Blooming of Time.
(photo credit: KE ZHOU)
Nature is in constant motion. A forest visited on different days will appear, even if in small ways, changed.
A flower’s petals will stand at slightly different angles in the morning and the evening. Choreographer Gao Yanjinzi sees her dancers as flowers, an integral part of nature that are continually changing. In her work as the artistic director of the Beijing Modern Dance Company, Yanjinzi enjoys observing the subtle shifts that occur in her dancers each and every day.
“Everyone’s body is progressing every day, constantly changing and recreating. The dancers are constantly enriching the artistic imagination, just like the flowers are blooming. This is a happy enjoyment,” said Yanjinzi in a recent interview with The Jerusalem Post.
Yanjinzi was born and raised in China. Her parents, both dancers, practiced Buddhism, a fact that deeply influenced Yanjinzi’s approach to life. She considers the womb her first dance studio. “It can be said that I started from the mother’s belly. I always think that the moment my mother is pregnant is the moment I start dancing.”
Yanjinzi completed her dance studies at the Beijing Dance Academy. She began choreographing works at the age of 16 and went on to become a founding member of the Beijing Modern Dance Company. Beyond China, Yanjinzi has taught and presented works in dozens of countries.
In 2008, she was invited by Pina Bausch to present a solo in Wuppertal, Germany. The following year, she created an original work for the Wen Wei Dance Company in Canada.
Next month, Yanjinzi and her troupe will visit Israel for the Suzanne Dellal Center’s annual Spring Chinese Dance Festival.
The event, which will ring in the Year of the Pig, will host two major Chinese dance companies: The Beijing Modern Dance Company and the Gansu Provincial Troupe of Song and Dance. For this engagement, Yanjinzi has chosen to present Blooming of Time, a piece that deals specifically with the natural unfolding of time.
“Blooming of Time is actually the law of finding time from the changes of nature, the emotions between humans and nature, finding each other’s laws and rhythms, thus achieving the state of harmony between humans and nature. This ancient concept of wisdom needs to be shared with the world. Therefore, from the perspective of modern dance, I have come back to feel and imagine the emotions and expressions of the awakening of everything in the 24-hour solar term,” she explained.
In this work, Yanjinzi depicts various states in the natural and human existence. She pairs personal moments with weather situations or life cycles.
She plays with the direction of time, stretching her imagery to include the past, present and future. “The piece begins with an emotional imagination of the recovery of all things. There is a dance of a pair of old people who are in harmony with each other, in love, in the coldest season,” she said.
When it comes to time in the studio, Yanjinzi admits that she prefers not to rush. She explained that the creation process of Blooming of Time took around two years from concept to premiere.
This slow pace in creation allowed Yanjinzi and her dancers to delve deeply into the ideas that arose in the studio, to find the most accurate expression of their thoughts and to finely tune the finished product.
Yanjinzi looks forward to seeing the Israeli audience’s reactions to this work. “Israel is a very spiritual and culturally rich place,” she said. “I like the way of life here. It is extremely diverse and rich, warm and independent.
In such a situation, it is always felt that it will push art to a state of high and extreme. This is also a state in which Israel is unique in artistic creation, and there are many excellent artists.”
The Beijing Modern Dance Company will perform ‘Blooming of Time’ at the Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv on February 12 and 13. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit suzannedellal.org.il or call 03-510-5656.
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