courtesy of CCDC



Act II Spring Lion Dance
Photo courtesy of CCDC




Act I

Earth_Water_Fire_Wind

The materials making up the universe are named by the Buddhists as "sida", or the four elements and which the Taoists would refer to as "wuxing", the five elements.

Music: Bath

Dancers: Xing Liang and Chan Yi Jing Jay Jen Loo, The Company

Act II

Spring_Summer_Autumn_Winter

The world is evolving. Is there change in history or is there not? Is life both certain and uncertain? These are the things on which the Spring and Autumn Annals written by Confucius are based.

Autumn: a time of harvest; an accumulation of ethnic culture.

Music: Rite of Blessing (short version), Man Power, Call to Prayer

Dancers:

Flag: Chan Yi Jing

Fengkuan (Phoenix Cap): Janet Chang, Joann Chou

Knife: Bruce Wong

Sword: Lam Po, Luo Fan, Michael Lopez, Bruce Wong, Dominic Wong

Long Sleeves: Joann Chou, Noel Pong, Qiao Yang, Wu Yisan

Spear: Chan Yi Jing, Janet Chang, Lam Po, Luo Fan, , Michael Lopez, Bruce Wong, Dominic Wong, Yang Yuntao

Long Hair: Xing Liang

Spring: a panorama of thriving prosperity; an ecstasy of folkloric delight.

Music: Girl Group, There is a Field

Dancers:

Shei (Chinese Pipe): Noel Pong

Huqin (Two-stringed): Janet Chang

Pipa: Qiao Yang

Qin: Wu Yisan

Drum: Joann Chou

Zhong: Lam Po

Fan: Qiao Yang

Umbrella: Noel Pong

Flower: Janet Chang, Joann Chou, Noel Pong, Qiao Yang, Wu Yisan

Mask: Lam Po, Bruce Wong, Dominic Wong

Lion Dance: Michael Lopez, Yang Yuntao

Lantern: Janet Chang, Joann Chou, Noel Pong, Qiao Yang,

Dragon Dance: Chan Yi Jing, Lam Po, Michael Lopez, Bruce Wong, Dominic Wong, Yang Yuntao

Summer: the bright hot sun high in the sky; a surging fervency of revolutionary passion.

Music: Redness

Dancers:

Bed: Xing Liang, Wu Yisan

Ribbon: Chan Yi Jing, Janet Chang, Joann Chou, Lam Po, Luo Fan, Michael Lopez, Noel Pong, Qiao Yang, Lily Tsai, Bruce Wong, Dominic Wong, Yang Yuntao

Winter: a time with cool, crystal-clear purity; a way of modern life and living.

Music: Rite of Blessing (long version)

Dancers: The Company

Act III

Nothingness_Humankind_Heaven_Void

Are such concepts as "kongguan" (void), "wuwei" (to let things take their own course) and "tianrenheyi" (the combination of nature and man) philosophical thinking of the Orient, or more than that?

Music: Smallness

Dancer: Xing Liang

All music composed, played and recorded by Peter Suart at the Siege Perilous

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