Beijing Dance Theater Haze 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy PR)
The Beijing Dance Theater and its artistic director and choreographer Wang
Yuanyuan have an impressive record in China. Besides work for stage, she has
choreographed for film director Zhang Yimou and others and contributed to major
national events from the handover of Hong Kong to the opening of the 2008
With Haze, Wang doesn’t use ethnic adornments and relies purely
on abstract contemporary movement, western music, stage materials and lighting
effects. In this full evening work she got the chance to convey her artistic
approach on best terms.
Placing her dancers on a stage covered with soft
mattresses ultimately changed the way the dancers stand, move, run, jump or fall
(and indeed they execute a lot of spectacular falls).
This pliant support
forces the dancers to use muscles in a new way just to rise and find their
footing again. Think waterbed, or soft dune. So on one hand, the dancers fight
for their center and equilibrium and on the other, they discover completely new,
delightful physical experiences, such as belly jumps or backwards falls, which
they can carry out without cracking their bones. Think trampoline.
ever proficient, offered diversified compositions, using rather simple unison
moves and geometric structures, spiced with some loose actions. All emotional
content, ambiance and atmosphere comes not through the straight choreographic
effort or dancers’ expressions or interactions – which are rare – but from
brilliant choice of supporting artists from other disciplines, who set the
shifting moods; Polish contemporary composer Henryk Gorecki and Biosphere, the
Norwegian experimental ambient artist.
The contributions of excellent set
and light designers Tan Shaoyuan and Han Hang was immeasurable.
the dance lost much spirit due to being sunk in technical constraints, it did
have highly aesthetic scenes that did justice to the fine young dancers.