Last month I had the chance to see a rehearsal for Wen Wei Wang’s “Made in China” dance composition.
Because the piece was in rehearsal and I am unsure if any more changes have happened, I won’t dwell too much on the details. But I was really impressed by the musicianship (Qiu Xia He plays numerous instruments as part of the performance–read more about her), the costuming (thinking particularly of the red garments of Gao Yanjinzi, artistic director for the Beijing Modern Dance Company), the way the performers all worked so harmoniously together, and of course the dance itself which seemed so natural and evocative.
Each of the artists talked to us about the work and about their personal stories. Qiu Xia He learned to play music, at her mother’s behest, to escape being sent off to the countryside in the Cultural Revolution. Wen Wei Wang talked about taking his mother’s scarf and dancing as a child. The dance of Wen Wei Wang and Gao Yanjinzi flowed together so smoothly, and they discussed how easy their partnership in this work has been.
Sammy Chien, whom I have seen at other events, is an electroacoustic composer, sound designer, and multimedia expert. The rehearsal, in a back room at the Firehall, did not have the technical details set up, but it will be great to see that aspect of the show. Sammy Chien and Qiu Xia He also participated in the dance at different points; as explained during rehearsal, this collaboration arose naturally although neither is a professional dancer.
Although I am looking forward to seeing the show with all the production accoutrements, I do feel a bit bad for those who missed this chance to interact with the artists in an informal setting. But this will be a really evocative, and fascinating show–that I am sure about. Here’s a clip from the opening in Banff.