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Out of Asia 2: New Dance Perspectives

As its first Out of Asia season was so successful in 2011, world-leader in dance Sadler’s Wells presents Out of Asia 2, another exciting and rare opportunity to experience outstanding dance from Asia’s vibrant performing arts world, which is bringing new energy to stages across the globe. From October – December 2016, the season showcases works by established and emerging companies, including UK Premieres from China and Taiwan, as well as four independent choreographers from Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia and India. SEEN is looking forward to a diverse, challenging and eclectic season of dance.

As its first Out of Asia season was so successful in 2011, world-leader in dance Sadler’s Wells presents Out of Asia 2, another exciting and rare opportunity to experience outstanding dance from Asia’s vibrant performing arts world, which is bringing new energy to stages across the globe. From October – December 2016, the season showcases works by established and emerging companies, including UK Premieres from China and Taiwan, as well as four independent choreographers from Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia and India. SEEN is looking forward to a diverse, challenging and eclectic season of dance.

Opening the season is the TAO Dance Theatre on Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th October with two works, 6 and 8. The company is known for creating work of a mesmeric, trance-like quality. In 6, six dancers move in unison, in a shifting landscape of light. The company’s newest piece, 8, makes its UK Premiere this autumn. The work sees eight dancers perform lying down, restricting their bodies to the floor and limiting their movements to the range of their spines. Though very different in tone to work that London audiences may have seen before, this promises to be a very involving production.

TAO - 6 - credit Marco Feklistoff
TAO – 6 – credit Marco Feklistoff

TAO - 8 - © Zhang Shengbin

At The Peacock, The China National Peking Opera Company returns to London. The Company has staged more than 500 masterful historical dramas since its formation five decades ago. The General and the Prime Minister and The Legend of The White Snake can be seen at The Peacock from Thursday 13th – Saturday 15th October.

In the Lilian Baylis Studio, artist and performance maker Choy Ka Fai creates SoftMachine, a multimedia project investigating the contemporary status of dance across Asia. SEEN is hoping for work that addresses the effect of globalisation upon dance practice.

XiaoKe x ZiHan photo by Choy Ka Fai
XiaoKe x ZiHan photo by Choy Ka Fai
XiaoKe x ZiHan photo by Choy Ka Fai
XiaoKe x ZiHan photo by Choy Ka Fai

The first of two double bills on Thursday 13th and Friday 14th October brings together live performance and documentary footage, showcasing new dance and choreography from India and China. Surjit Nongmeikapam is a contemporary dancer from Manipur, India, who presents the complex issues involved when creating dance for European audiences. XiaoKe and ZiHan from Shanghai, China, make collaborative works exploring the body in its extreme states, reflecting on the social and political context of China. The piece investigates the boundaries of artistic freedom and the experience of constant cultural surveillance. It’s interesting to think that incisive comment upon such topical issues can find its home in dance.

Surjit photo by Law Kian Yan
Surjit photo by Law Kian Yan

The second of Choy Ka Fai’s double bill on Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd October showcases work from Japan and Indonesia, and includes work from Yuya Tsukahara, a founding member of Japanese contemporary dance unit contact Gonzo. As well as the name of the company, contact Gonzo is also a unique dance form creating encounters that teeter on the edge of violence and tenderness. Rianto is a dancer from Indonesia who specialises in the traditional cross-gender erotic dance of ‘lengger’, exploring the tension between traditional and contemporary choreographic practices during the global shift from rural to urban lifestyles.

 Japan - Yuya, Esplanade Theatre Studio, Singapore
Japan – Yuya, Esplanade Theatre Studio, Singapore
Rianto Photo by Law Kian Yan
Rianto Photo by Law Kian Yan

The UK Premiere of Under Siege from one of the most highly acclaimed dancers in China, Yang Liping takes place at Sadler’s Wells from Wednesday 2nd – Saturday 5th November. The piece is Yang’s vision of Farewell My Concubine – the classical tale of the climactic battle between the Chu and Han armies, which changed the course of Chinese history, and a love that transcends death. Yang’s first modern work as a choreographer is more abstract than traditional narrative Chinese dance theatre, drawing inspiration from Chinese opera, contemporary dance, martial arts and hip hop. This should be a familiar story to Western audiences and will feature set and costume design by Academy Award-winning designer Tim Yip (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), and lighting by 2013 Knight of Illumination winner Fabiana Piccioli.

Taiwan’s Cloud Gate 2 performs a triple bill in the main house from Monday 21st – Wednesday 23rd November. The sister company of internationally celebrated Cloud Gate Dance Theater of Taiwan, the company will be performing in the UK for the first time. Wicked Fish sees the dancers mimic a shoal of fish, as puzzle-like choreography competes with a complex score. The Wall examines ideas of protection and segregation, highlighting the physical and mental barriers built around us. The third piece, Beckoning, focuses on how people can shift identities instantaneously, creating a body language with movements subtly distilled from Taiwanese street dancing rituals.

Cloud Gate 2 Photo by LEE Chia-yeh
Cloud Gate 2 Photo by LEE Chia-yeh
Cloud Gate 2 Photo by Gia To
Cloud Gate 2 Photo by Gia To

The National Ballet of China concludes the Out of Asia 2 season from Tuesday 29th November – Saturday 3rd December. The 16th century epic The Peony Pavilion is one of the most enduring love stories in Chinese literature. Here, it is redrawn by director Li Liuyi and choreographer Fei Bo into a pioneering two-act fusion ballet, combining Western style choreography with traditional Chinese influences. The work features an eclectic postmodern score that references Holst, Prokofiev and Debussy. SEEN is hopeful of fresh perspectives on dance and that rare thing in London, art they’ve never witnessed before.

National Ballet of China The Peony Pavillion6 Dancer Ma Xiaodong © National Ballet of China
National Ballet of China The Peony Pavillion6 Dancer Ma Xiaodong © National Ballet of China

Sadler’s Wells
Rosebery Ave, London EC1R 4TN
October – December 2016
Tickets: £12 – £45
Ticket Office: 020 7863 8000
www.sadlerswells.com

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