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Dance troupe deals with pollution issues

TACKLING the annoying haze of pollution that has enveloped many Chinese cities has been a heated topic among most of society for years. Yet to Chinese choreographer Wang Yuanyuan, it has become a fascination. 

She wants to discover the real source of the haze rather than just discuss its negativity. Does it come from the outside world or is it deep inside us?

“Haze,” a contemporary dance, created by Wang in 2009, will be presented by Beijing Dance Theater at SAIC Shanghai Culture Square on September 2.

Sensing the haze and people’s reaction to it triggered Wang’s interests in creating something related to it years ago.

“Haze is a broad and complex phenomenon in the air. It is an inexpressible psychological status. It fills the heart and nibbles up emotions and instinct. It kills joy and gradually cracks a peaceful mind. Life is consumed meaninglessly,” says Wang.

All of the performers are expected to dance on a pool of 42 sponges, each of which is about 30 centimeters thick. When they are standing on the sponges, they puts the dancers on the edge of their senses.

“The sponge will change the gravity center of the dancers. They need to regain their balance by adapting themselves to the sponges both physically and psychologically. It is similar to the way we adapt to the environment we live in. We seem to be helpless yet have power within ourselves,” says Wang.

The dancers will collide, roll over, fall and stand up again for another circle. The edge of the sponge pool is left solid, and the dancers shift between the sponge and the solid edge, which represents peoples’ choices between freedom in adventure and limit on the safe land, according to Wang.

“The dancers were concerned whether it was safe to dance on the sponges, but they quickly enjoyed presenting themselves on them after a few trials,” he says.

Established in 2008, the Beijing Dance Theater is the only private dramatic troupe specializing in contemporary ballet and dance. It has presented more than a dozen original works, including “Golden Lotus,” commissioned by Hong Kong Arts Festival in 2011, “Wide Grass,” staged in John F. Kennedy Arts Center in 2014, and “Poison,” commissioned by St Poelten Arts Festival in 2016.

“Haze” has been one of the most widely toured works of the dance theater, as the message can be easily received without any culture shock, says Wang. 

Although the performance was rarely presented in China as domestic audiences usually prefer storytelling works, this is about to change, says Wang.


Date: September 2, 7:30pm

Venue: SAIC Shanghai Culture Square, 597 Fuxing Rd M.

Tickets: 80-380 yuan

Tel: 6472-6000, 6272-9000

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