Diva in motion

Updated: 2016-10-05 10:32

By Chen Nan(China Daily)

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Diva in motion

Sheu Fang-yi (left) is now devoted to discovering more possibilities about herself by working with other dancers from diverse styles. WANG XIAOJING/FOR CHINA DAILY

Family background, ample talent or training since early childhood are often cited as reasons behind the success of many artists.

But the story of Sheu Fang-yi from Taiwan is a bit different. The former principal dancer of the Martha Graham Dance Company, a well-known dance platform founded by American modern dancer and choreographer Martha Graham in 1926, began her journey as a way to escape school studies.

"Because I wasn't good at studying, nobody had any expectations from me, including my family," Sheu, 45, tells China Daily in Beijing. "But when I interpreted a person's life onstage, I felt free and confident."

When she started to learn dancing, it seemed like the "only thing" she could do, she says.

Sheu is ready to premiere her latest production, My Heart, a contemporary dance piece, at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing over Nov 2-3.

The production is part of Sheu's ongoing project, Fang-Yi Sheu & Artists, which she launched in 2011 as a forum to expand her passion for the performing arts. With this project, she has worked with some of the world's finest dancers and choreographers, including Lin Hwai-min, Akram Khan and Tan Yuanyuan.

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