Chinese-American choreographer and performer, Yin Mei, presents
a new work-in-progress, Cursive: I Dance To Keep Things Whole.
Conceived in collaboration with Chinese artist, Wei Li Gang, the
new work is a return to a Chinese essence through a study of
line as produced in the ancient art of Chinese calligraphy. At
once deeply personal and highly abstract, Cursive is presented
in its current incarnation as a full-length solo performance
choreographic style using Chinese energy direction and spatial
principles as a doorway into experimental modern dance, Yin
Meis work has been lauded by the New York Times and Village
Voice respectively as haunting and dreamlike real yet
unreal, vivid yet somehow misted in beauty. Calligrapher cum
painter, Wei Li Gang is one of China's most distinguished young
artists of contemporary calligraphy, whose work has been shown
all over China and at such international venues as the British
Museum in 2002.
Cursive is a
rediscovery of the most basic principles of presence in time and
space, summoning the immediacy of Chinese calligraphys cursive
or crazy grass style in its transcendence of the limitations
of form and perception. Cursive is an exploration of ink, paper
and body- the basic elements that go into Chinese calligraphy.
Using a proto-cultural choreographic approach, the dance
addresses these elements, not in their formal aspects as tools
of language, but in their raw, physical nature. The flowing
line of ink on paper is dance. The dance in turn embodies the
power of cursive writing and the spirituality inherent to
I am trying to
uncover the essence of Chineseness, comments Yin Mei about her
Cursive is a
return to what is most simple; it is a rediscovery of the
stillness that contains all action, and vice versa. The dance
channels the cursive calligraphy: it is about spirit, inner
spirit and outer shape, shape and color and texture that comes
to manifest what is inward.
The solo work is
a meditation on the artists love for Chinas ancient culture.
It marshals the full range of the cursive style, from delicate
to apocalyptic, driven by a score including selections by Arvo
Pärt and Henryk Gorecki.
I dont want to
give any answers and say this is the essence of China, because
it is something that cannot be articulated in words or gesture.
What I want is to create a space into which people can enter and
find it for themselves.