Keeping modern dance on its toes

Updated: 2011-05-06 07:50

By Mu Qian (China Daily)

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Keeping modern dance on its toes
The Beijing Dance Forward Festival presents about 40 original works by more than 20 troupes from around the country. Provided to China Daily

Modern dancers from all over China, both professional and amateur, are set to gather in Beijing to showcase their talents.

Presented by BeijingDance/LDTX and Star Theaters, a complex of studio theaters in Beijing and home to small-production theater works, The Beijing Dance Forward Festival 2011 will be held from May 15 to 22.

BeijingDance/LDTX has been presenting Beijing Modern Dance Festival every May since 2008, while focusing on international and national troupes alternately. This year it's the turn for national dancers, and this biennial event has renamed itself Beijing Dance Forward Festival.

"Although many dancers and troupes at this festival are not mature artistically, future classics may be born from their works, and that is why we call it 'Beijing Dance Forward Festival'," says Willy Tsao, artistic director of BeijingDance/LDTX. 

This year the festival will present about 40 original works by over 20 troupes from cities of seven provinces, including Guangzhou, Chengdu, Changchun, and Taipei.

Not only BeijingDance/LDTX and Beijing Dance Academy's Center for Modern Dance will present their latest works, but student dancers from many colleges and universities will also perform at the festival.

The festival has a low-price policy to encourage participation. A standard ticket to a performance costs 100 yuan, while students will enjoy a discount of 50 percent.

Keeping modern dance on its toes

During the festival there will also be lectures, workshops, and master classes. Meanwhile, the organizer played some videos in the capital's Sanlitun Village Square last week to promote modern dance.

Apart from taking part in a gala performance, one of the participating troupes, the Focus Dance Company from Taiwan, will also hold a special performance at Star Theaters.

Founded in 2004, Focus Dance Company is made up of graduating students from the dance department of Taipei National University of the Arts. The members have received training in both Eastern and Western dance techniques, including classical ballet, contemporary dance, contact improvisation, tai chi, Chinese opera, martial arts and indigenous dance.

The troupe won the Hsin-Chu International Golden Dance Award in 2010 in the categories of Best Dance, Best Choreography and the Best Dance Techniques.

For its performance the company will present a work titled Rebel, which includes Fear of Solitude by Taiwan choreographer Lo Man-fei, and Untitled by mainland choreographer Xing Liang.

More information on the Beijing Dance Forward Festival and Star Theaters' Spring Dance Season is available at


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Keeping modern dance on its toes