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Steps in the right direction

By Cheng Yuezhu | China Daily | Updated: 2019-09-09 08:24
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Report on 37.8 C, choreographed by Wen Hui in 2005.[Photo provided to China Daily]

"Rainer's work started in the 1960s in New York, while Wen's work began in the 1990s, a gap of 30 years. The juxtaposition of their work allows us to compare and contrast their cultural contexts. Also, Wen lived and danced in New York for a long time in the '90s. I feel there are certain connections between them."

Both Wen and Rainer use dance as a medium and collaborate with practitioners in visual arts to present their work on stage and in the form of films.

Upon returning to Beijing in 1994, Wen co-established the Living Dance Studio with documentary film director Wu Wenguang. For the studio's very first project, they invited their friends from all walks of life, including a photographer, a teacher and even a tennis coach, for the dance theater production 100 Verbs.

The participants, the vast majority of whom had no professional training at all, performed the actions of everyday life in a dance classroom. As they had no funding, they used household lamps as stage lighting, in front of an audience comprising friends and acquaintances, who simply sat around on the classroom floor.

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