Winner will be announced on Monday Feb 16, 2015.
WEN WEI DANCE Premieres Made In China with Western Canada Tour
VANCOUVER, BC – East meets West and tradition meets modernity in Wen Wei Dance’s stunning new work, Made In China, which makes its Vancouver Premiere at the Firehall Arts Centre on Feb 18 – 21, 8pm as part of the company’s Western Canada tour next month.
This Chinese-Canadian exploration of cultural identity is co-created and performed by Wen Wei Dance Artistic Director and Canadian dance powerhouse Wen Wei Wang; Beijing Modern Dance Company Artistic Director Gao Yanjinzi; award-winning classical Chinese musician of Vancouver’s Silk Road Music Qiu Xia He; and video and sound artist Sammy Chien. Made In China plunges into their respective artistic expressions to explore the commonalities of their Chinese heritage.
The quartet marries tradition with contemporary practice, reflecting the evolution of classical forms in a modern world. This collaboration between three senior artists, alongside emerging media artist Chien, is an intimate work that mines the deeply personal narratives of its creators. Like a collective biography, the creators explore memories of their childhood in China, their artistic training during the Cultural Revolution, and the daring paths their careers have taken abroad. Shared through dance, music, and storytelling, these memories are woven together to create an intimate dialogue between performers and audience that opens a window to another world.
The piece is dramaturged by Firehall Arts Centre Artistic Producer Donna Spencer.
“Wen Wei brought the idea of this work to me over two years ago. I have had a long relationship with his company – supporting his initial choreographies through Dancing on the Edge and through the Firehall Dance Series. My interest in this work was compelled by the quality of the artists he was working with, his own vision of the work and their connection to each other through their heritage,” says Spencer.
Made In China is made possible by Dance Victoria’s Chrystal Dance Prize and The Hamber Foundation. Wen Wei Dance currently completing a residency at The Firehall Arts Centre to rehearse the work and will be conducting open rehearsals on Jan 23 + 24 in the Firehall Studio as part of the residency.
The Banff Centre (Banff, AB) – January 31, 2015
Dance Victoria (Victoria, BC) – February 5 – 7, 2015 (WORLD PREMIERE)
ArtSpring (Salt Spring Island, BC) – February 13, 2015
Firehall Arts Centre (Vancouver, BC) – February 18 – 21, 2015 (VANCOUVER PREMIERE)
Choreography: Gao Yanjinzi, Wen Wei Wang | Music: Sammy Chien, Qiu Xia He | Lighting design: Jonathan Kim | Video design: Sammy Chien | Dramaturgy: Donna Spencer
Tickets $22 – 32. Available from FirehallArtsCentre.ca or 604-689-0926
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Wen Wei Wang began dancing at an early age in China. In 1991, he moved to Canada and joined the Judith Marcuse Dance Company and subsequently Ballet British Columbia. He has choreographed for the Alberta Ballet, Ballet BC, Dancers Dancing, the North West Dance Projects, and the Vancouver and San Francisco Operas. Since 2003, he has served as Artistic Director of Wen Wei Dance and has choreographed six full-length works including 7th Sense (2013), Cock-Pit (2009, winner of the Rio Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award), Unbound (2006, winner Isadora Awards Choreography + Performance). The company recently toured China, and performed at the prestigious Venice Biennale in Italy. Wen Wei is an Associate Dance Artist of Canada’s National Arts Centre.
Gao Yanjinzi is the artistic director of Beijing Modern Dance Company. She performs and presents her work throughout Asia, Europe, Australia and North America, and has received commissions to create works for such festivals as the Berlin Art Festival, Italy’s Biennale de Venezia, and a personal invitation from by Pina Bausch to create and perform a solo work As I heard for Bausch’s dance festival in Germany (2008).
Sammy Chien is a Taipei born, Vancouver-based interdisciplinary media artist who seeks to merge cinema, sound art, new media, and dance. He has studied film at Simon Fraser University (BFA Honors) and has collaborated on multi-disciplinary projects around the world, including exhibitions at Centre Pompidou (Paris), Museum of Contemporary Arts Taipei, and the National Centre for the Performing Arts (Beijing). Sammy recently embarked collaboration with Wen Wei Dance and the Beijing Modern Dance Company that lead him to work with artists such as Wong Kar Wai’s Cinematographer Christopher Doyle and Zhang Yimou’s production designer Gao Guangjian.
Qiu Xia He – Originally from the Shaanxi province, China, musician Qui Xia moved to Canada in 1989. She specialises in playing the Chinese Pipa, a four-stringed instrument with a 2,000 year history and is linked to the Middle-Eastern Oud. She is a pioneer of the multicultural music scene in Vancouver and her own group Silk Road Music has earned a Juno nomination, two Canadian Folk Music nominations and garnered two West Coast Music Awards.
Sammie Gough, Firehall Arts Centre