Beijing Dance/LDTX opened the “Spring of Chinese Dance” festival with an excellent performance last night at the Suzanne Dellal Centre in Tel Aviv. China’s first independent professional dance company, the Artistic Director is Willy Tsao, a prominent figure in the Chinese dance community. LDTX (Lei Dong Tian Xia) means “thunder rumbles under heaven” and their impact is tremendous, providing a platform for contemporary dance and placing an emphasis on the creation of new choreography. The varied program included works from two pairs of choreographers: excerpts from Cold Dagger and One Table N Chairs, and the full length work All River Red by Li Hanzhong (Deputy Artistic Director) and Ma Bo; and an excerpt from October by Liu Bin and Song Tingting.
The excerpts enabled Israeli audiences to see the diversity of works within the company repertoire:
Cold Dagger is performed by the company. The dancers are like life-sized chess figures in the traditional Chinese game of weigi (Go), clad in either black or white with flowing skirted costumes, yet the dance has a very contemporary feel. It is a dance of tension and strategic confrontation, the balance of power constantly shifting, sharp and aesthetic.
October is a duet performed by Song Tingting and Xu Yiming to Tchaikovsky’s “October.” Side by side, in everyday clothes – he in a plaid sweater, she in a long gray skirt, they move through gestures that suggest an autumnal melancholy.
One Table N Chairs is the only work that is performed to traditional Chinese music: excerpts from the Chinese opera “Jing-Ju Sitting in the Palace.” The work is inspired by Chinese opera and is composed of scenes that are a response to the different opera styles, representing them through the medium of contemporary dance.
All River Red is a mesmerizing journey, weaving the political with the emotional in a work of great beauty. Set to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, the opening scene is starkly powerful. The company, clad in pale bodysuits, with red bags on their shoulders, stand, raising one arm in the air, all facing the same direction. One dancer stands apart, facing the other way, setting up the essential conflict between the individual and the group, innovation and tradition.
The red bags are transformed throughout the dance – waved in the air as flags, spread on the floor like a small mat, held up to create a red wall, binding one of the dancers, or all tied together in a long rope – a powerful symbol and strong visual presence. Relating to the cultural transformations and struggles that have taken place in China, the setting of this work on Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring (which has its own revolutionary history in dance) is particularly striking and moving.
The dancers are impressive throughout the evening, revealing strength, agility and sensitivity – it’s a wonderful company & program as well an exciting opportunity to see contemporary choreography from China.
Beijing Dance LDTX and the Chinese Shaolin Martial Arts Group will perform in Israel through February 20, 2011, as part of the “Spring of Chinese Dance” festival created by the Suzanne Dellal Centre in cooperation with the Embassy and Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China. The performances will take place in Tel Aviv, Beersheva, Jerusalem and Carmiel.
Beersheva Performing Arts Center
Beijing Dance/LDTX February 16, 2011
Suzanne Dellal Center, Tel Aviv
Beijing Dance/LDTX February 15 at 18:00 and 21:00
Chinese Shaolin Martial Arts Group February 16 at 21:00, February 18 at 22:00, February 19 at 21:00
Tickets 210 NIS, to order call: 03-5105656
The Jerusalem Centre for the Performing Arts
Chinese Shaolin Martial Arts Group, February 17 at 20:30
Tickets 150 – 210 NIS, to order call: 02-5605755
Carmiel Performing Arts Center
Chinese Shaolin Martial Arts Group, February 20 at 21:00
Tickets 140 NIS, to order call: 04-9881111