From ballet to Broadway

By Wong Yee Fong (Shanghai Daily)
Updated: 2006-12-04 10:53

Star TV's dancing host Yang Yang of the "Dancing Fever" competition will present and star in her own dance extravaganza, "The Forbidden City," about China from the Qing Dynasty to the present, writes Wong Yee Fong.

Viewers familiar with Star TV's dance competition program "Dancing Fever" may be attracted to host Yang Yang's sexy jazz moves so seamlessly executed by her long slim legs.

Those legs that carried the dance queen from oblivion to fame are now the inspiration for her first repertoire since she put on her first dancing shoes 20 years ago.

Yang will present "The Forbidden City," a dance extravaganza featuring modern jazz, tap dance, ballet, hip-hop and Broadway-inspired dances on Friday.

The show will feature the pick of more than 120 choreographies she had presented during her stint with Star TV.

"The special performance will commemorate my 20th year in dance and the 40th year for Mr Dong," she says in reference to veteran choreographer Dong Chengying, who helped choreograph her performances on Star TV and was major force behind "The Forbidden City.

Dong created the mass mafia dance in the movie "Gong Fu" ("Kung Fu Hustle").

"We have revamped the items to present something brand new for our audience," says Yang.

The Shanghai native says that the idea was mooted while she was holidaying in the United States earlier this year.

"I was contemplating whether I should continue with the TV business or create a special stage performance of my own. My heart tells me to pursue the latter," she says.

Yang says "The Forbidden City" was picked as the title of the 85-minute performance because it is a historical icon that has witnessed the whopping changes of the Middle Kingdom.

"The Forbidden City still stands today, but the occupants have changed from ancient royal inhabitants to visitors of different skin colors from all over the world," she says.

Divided into four installments with 21 dances, the show chronicles the coming of age of Chinese women from the oppressive Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) to a modern open society.