May 9, 2019 21:00
also scheduled on
May 10, 2019 21:00
Body, ideology, contemporary
In his work The Great Wave off Kanagawa, Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai focuses on the encounter between people and the great wave. When a great energy meets an obstruction, a wave is formed; the bigger the obstruction, the scarier the wave.
This performance originates from there, from an old lady’s reminiscence, zooming in on the disruption unleashed on people by the “great waves” of life.
In her long life, Wu Hui‘s grandmother has ridden many waves. The civil war, the resistance to the Japanese invader, the communist revolution, the cultural revolution, the abandonment of the husband. She has raised children, and finally a granddaughter.
Onstage, fragments of this storm overlap with the smaller waves that Wu Hui has faced in her life: the hard training as a dancer, the difficulty of remaining an independent choreographer in a context that doesn’t contemplate independence.
Two lives and two generations dialogue with and mirror each other, following the motion of the waves.
From 20:00 at PARC spaces it is possible to visit an installation with videos on contemporary Chinese choreography and performing arts (free admission).
Usually, when one hears of Chinese performing arts, the mind goes to the same set of images: the iconic movements of Peking opera, the physical bravura of acrobats and contortionists, the colossal group choreographies. Postcards from an exotic China, far away in time and space, difficult to reconcile with our (European) idea of “contemporary”. Suggestive snapshots that tickle the imagination while inferring a substantial, irreconcilable difference between “them” and “us”.
Beyond this two-dimensional portrait that the media constantly reproduce, there are not one, but several Chinas. Chinese contemporary dance well reflects this multiplicity: a mutable reality where tradition and experimentation coexist, and interact in complex ways. “Body, Ideology, Contemporary” aims to explore such complexity and offer a broad overview of Chinese performing arts to the Italian and European audience.
Five emerging choreographers present their work through performances and workshops. At the centre of their research, the body and the ideological forces that influence, shape and define it. From Lian Guodong/Lei Yan’s body as a place of resistance, to Wu Hui’s and Yu Yanan’s body as a receptacle of memory; from Er Gao’s provocative queer body, to Tian Tian‘s archaeological reconstruction of the body. In addition to the performance section, the program offers many opportunities for an in-depth understanding, including lectures by academic personalities, meetings with the artists, and public events joined by Italian dance artists too. Visuality will also play a central role, with video materials presenting seminal personalities and works from Chinese contemporary dance artists.
Fabrizio Massini – Curator