After a week of intensive academics seminars, group discussion, and of course, observations in the studios with various choreographers and dancers involved in this 2013 ArtsCross London project, I am drawn to the concept of home/elsewhere—the rich theme for this year.
Yesterday, some choreographers shared their thoughts regarding to this topic. Later our group furthered the conversation, with engaging talk about our own hometowns—referring to where we were born and brought up, as well as the “homes” in our heart/mind. (Thanks to Zeng Huanxin’s comments, and Martin Welton’s introduction of a dinner party game of a similar nature.)
Often, due to nostalgia, and perhaps other reasons, our better memories of home pops up when we are away from home for a period of time.
This also led me to think about choreographer Liu
However, Liu had previously conducted research in Japan on Gagaku—since it is similar to the music tradition from Tang Dynasty and well preserved by the Japanese. Later, during her Ph.D. studies in UK’s Laban Centre (with further research with her advisor from Cambridge University), she was able to locate further information about Tang music to reconstruct her dances. This sense of mission to reach back to one’s past, as she is originally from China’s northeastern province of Heilungjaing bordering Russia, plays an important role in her repertoire.
But on the other hand, having arrived in Taiwan after World War II, Liu’s interest in the indigenous dances from Taiwan’s aboriginal communities is another main feature of her contemporary creations. In fact, to differentiate, she has two dance companies under her name: 1)