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Taiwan dance troupe to present impromptu moves in Beijing

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-11 07:57

Taiwan dance troupe to present impromptu moves in Beijing

Taiwan's Ku&Dancers troupe is touring the mainland with its performances of modern dance. [Photo provided to China Daily]

In 1988, dancer-choreographer Ku Ming-shen, then a teacher at the Chinese Culture University in Taiwan, visited the University of Illinois in the United States. There, one evening, she and a group of students broke into a dance that continued well into the night. Ku describes the experience as magical and says she just could not stop dancing.

"There was a strong energy among the dancers that influenced me," recalls Ku. "My moves happened in reaction to other dancers."

Later, Ku found out that the dance was called contact improvisation, a form of modern dance, which is usually performed by two or more people, exploring the physics of shared weight through contact, such as pushing, lifting and rolling off one another.

In 1972, US dancer-choreographer Steve Paxton first introduced the concept through a series of performances in New York.

Since her first exposure to contact improvisation, Ku has been fascinated about it and has been promoting it in Taiwan, where she lives.

Ku will bring her company, Ku&Dancers, to Beijing with such performances later this week, hoping to introduce the dance form to audiences in the capital. She staged a week of shows in Shanghai in early July.

Titled The Day We Are There, the Beijing performance will see five dancers onstage, who will interact with the audience with impromptu moves. Besides the dancers, other elements of the show, including the music and lighting, will also evolve with the situation.

"Each day, the performance will be different. The dancers will turn their daily experience at the show into dance vocabulary," says Ku.

"The audience will be part of it," she says, adding that audience members can join the dancers to decide where the moves are headed.

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