Dancers' Group & ZiRu Dance Receive $50,000 from U.S. State Department for Chinese Cultural Exchange Program

Dancers' Group, in partnership with ZiRu Dance, is honored to have received a $50,000 award from the U.S. State Department and the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in support of its yearlong cultural exchange with China. The exchange will involve seven American choreographers and seven partnering organizations in Beijing, Yunnan and Daqing, all working together to build greater cross-cultural understanding and cooperation through the medium of dance.

The exchange begins this October when the first of seven American choreographers will travel to teach in China. Each will lead students in a series of workshops focusing on modern, contemporary ballet and hip hop dance techniques. The participating choreographers, all with longstanding ties to Dancers' Group and ZiRu Dance, are Karah Abiog, director of Alonzo King/LINES Ballet's Training Program; Charles O. Anderson, professor of African Diaspora Dance Studies and the MFA coordinator in Dance at The University of Texas at Austin; Aleta Hayes, lecturer in Contemporary Dance and Performance at Stanford University; Jennifer Harrison Newman, resident artistic director at Franco Dragone Entertainment Group; Scott Putman, professor of Dance at Virginia Commonwealth University and the founder of Amaranth Contemporary Dance; Kelly Wadlegger, director of Dance at the Western Academy of Beijing; andPhilein Wang, founder and artistic director of ZiRu Dance.

Three choreographers will travel to China this fall, one each in October, November and December. The remaining four choreographers are scheduled to travel in the spring. The exchange will conclude with a VIP reception at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and a three-city tour of public performances. From June 2 - 23, 2014, ZiRu Dance will premiere new work at performance halls in Beijing, Xishuangbanna and Daqing. The following month the company will return for several performances in the U.S., with specific dates and venues to be announced later.

The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China supports not-for-profit organizations in the U.S. and China that work to foster mutual understanding between the peoples of the two nations. Their competitive awards are made in recognition of the fact that the arts are an excellent vehicle for sharing the history, values and traditions of one culture to another.

The Chinese partners in this exchange include: Beijing Normal University, Western Academy of Beijing, LDTX/Beijing Dance, Daqing Cultural Group, Daqing Opera House, Yunnan Han-Fu Tong Culture Communication Company and No. 11 International High School Hip Hop Dance Club.

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