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
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,"
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,"
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