Founded in 2006, Beijing Dance/ LDTX continues to take Chinese dance where it needs to go. This month, it presents the first annual Beijing Dance Festival, a two-week event that encompasses masterclasses, workshops and independent and professional international companies. ‘We’ve got the whole package,’ says Willy Tsao, founder of LDTX and Hong Kong’s City Contemporary Dance Company (CCDC), as well as artistic director of Guangzhou Modern Dance Company (GMDC).
Week one sees 13 international dancers teaching masterclasses; week two features over 60 Chinese performers showcasing their work in the Youth Dance Marathon. The most ‘cutting-edge’ dancers join their counterparts from abroad for the ‘Springboard’ programme.
Evenings are for the established international companies, beginning with Janis Claxton. CCDC presents rising star choreographer Dominic Wang’s Blind Chance (Tue 24), while GMDC’s Three Episodes: Between Body and Soul (Thur 26) has international heavyweight choreographers Xing Liang, Liu Qi and Ma Shouze.
Acclaimed co-artistic directors KT Nelson and Brenda Way of San Francisco’s Oberlin Dance Collective bring Waving and More (Fri 27). Singapore’s THE Dance Company presents Kuik Swee Boon’s As It Fades (Wed 25), set to Hainanese folk songs. And both Spain’s Cienfuegos Danza and Israel’s Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company explore spatial relations in Yoshua Cienfuegos’s 1618…Davinci (Mon 23) and Rami Be’er’s If At All (Sat 28).
Best of all for Chinese dance, the top performers will go on to Guangzhou’s global showcase this fall, so festival directors can scoop them up. ‘This will build up platforms and push them to the international stage,’ says Tsao. And LDTX’s mission continues.