Shanghai Royal Asiatic Society - Modern Dance in China Lecture
Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Carving Out Space for Modern Dance in China
Alison M. Friedman (Brown '02)
Tuesday 1st September, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
‘Factory’ Building 4 No. 29 Shajing Road HongKou (opposite 1933)
In the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, a foreign-imported, contemporary art form stole briefly but notably into the mix of martial arts and Peking opera: modern dance. 2007 MacArthur “Genius Award”-winning, New York-based choreographer Shen Wei was invited back to his native country after over a decade to choreograph an opening section of this event that was meant to celebrate China’s arrival onto the world stage. Does this reveal that China now embraces modern dance, an art form that was completely outlawed less than 30 years ago?
Ms. Friedman will discuss the current situation of modern dance in China in the context of domestic economic forces and market pressures from abroad, as well as issues of individual expression and artists’ search for a “modern Chinese” identity/voice. Her research examines the evolving Chinese performing arts context and explores influences that are encumbering the development of modern dance in China – now more economic than political. She will also offer observations for what must happen for a homegrown modern dance “genius” to develop in China.
Alison M. Friedman (Brown '02) was International Director of the Beijing Modern Dance Company from 2005 until 2008 when she was hired by Oscar-winning composer Tan Dun to be General Manager of his company Parnassus Productions, Inc. The leading expert on modern dance in China, Ms. Friedman came to Beijing in 2002 on a Fulbright Fellowship to research the development of modern dance in the Middle Kingdom. In addition to lecturing on the art form in both China and abroad, she has conducted research for the Royal Netherlands Embassy and the Asian Cultural Council, and her writing has appeared in Dance Magazine (USA). She has worked as consultant for the US Embassy in China, Columbia University, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, as well as other overseas dance and theater companies touring the Middle Kingdom. From 2003-2005 she hosted a live music program on China Radio International (CRI), China's largest government-run radio station.
ENTRANCE: RMB 30 (RAS members) and RMB 80 (non-members)
Those unable to make the donation but wishing to attend may contact us for exemption, prior to the RAS Lecture. Membership applications and membership renewals will be available at this event.
DIRECTIONS FOR UNDERGROUND
From Line No. 4
Get off at Hailun Lu station
Come out of Exit No. 2; as you leave the station exit you will be facing Tongjia Lu
Turn right and go along Tongjia lu until you reach a T Junction and you will be facing Hailun Lu,
Turn left on Hailun Lu until you reach Liaoning Lu (next to the creek)
Turn right into Liaoning Lu and walk along the creek until you reach the 2nd bridge (its black where as the previous ones are blue)
Turn left across the bridge and 1933 is in front to left hand side and FACTORY is on the right hand side.