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Dancing between cultures and Genders
( 2003-12-16 11:06) (Shanghai Star)

The noted dancer Jin Xing steps out into the limelight of the world stage with her latest production entitled, "Shanghai Tango".

The production has been invited to perform in France to celebrate the Sino-French Culture Year in January 2004 and the ensuing performances will be held in France, Belgium, Germany and other European countries.

A preview of the production sponsored by the Shanghai Star was shown on December 9 at the Shanghai Grand Theatre and the reaction from the audience both home and abroad to the night was extremely warm.

The production embraces 10 pieces of work choreographed by Jin Xing. They are "Steps", "Dance02", "Red Wine", "Four Happiness", "Shanghai Tango", "Half Dream", "Island", "Black and Red", "No Way Out" and "Senses of Colours".

"Some of are newly-made, some of are my favorite creations from several years ago. However, I hope all these pieces will depict the current mentality of Shanghai people," said Jin Xing. She added that "Red Wine", "Shanghai Tango" and "No Way Out" were premiered on December 9.

Although a controversial artist, Jin Xing tends to strike the most delicate string of the viewers' hearts with her thrilling and daring movements.

Jin Xing first stepped into the dance arena as a nine-year-old boy, yet even as a teenager, Jin believed he was really a woman, only one born with a male body.

He began thinking about choosing gender for himself, and continued thinking about it, from the age of 19 until he was 28.

Jin Xing finally undertook a trans-sexualization operation in 1995 and after three-month painful rehabilitation, Jin Xing was able to return to the stage as a female modern dancer.

Jin Xing said: "Previously I didn't want people to pay more attention to my trans-sexual operation than my dancing art."

But gradually, she changed her mind, she believes at least half of the audience go to the theatre for her art, and the other half go there merely out of curiosity about her.

"Nevertheless, the other half are not coming to see the trans-sexual operation. They are coming to see my choreography. So I hope I can touch them with the art of modern dance, and turn them into dance-lovers," said Jin.

Catherine Moreau, the producer of a French visual production company, has come all the way from France to see the production of "Shanghai Tango". Her company plans to record all Jin Xing's performances during the French tour.

"It is really a spectacular experience to see Jin's performance, Jin is great and she dances as if she had two bodies and brains - both male and female," said Moreau.


1978: Jin Xing joins the Qianjin Song and Dance Troupe in Shenyang, Northeast China's Liaoning Province, at nine after winning the permission of his parents after fasting for two days.

1984: Jin graduates from the Art Academy of the People's Liberation Army with honours.

1985: A choreographer makes Jin stand on his toes for one performance, making him the first man to dance this way in China. He wins the highest prize at the first "Taoli Cup" Dance Competition.

1988: Jin gains a special scholarship and goes to study modern dance in New York.

1991: Jin wins the top choreographer prize at a US festival of dance. He is then invited to become the choreographer for an Italian TV station.

1992: Jin is granted a professorship at the Belgian Royal Dance College to teach modern dance.

1993: Jin is invited by the Chinese Culture Ministry to organize a training course for choreographers around the country.

1996: Jin becomes art director for the Beijing Modern Dance Company, and produces the modern dance performance, "Sun Flower".

1998: Jin's work "Red and Black" wins the prestigious "Wenhua Prize" of the Chinese Culture Ministry.

1999: Jin stages her solo performance, "The Last Red Butterfly", in London.

2001: Jin premieres the modern dance entitled, "The Eternal Present Tense" in Germany.

2002: Jin collaborates with British pianist Joanna MacGregor to produce "Cross Border", a multi-media dance drama.

2003: Jin produces "Shanghai Tango", whose European tour will start in January 2004.

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