In Chinese tradition, the disappearance of flowers from their trees marks a new incarnation of their lifetime. Though the petals may wilt and fall to the ground, the essence of each flower goes on into the universe. The energy of flora then becomes part of a larger force in the world, existing forever like the sun’s rays or the wind. Thus in China, the changing of the seasons symbolizes a sort of release for flowers and a gathering of power in the atmosphere.

This belief was the inspiration for the Beijing Modern Dance Company’s newest production, The Blooming of Time, which will be presented this month as part of the Suzanne Dellal Center’s annual Spring Chinese Dance Festival. This will be the second visit of BMDC in four years and will further deepen the budding connection between the local dance communities with Chinese artists. In 2009, BMDC visited Israel as part of the Tel Aviv Dance Festival with their production of The Wall by Pink Floyd.

The company was founded in 1995 and is considered a pioneer of contemporary dance in the Far East. In the years since the establishment of this troupe, a variety of modern dance companies have sprung up around the Chinese provinces, bringing contemporary dance into the forefront of local culture. And while the choreographers of these troupes, such as BMDC artistic director Gao Yanjinzi, are influenced greatly by international styles, they have managed to preserve the unique Chinese aesthetic in their works.

Yanjinzi is one of the founding members of BMDC and has received international recognition for her dancing and her choreography over the years. In 2008, she was invited by Pina Bausch to create a solo work to premiere in Bausch’s festival in Wuppertal, Germany. She has taken part in artistic residencies in the US and has received awards at various competitions throughout Europe. In each of her choreographies, Yanjinzi draws on her Buddhist upbringing for inspiration, pulling together her contemporary life with the lessons of her ancestors.

The Blooming of Tim
e blends together the rich history of movement that exists in China with the kind of modern dance most often identified with European and American dance makers. The dancers are at once fiercely technical and deeply connected to the energy created on stage. This combination has earned BMDC endless applause at home and abroad over the years.

For those who are curious about the more traditional side of China, Spring Chinese Dance will host the Chengdu Nationality Troupe Company Ltd. This state-funded ensemble has mastered martial arts, traditional Chinese dance and traditional Chinese props. Their performances boast enormous paper dragons, twirling fabrics and stage combat.

For their inaugural engagement in Israel, the Chengdu Nationality Troupe Company Ltd. will present Heaven and Earth, a performance for the entire family.

Spring Chinese Dance is a joint effort of the Suzanne Dellal Center and the Chinese government. Performances will be held around the country, such as Ashdod, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Karmiel and Haifa.

The Spring Chinese Dance Festival takes place February 18-24. For more information, visit www.suzannedellal.org.il.





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