A Celebration of Chinese Dance - New efforts to develop traditional arts

 

The National Arts Council (NAC) is presenting A Celebration of Chinese Dance, a series of dance performances and workshops, in partnership with the Chinese Cultural Festival from 28 August to 15 September 2010. The objective of this initiative is to encourage the creation of new works and to provide performing opportunities for young students and aspiring dancers.

 

Ten dance organisations and community groups as well as nine schools have come together to stage a series of dance programmes. This platform will involve participation at all levels ranging from dance troupes and companies, clans and associations to community centre-based groups and student dancers.

 

The Council is stepping up efforts to promote the growth of Chinese dance in Singapore. Ms Elaine Ng, Director of Arts Development in NAC, said “To further develop Chinese dance, the Council will focus on three areas, namely increasing the level of Chinese dance activities, encourage creation of new content and nurture more young talent in Chinese dance. We are therefore pleased to work with the Chinese Cultural Festival which provides a ready platform to access traditional arts and to showcase new works and talent in Chinese dance.”

 

Theatre Arts Troupe, one of Singapore’s longstanding Chinese dance groups, will present Dances of the Orient 2010. The performance will showcase the vivacious folkdances from Tibet and Yunnan as well as a new work - Cold Night, choreographed by Ding Hong and Zhou Lei. Drawing inspiration from Ba Jin’s notable work of the same title, the dance depicts the dilemma and struggle of the lead character, Wang Wen Xuan, who is torn between his traditional mother and modern wife.

 

For the first time, the Chinese Dance Artistes' Association will bring together eight Chinese dance organisations and community groups to stage a full-length dance drama Romance of the White Snake in its bi-annual showcase, Dancing in Unity 2010. This is their first major effort in mounting a production of such a scale.

 

Presented by NAC in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Cadence - A Chinese Dance Showcase of Young Talents is dedicated to showcasing aspiring young dancers.  Talented performers from eight local schools will present their award-winning works from the Singapore Youth Festival. Four young Singaporean dancers who are currently pursuing professional training in Chinese dance in China and Hong Kong, will also return to perform and choreograph. One of them is Serene Tan Xian Lin, a NAC overseas scholarship recipient who chose to pursue a degree in Chinese Dance at the Beijing Dance Academy.

 

Dance enthusiasts who were keen to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Chinese folk dance had the opportunity to learn from Chinese folk dance expert, Professor Hu Yuqin, from the People’s Liberation Army Academy of Art in China. She conducted a series of Chinese Folk Dance Masterclasses and held a Chinese Folk Dance Seminar on the folk dances of Han, Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Dai in end August.

 

The Council has in recent years, devoted more resources and efforts to further develop Chinese dance in Singapore. Besides facilitating dialogues and exchanges among the practitioners, a study trip to China was organised in 2009 for local practitioners to gain greater exposure and to learn more about the successes and challenges of traditional performing art forms in China. The delegation which comprises key personnel from various Chinese dance organisations in Singapore attended the prestigious Tao Li Bei Dance Competition and visited the Beijing Dance Academy and China National Chinese Opera & Dance Drama Company.

 

Please refer to the annexes for more information.

  • Annex A: Event dates, timings, registration and ticketing details
  • Annex B: Biographies of 4 performers/choreographers of Cadence