Australian Embassy, China
澳大利亚驻华大使馆
Embassy address: 21 Dongzhimenwai Street, Chaoyang District, Beijing - Telephone: 5140 4111 - Fax: 5140 4204

Year of Australian Culture in China Featured Performance

BeijingDance/LDTX “2010 International Platform”

First Ritual

China’s BeijingDance/LDTX and Australia’s Expressions Dance Company will present the world premier of their collaborative performance First Ritual at Beijing’s PLA Theater on November 5 and 6, 2010 at 19:30. Presented by BeijingDance/LDTX, the collaboration is a featured performance in the Year of Australian Culture in China. This creative collaboration is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia-China Council of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian International Cultural Commission, an initiative of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Expressions Dance Company has received financial assistance from the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. After the world premier in Beijing, First Ritual will be presented in September 2011 in Australia’s Brisbane Festival.

First Ritual is a modern dance triptych exploring the notion of rituals. The concerns and collisions of modern artists from different nations imbue ancient rituals from the earliest human cultures with new meaning and implications. This intersection of cultures initiates inspiration; the spirit of ritual becomes the recognition of self and society, of tradition and modernity, reality and illusion, individual and global, body and spirit…

Section I:

Performed by BeijingDance/LDTX dancers. Choreographed by Beijing/Dance LDTX deputy artistic director Li Hanzhong and dancer Ma Bo, this section is inspired by China’s earliest ritual music and dance ceremony, “Cloud Gate.” In this ceremony, the complex contradictions between man and ritual are brought into focus. Are body and soul one, or are form and spirit separate? A reflective perspective, the stage is separated into two colliding worlds, of outer form and introspection. The music Orchestral Theatre II: Re by legendary composer Tan Dun provides the atmospheric background for Li and Ma’s re-invention of an ancient rite.

Section II:

Performed by Australia’s Expressions Dance Company (EDC). Choreographed by EDC Artistic Director Natalie Weir with music by famous Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe. Weir draws inspiration from the connection Australians have with their land while also incorporating images by renowned Australian photographers Max Dupain and Olive Cotton of such modern commonplace “rituals” as courtship, weddings, funerals, and simple friendship. Powerful staging, sophisticated lighting, all to probe the essence of universal human natures across time. Section II was completed in Australia and staged on September 22 and 23 in the Brisbane Festival.

Section III:

Choreographed by EDC Artistic Director Natalie Weir and LDTX Artistic Director Willy Tsao and performed by both companies together to Philip Glass’ Violin Concerto. In this section, the choreographers reflect on their own unique traditional cultural heritages and together search for the universal essences that transcend time and space to discover and perhaps invent new shared rituals for a modern era.

PLA Theater, Xicheng District, No. 60 Deshengmen Xidajie

North Second Ring Road, Jishuitan Bridge SE corner

Date: 2010 November 5 & 6

Time: 19:30

Price: ¥100 /60(student ticket)

LDTX Members and groups of 10 or more enjoy a 20% discount

Group Booking:6405 4842

Booking Hotline:4006103721

Theater Box Office:6613 1718

Online Booking:www.piao.com.cn  www.damai.cn

For more information, please visit: www.beijingldtx.com

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Thanks to Hotspot and Ping Pong Productions for their support and assistance.

Expressions Dance Company has received financial assistance from the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. Expressions Dance Company and BeijingDance/LDTX creative collaboration is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia-China Council of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Australian International Cultural Commission, an initiative of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Expressions Dance Company
2010 is the beginning of an exciting new era for Expressions Dance Company (EDC). Under the Artistic Direction of Natalie Weir the company is destined for reinvigoration and reinvention. The Company’s extraordinary ensemble of six dancers present new works that will become trademark for the Company including a signature work

Natalie Weir is as an established and acclaimed choreographer, known internationally for her highly physical partner work, her organic movement style and her touching insight into human nature. On her journey with EDC, Natalie will continue to create work that balances artistic risk with accessibility and speaks of humanity.

In addition to main stage performances, Expressions Dance Company maintains its place at the forefront of international contemporary dance through a hectic a program that includes regional tours, international collaborations and performances; an extensive education program including workshops and intensives; dance classes; and development opportunities for emerging performers and choreographers.

Founded in 1984, under the Artistic Direction of Maggi Sietsma AM, Expressions Dance Company was recognised for its high calibre and compelling brand of dance theatre. In recognition of their achievements, Expressions Dance Company has received numerous awards and has also received invitations to perform in over 15 countries in the past few years including The Taipei International Festival, The Ludwigsburg (Stuttgart) International Festival, The Beijing Modern Dance Festival, Tokyo’s Next Wave Festival, Linz (Austria) Dance Festival, The Guangdong Modern Dance Festival and the Busan International Dance Festival (Korea).

BeijingDance / LDTX
The birth of BeijingDance / LDTX (Lei Dong Tian Xia , literally translated as Thunder Rumbles Under Heaven) in September of 2005 not only caught widespread international attention, but also captured the imagination of many artists in China. BeijingDance / LDTX was born out of a controversial and exciting time of rapid cultural change in China, becoming China’s first non-governmental and independent professional dance company.

Founded by veteran choreographers and a new generation of dancers in China, BeijingDance / LDTX is a platform for contemporary creations. Under the artistic direction of Willy Tsao, China’s foremost figure in modern dance, and deputy artistic director Li Hanzhong, the company boasts an ensemble of 14 technically exquisite dancers and a diverse repertoire. Based in China’s capital, BeijingDance / LDTX serves as both a leader and a catalyst for the modern and contemporary dance and dance appreciation movement. By nurturing young talent and working with Chinese choreographers, BeijingDance / LDTX pioneers China’s most cutting edge choreography.

Since it’s creation in 2005, BeijingDance / LDTX has traveled extensively throughout Mainland China, Hong Kong, Europe and North America. The company has participated in many cooperate and commercial engagements in China and is available for hire. In addition, BeijingDance / LDTX hosts the annual Beijing Dance Festival, which brings the world’s most innovative work to the nation’s capital. Through performance seasons, educational programs, technique classes, and outreach activities, BeijingDance / LDTX attracts aspiring dancers and artists to contemporary dance and serves as an important voice in the evolution of modern Chinese thought and society.

Choreographers
NATALIE WEIR – Artistic Director of Expressions Dance Company

Natalie Weir was born in Australia and has been choreographing professionally for more than 20 years. years. In that time she has created over 150 works. She was trained at the Ann Roberts School of Dance in Townsville and completed an Associate Diploma in Performing Arts at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane.

Natalie has worked extensively throughout Australia, creating many works for most of the country’s major classical and contemporary dance companies including the Australian Ballet, West Australian Ballet, Queensland Ballet, Expressions Dance Company, Australian Dance Theatre, Dance North and Tasdance.

Natalie was appointed Choreographer in Residence for the Queensland Ballet in 1994 and the Australian Ballet in 2000.

Internationally Natalie has created many works for various companies, including the American Ballet Theatre, ABT Studio Company, Houston Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre and Tanzcompagnie Giessen in Germany. She has also choreographed for many tertiary institutions, including Royal Ballet School, the Australian Ballet School, New Zealand School of Dance, QUT, VCA and CPA.

Natalie was appointed Artistic Director of Expressions in 2009. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to lead this precious company through its transitional phase and into a new era.

Major works include Where the heart is, Dark Lullaby, Mirror Mirror, Wuthering Heights, Petrushka Steppenwolfe, Within You without You, and Turandot.

WILLY TSAO – Artistic Director of BeijingDance / LDTX and City Contemporary Dance Company, and General Manager of Guangdong Modern Dance Company

Willy Tsao has been instrumental to the development of the modern dance in China. Tsao was born and educated in Hong Kong and received his modern dance training in the U.S. from 1973 to 1977. In 1979 he graduated from the University of Hong Kong with an MBA degree, and established the Hong Kong City Contemporary Dance Company. He was invited to teach modern dance at the Beijing Dance Academy in 1986. From 1987 to 1991, he was the teacher and advisor for the Guangdong Dance School modern Dance Program. He has conducted intensive modern dance workshops in many cities in China since 1987, including Shanghai, Wuhan, Kunming, Fuzhou, Taiyuan and Daqing and other cities. He helped establish the Guangdong Modern Dance Company, the first professional modern dance company in China, and was its Artistic Director from 1992 to 1998. He was invited to be the artistic director of the Beijing Modern Dance Company in 1999. In September 2005, he left the Beijing Modern Dance Company and set up the Beijing LDTX Modern Dance Company. In addition to directing three dance companies, Tsao founded two annual international dance festivals in Beijing and Guangdong.

Tsao’s choreographic works vary in style and have been presented in the U.S., Canada, Korea, Japan, Israel, Germany, France as well as Beijing, Shanghai and Taipei in China. In July 1999, he was awarded the “Bronze Bauhinia Star” by the Hong Kong SAR government for his significant contribution to the development of local arts. Other honors and awards include the “Dancer of the Year” award from the Hong Kong Artists Guild (1988), the “Ten Outstanding Young Persons” (1990) “The Badge of Honor” from H.R.H. Queen Elizabeth II (1993) and the “Louis Cartier Award of Excellence-Outstanding Choreographer” (1998).

His major choreographic works include: Bird Songs, Kunlun, China Wind, China Fire, Wandering in the Realm of Lightness, One Table Two Chairs, Sexing Three Millenniums, In Search of the Grand View Garden, Warrior Lanling, Moment of Color and more.

LI HAN-ZHONG-Deputy Artistic Director / Choreographer of BeijingDance/LDTX

Li Hanzhong was born in the western province of Yunnan. He is hailed as part of China’s first generation of Modern dancers. Li Hanzhong graduated with a bachelor degree at the Beijing Dance Academy (Chinese Ethnic Dance) in 1991. Upon graduation, he joined the Guangdong Modern Dance Company as a dancer, artistic assistant and choreographer. He toured with the company to the United States, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Korea, Singapore, and the Philippines. In 1996, he received the Asian Cultural Council Scholarship to study at the American Dance Festival. Along with his prolific choreographic creations in Mainland China, Li has been invited to stage works for the Center for the Performance Arts, Adelaide (1998 and 2000), Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, Taiwan (1999), and the American Dance Festival’s International Choreographers Showcase (1999). Li joined the Beijing Modern Dance Company as the Deputy Artistic Director in March 1999. In September 2005, Li left the Beijing Modern Dance Company and along with, Willy Tsao, founded BeijingDance / LDTX.

His major choreographic works have toured internationally with Guangdong Modern Dance Company, Beijing Modern Dance Company and most recently, BeijingDance / LDTX. Some of his most acclaimed works include, “All River Red” (2000), “Undetermined Domain” (1997), “Rear Light” (2002), and “The Cold Dagger” (2006).

MA BO – Rehearsal Instructor / Dancer of BeijingDance/LDTX

MA BO is a founding member of LDTX. Born in Mizhi, Shanxi Province, Ma Bo studied at the Shanxi Provincial Song and Dance Theater. In 1991, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the Beijing Dance Academy, division of Chinese Ethnic Dance. After her graduation she taught at the Beijing Dance Academy and in 1993 joined the Guangdong Modern Dance Company. In 1999, she moved back north and began dancing with Beijing Modern Dance Company and later became a founding member of LDTX. Ma Bo choreographs extensively for LDTX. Her works includes, “Variation of Red, “Helpless”, Gone with it in Multi-Color”, “Garden of Memory”, and “The Cold Dagger” and others.