Jiang Dong’s London Reflections 07: Seeing results
The huge round of applause which erupted from the audience seats where we were sitting made us feel very moved about the outcomes from the ArtsCross project. The 2013 London ArtsCross performance, which had just come to an end at London’s The Place theatre, had achieved immense success, thanks to the joint efforts of the choreographers and dancers. Although the seats in this venue were relatively few, the sound of the audience, packed into the space, was like thunder. During the
This kind of achievement does not come easily! I was particularly touched when I witnessed the nine 10-minute dance works, each displaying their own distinct characteristics, with the different choreographers using their own special tricks to impress the audience. The nine choreographers from Beijing, Taipei and London pursued their dance dreams with integrity. Their persistence and their innovative approaches were manifested on the ArtsCross stage in a brilliant evening of performance.
Firing the first shot was Tung
This was closely followed by Walk, from the mainland choreographer Zeng Huanxing. Seeking to express a sense of deep reflection on the concept of “leaving home”, Zeng made use of three sections of imagery to represent our
The work, No Lander, from the Italian choreographer Riccardo Buscarini, representing London, made use of five male dancers. The dance contained various symbolic images, realistically communicating the feeling of disorientation of those in helpless situations. It asked an urgent question: when one casts off and leaves one’s home port, where is one’s final destination? This forthright expression, which tied in closely with the theme of this year’s ArtsCross ensured that the unforgettable movements and lively dance arrangements created by Buscarini possessed an infectiousness that was at the same time extremely genuine and highly touching.
Mask, by mainland choreographer Guo Lei took an alternative approach. In a stroke of originality, he made use of Nuo opera masks from Nanfeng in Jiangxi Province, incorporating Nuo opera arrangements into his performance. This had a powerful effect, and attracted the attention of almost all the international academics and audience members. In incorporating such distinctive masks and such exaggerated movements into a dance work, and through engaging in a profound analysis of the relationship between man and mask, the values expressed by the “
Free Steps, from the Taiwanese choreographer Su
While the origin of the piece’s name was unclear, My Dear No. 8, from Taiwanese choreographer Ho
German choreographer, Vera Tussing, representing London, created a piece called Moving Relations: Research. During her piece, she used a research perspective to arrange the dancers and manage the relationships between them, particularly emphasizing the communion between the dancers and the audience. In managing the relationships between dancers, she used a lot of experimental approaches, creating an intriguing connection between the six dancers. By avoiding special clothing and not using music to accompany the dance, she emphasized the experimental nature of the work.
The final work was mainland choreographer Zhao Liang’s Infinite connections. He used a rubber band to tightly link the six dancers together. Linked by this rubber band, the six dancers, who obviously came from different social backgrounds and possessed different sets of experiences, were able to create a variety of entangled forms and many indescribable connections. Just at the point when the dance was coming to an end, that rubber band, which had been connecting them together, broke. An indescribable sense of shock washed over the audience, surprising everybody.
It is no exaggeration to say that the nine pieces which the choreographers created for ArtsCross were works which came from the heart. On the cosmopolitan London stage, they played off one another and each demonstrated their brilliance, at the same time lighting up the 2013 London ArtsCross project. These works constituted the most outstanding pieces from this year’s ArtsCross project.