Beijing New Dance Festival highlights original dance choreography
Updated 19:25, 08-Oct-2019
By Yu Fengsheng

At the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, in Beijing's 798 Art District, a group of young artists performs "Hunting," a show that serves as a prelude to the 2019 Beijing New Dance Festival. 

Created by Beijing Chaoyang Culture Center, Beijing 9 Contemporary Dance Theater, and Y Art Studio, the festival returned for its fifth edition on October 7th. This year's event not only offers something new for audience members but a new platform where Chinese and international dancers can exchange new ideas on contemporary dance.

2019 Beijing New Dance Festival poster. /CGTN photo

2019 Beijing New Dance Festival poster. /CGTN photo

But it was not just about contemporary dance itself. The festival organizer is trying to combine the show with other artworks at the center, the ongoing "Redoubt" exhibition by American artist Matthew Barney. 

Zhan Li, executive director of the festival, said: "Contemporary dance combines all different kind of art forms, like paintings, installation arts, and all kinds of art forms into this contemporary dance. It matches Matthew's idea. Inside of the 'Redoubt,' he uses a lot of movement language, and he uses a lot of contemporary dance. So that is why we saw a chance to combine these two artworks together."  

Dancers from Beijing 9 Contemporary Dance Theater perform "Hunting" at the opening ceremony. /CGTN photo

Dancers from Beijing 9 Contemporary Dance Theater perform "Hunting" at the opening ceremony. /CGTN photo

The combination is one of the many ways the festival continues to push the boundaries of dance. Something it has done since its inception in 2015.  

Another way the festival is changing things up this year is its focus on innovation. This year, its not only dance being performed, but there are also workshops and meets being organized, allowing emerging concepts and ideas on what contemporary dance is and can be to be spread. 

"Contemporary dance itself is a new thing for Chinese audience. Among these contemporary arts and dance, we also want to bring something even more new, like new concepts, new ideas, new artists, and new creative pieces. We want to bring all these not only by physical movement, but we also want to break the frame of dance itself." Zhan Li added. 

Master classes and workshops are on offer for dance lovers to improve their skills and get more from the art. While troupes, including the China Sichuan Modern Dance Company, and international groups like the Albanian Dance Theater Company and Company Roy Assaf Dance from Israel will give nine free performances across Beijing during the event.  

The festival will run until October 14.  

(Cover image: Dancers from Beijing 9 Contemporary Dance Theater perform "Hunting" at the opening ceremony by CGTN)