Taiwan’s Ku & Dancers to bring contact improvisation to Beijing

By Li Wei Source:Global Times Published: 2017/7/12 18:33:39

Taiwan dancer and choreographer Ku Ming-shen and her Ku & Dancers troupe are set to bring a series of contact improvisation performances to Beijing's 77 Cultural & Creative Park from Thursday to Sunday in a show titled The Day We Are There.

Different from traditional dances, which are choreographed beforehand, contact improvisation is a type of improvised dance that seeks free expression.

First created by US dancer and choreographer Steve Paxto in 1972, contact improvisation branched out from the modern dance styles of the Judson Dance Theater in New York. 

Ku first encountered this style of dance in 1988 while studying in the US. Although she was a traditional dancer at the time, Ku fell in love with contact improvisation immediately.

"As the dance progresses, one has no idea what will happen. A natural force springs from the communication between the human body and the Earth's gravity. Stimulated by a partner, this force continues to flow. It was this flow that I was most attracted to," Ku said at press event on Tuesday in Beijing.

As she began exploring contact improvisation, Ku discovered that professional level dance skills were not a requirement.

"Because everyone has a similar body structure," anyone who wants to try their hand at this style of dance need only allow their body and mind work together. 

The performance will mark the first time that Ku brings contact improvisation to Beijing. Ku explained that the nature of the dance style means that each performance over the four-day period will be quite different from each other. 

Ku likened the way the style connects with audiences to a soccer competition.

"When you are watching a match, you hope that the ball will be taken to your team's goal, but the ball may be stopped by an opponent when halfway there. You suddenly have this desire to get the ball back," Ku explained.

"This is what audiences experience at the show. They will be excited, disappointed and worried right along with the dancers."

Posted in: DANCE

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