Notice of Online Archive

  • This page is no longer being updated and remains online for informational and historical purposes only. The information is accurate as of the last page update.

    For questions about page contents, contact the Communications Division.

Guangdong Dance Company, China’s premier modern dance company, will perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, at Lafayette’s Williams Center for the Arts. The performance is part of the troupe’s Pennsylvania debut tour, which will follow a featured presentation at New York’s Joyce Theater Feb. 27 to March 4.

Tickets cost $15 and may be purchased by calling the box office at 610-330-5009.

The dancers are Liang Xing, Liang Zhao, Tao Wang, Xinghua Fan, Ying Hou, Qi Liu, Yunna Long, Honjun Li, Xiaojuan Shi, and Ting Zhou. The artistic director is Chengming Gao, assisted by Liang Xing. Lighting design is by Jianzhen Liu as well as Brenda Dolan, who serves as technical director.

“The Guangdong Modern Dance Company…is a troupe with a difference,” writes the New York Times. “The dynamic range, balanced between an amazing athletic thrust and a contained elegance, will not be seen elsewhere.”

Creative residencies at the American Dance Festival and showcase tours to major European festivals have shaped a powerful modernist aesthetic in the Guangdong Dance Company’s repertory: the vocabularies of Graham, Limon, and Cunningham commingle with the ancient arts of China — ritualistic, proudly articulate, and grand in expressive power. Western music, modern attitudes, and a hip contemporary look inform the dancers’ self-confidence in their performance world. In its decorum, virtuosity, and stylish brilliance, Guangdong proclaims allegiance to a vibrant, cosmopolitan world of performance aesthetic. At the same time, the revered movement traditions of Chinese dance — courtly, regal, and breathtaking in physical beauty — remain the endearing trademark of the troupe.

The Guangdong Modern Dance Company is China’s first professional modern dance company. It was founded in June, 1992 by Madam Meiqi Yang, under the auspices of the Guangdong Provincial Cultural Bureau. In less than ten years, the company has become a new force on the world of modern dance. Its unique vision gathers some of the most talented dancers and choreographers in China, paving the way for development of dance in a country with a distinctly different social order and cultural background from the West. In 1997, the company toured nine states in the United States with the support of the American Dance Festival and the Asian Cultural Council.

In addition to performances this year at the Joyce Theater, Lafayette College, and Peery’s Egyptian Theater in Utah, the company will be returning in the fall with engagements at NJPAC, McCarter Theater, Bucknell University, the University of Washington in Seattle, and a tour of Canada.

Guangdong Modern Dance Company tours Europe and Asia frequently and has appeared at the India International Dance Festival, Macao Arts Festival, the Singapore International Arts Festival, the Montpellier Dance Festival, Beijing International Dance Festival, Korea’s Chang-Mu International Dance Festival, the Swiss International Dance Festival, and the Hong Kong Festival of Asian Arts, among others.

Besides international touring, the Guangdong Modern Dance Company also works to broaden the understanding of dance in China. The company regularly tours colleges and universities in the countryside and remote villages, and also pioneered the First Experimental Arts Festival in Guangzhou, which played an important role in the development of Chinese contemporary arts.

The performance is funded in part by the National Dance Project and the New England Foundation for the Arts, with lead funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Philip Morris Companies, Inc.

The Guangdong Modern Dance Company’s tour of Pennsylvania is supported by a special initiative grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

Categorized in: News and Features