Atlanta Chinese Dance Company Presents Original Production
Atlanta Chinese Dance Company (ACDC) shares a rarely told story about Chinese Americans growing up in the South through an original production Ribbon Dance of Empowerment: Chinese Dance through the Eyes of an American on October 19-20 at the Infinite Energy Theater. Intertwining Chinese dance, history, and culture with personal storytelling by and about some of the nearly 100 dancers, the production celebrates the role the art form has played in their search for identity, belonging, and self-acceptance as Chinese Americans in the South.
Based on the personal journey of ACDC Co-Artistic Director Kerry Lee, Ribbon Dance of Empowerment culminates in an original mini dance drama that tells a story of a shy little American born Chinese girl who does not know where she belongs in the black/white binary of the American South. As she performs the Chinese ribbon dance throughout her life, firing up crowds in American schools, libraries, museums, performing arts centers, military bases, and even corporate HQs, she realizes that her Chinese heritage is not a source of shame but pride. The ribbon dance takes on her inner demons in hundreds of onstage battles, empowering her to be confident in her own skin.
Kerry explains, "Legend has it that the ribbon dance was created in honor of a man who saved a Han dynasty emperor's life by blocking the assassin's sword with his oversized silk sleeve. The ribbon dance has shielded me from the invisible daggers of Asian inferiority. I hope it can shield others too - children in the audience, our community at large, and especially my young Atlanta Chinese Dance Company dancers growing up alongside the ribbon dance as I have. When they're wielding a ribbon, I hope they feel as if they have the power to command a majestic dragon - and that they're not shy but proud to introduce it to their friends. I hope we all feel empowered to be confident in our own skin."
In addition to the mini dance drama, Ribbon Dance of Empowerment also features stories by nine other ACDC dancers and their parents - some of whom were adopted from China by white families and others of whom are biracial. The production also showcases dances from various points in Chinese history and nine of fifty-six Chinese ethnic groups, including guest performances by international dance artists Yaqi Wu and AJ Paug.
Ribbon Dance of Empowerment is supported in part by awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Georgia Council for the Arts. Additionally, the mini dance drama is supported by an Alternate ROOTS Artistic Assistance award (made possible by funds from The Nathan Cummings Foundation, The Ford Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation).
Tickets are only $24 for Adults and $17 for Students and Seniors (65+). Purchase early for best seating. Visit www.atlantachinesedance.org or call the Infinite Energy Theater Box Office at (770) 626-2464.