Atlanta Chinese Dance Company Presents Original Production TOGETHER: YINGGE AND HIP HOP CULTURE UNITE

The production showcases 14 dance numbers performed by 88 primarily Chinese American and Black dancers from metro Atlanta.

By: Sep. 15, 2021

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Atlanta Chinese Dance Company will share a message of unity in diversity through an original production Together: Yingge and Hip Hop Unite on Saturday, October 2 at 7:30pm and Sunday, October 3 at 2:00pm at the Gas South Theater in Duluth, GA. Culminating in a collaborative work between creative directors Kerry Lee (Chinese dance) and AJ Paug (hip hop) that imagines ancient Chinese and modern-day American social justice heroes coming together to defeat universal threats to humankind, the production showcases 14 dance numbers performed by 88 primarily Chinese American and Black dancers from metro Atlanta including ACDC's full company, guest hip hop dancers, and students of Wesley International Academy.

"Together: Yingge and Hip Hop Unite is a call to action to join hands with those who are different from us to create a better world together," says ACDC Co-Artistic Director Kerry Lee. "I hope that the journey of Chinese dancers and hip hoppers finding common ground to overcome a greater force serves as a reminder that we are not each other's worst enemies, but rather each other's best allies to defeat universal threats to humankind."

The Chinese dance portion of Together: Yingge and Hip Hop Unite is rooted in Yingge (or "Hero's Song" in Mandarin Chinese), a folk dance from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) in honor of ancient Chinese heroes in the well-known classical Chinese novel Shui Hu Zhuan (or Water Margin). Popular in Kerry's and ACDC Founder and Co-Artistic Director Hwee-Eng Lee's ancestral home Teochew on China's eastern seaboard, it has rarely been performed in the United States. "I tried to imagine what would happen if ancient Chinese social justice heroes met their modern-day American counterparts on the streets of America," Kerry muses. "Would their shared goal of justice bring them together, or would their differences tear them apart? Could they combine their strengths to take down the biggest threat to humankind?"

ACDC has a thirty-year history of sharing Chinese history and culture through the art of Chinese dance. Each of the company's twenty full-evening productions have featured a variety of folk and classical Chinese dances representing China's long history and diverse cultures. In addition to Yingge, this year's production also showcases elegant classical dances rooted in Chinese opera and martial arts as well as colorful folk dances from the Han, Dai, Tibetan, Yao, and Yi ethnic groups.

Together: Yingge and Hip Hop Unite is supported in part by awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and Alternate ROOTS Partners in Action Program (funded by Windward Fund ­- The Hive Fund for Climate and Gender Justice).

Tickets are $25 for Adults and $18 for Students and Seniors (65+). Masks are required. For more information, visit


ABOUT THE ATLANTA CHINESE DANCE COMPANY: Founded in 1991 by Hwee-Eng Lee, ACDC educates and entertains audiences about Chinese history and culture through the art of Chinese dance. The company has presented twenty original full-evening productions and countless community performances throughout metro Atlanta and surrounding areas. Most notably, ACDC dancers helped showcase Atlanta to the world as performers in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Centennial Olympic Games. For more than a decade, they performed a culturally authentic “Chinese variation” in John McFall’s The Nutcracker for Atlanta Ballet.

ABOUT KERRY LEE: Kerry Lee is the Co-Artistic Director of the Atlanta Chinese Dance Company and Co-Creative Director for Together: Yingge and Hip Hop Unite. A native of Atlanta, she graduated from Stanford University with an engineering degree and worked for a top-ranked economic consulting firm before following her heart into the professional dance world in New York City. As a traditional Chinese and modern/contemporary dancer, Kerry toured nationally and internationally with the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, H.T. Chen & Dancers, Dance China NY, and gloATL before returning home to co-lead the Atlanta Chinese Dance Company with her mother Hwee-Eng Lee. Inspired by her experience in social justice work ­– serving as Volunteer Co-Coordinator for the first ever meeting in the Southeast of the White House Initiative for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and working at the intersection of the arts and activism on staff at Alternate ROOTS, to name a couple – she has created mini dance dramas that showcase Chinese dance, history, and culture while shedding light on societal issues in America. Among other honors, Kerry was the only Chinese dancer among the finalists who received a ticket on So You Think You Can Dance Season 11 and is a 2021 Dance/USA Institute for Leadership for Training Institute Mentee.

ABOUT AJ PAUG: AJ Paug is a Co-Creative Director for Together: Yingge and Hip Hop Unite. A Filipino born Georgia native, he began his dance journey with Woodland High School Performing Arts and Great Gig Dance Co. before continuing his formal dance and choreography training at Kennesaw State University. AJ has been choreographing and teaching for 18 years nationally and is in high demand for his creativity and unique use of fusing both genres of contemporary and hip-hop dance. His choreography credits include citywide events and festivals for the city of Suwanee, ADMIX Project, Kollective dance crew, Netflix Original Series “The Haunting of Hill House,” and Disney’s Marvel Original Series “Wanda Vision.” In video production AJ has worked with multiple production companies in Georgia as director, producer, editor, writer, and camera op. In 2020 he started the production company PandaKo Media to provide quality content for the Atlanta dance community as well as various non-profits. Recently AJ worked on Kanye West’s “Donda” Listening Party as an Associate Field Director at the Mercedes Benz Stadium. He also works as an adjunct professor at Kennesaw State University for hip hop and modern.


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