Jessica Lynn Wiebe on “Made in China” by Wen Wei Dance

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Wen Wei Dance brings us “Made in China” Oct 6-8pm presented by Live Art Dance.

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(Photograph by DONALD LEE)

I am a local artist in Halifax and I have experienced many diverse, challenging, and transformative contemporary performances through Live Art Dance. I feel bound at times as I witness choreography so compelling that it captivates my whole body. I am always left with provocative thought and bewilderment at how the dancer’s movement can look so free as each gesture materializes as naturally as my next breath – yet every facet is controlled and structured.

Tonight I felt honoured to sit in the audience for Wen Wei Dance, Made in China, created and performed by Sammy Chien, Qiu Xia He, Wen Wei Wang, and Gao Yanjinzi. “Made in China” is a slightly different performance every night as the artists feed one another through structured improvisations. Their personal narratives are threaded and connected together through sound, movement, media art, lighting, and specific objects. Chinese calligraphy, colour, and imagery provide insight into their cultural history.

A projector, a drum, a variety of musical instruments, a large pile of white gauzy fabric, and a myriad of media equipment rest quietly on the stage. Wen Wei Wang states, “We are made in China – not material – [but] as human beings, becoming artists.” The four artists promptly introduce themselves one by one detailing influential moments in their evolution of personal identity.

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Photograph by Donald Lee

 

I wanted so badly to pause the performance every few seconds to witness better the innumerable layers of detail —- the specific and delicate gestures —- the intimate moments between Chien’s video projection and the resonance of the musical instruments with Qiu Xia’s voice —- Wen Wei’s chopsticks juxtaposed with his hollow hunger —- and Gao’s subtle movement of the drum in relation to her body, fingertips, and toes while transforming space and time.

The stories show their work, and the performance shares their stories. The totality of the performance was mesmerizing, intimate, courageous, immensely ephemeral, and human.

Jessica Lynn Wiebe

 

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(Photograph by DONALD LEE)

“Made in China” Wen Wei Dance Presented by Live Art Dance Productions
8PM/Thurs-Sat/ 6-8 Oct 2016
Sir James Dunn Theatre Dalhousie Arts Centre
Tickets: $30 Reg $20 Student $25 Senior