Vancouver DanceWorks Kicks Off 39th Season With MADE IN CHINA, 10/21-10/22

DanceWorks, Toronto's longest running contemporary dance series, proudly kicks off the first show of its 39th Season with the return of Vancouver's Wen Wei Dance. The company brings the Toronto premiere of their latest acclaimed interdisciplinary work, Made in China, to Harbourfront Centre Theatre as part of the NextSteps series. The performance runs for two nights only: Friday October 21 and Saturday October 22, at8pm. Tickets are now on sale.

Made In China plumbs Artistic Director Wen Wei Wang's interest in giving a distinctive voice to his Chinese-Canadian cultural identity. Made in China is co-created and performed by Wang and three other artists: Gao Yanjinzi, Artistic Director of Beijing Modern Dance Company; Qiu Xia He, award-winning classical Chinese musician of Vancouver's Silk Road Music; and video and sound artist Sammy Chien. Through the collaborators' respective artistic expressions, this beautifully evocative piece explores the commonalities of their Chinese heritage.

The quartet marries tradition with contemporary practice to reflect the evolution of classical forms in a modern world. This collaboration between three senior artists, alongside emerging media artist Chien, is an intimate work that mines deeply personal narratives of its creators. Wang, Gao and He grew up in Mao's China; Chien immigrated to Canada from Taiwan and is their younger counterpart.

Made in China emerges from the artists' life stories and shared cultural history. Like a collective biography, the artists explore memories of their childhood in China, the artistic training of the elder three during the Cultural Revolution and the daring paths all of their careers have taken abroad. Through dance, music and storytelling, these formative memories are woven together to create an intimate dialogue that opens a window to another world.

"All my work, comes from my experience growing up," explains Wang, "But this work is not narrative, and it's not only about me. It's about how 'made in China' is starting to mean something else. It is about people in China needing art, and producing it."

Made in China tours to Halifax Oct 6-8 and to Montreal Oct 14-15 prior to its Toronto premiere.

(Photo Credit: DanceWorks)

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