Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Dialogue - 对话

On June 1st (a Monday) we attended a performance at a very peculiar art space: Penghao Theatre (蓬蒿剧场, pénghāo jùchǎng), a small coffee-theatre in a narrow alley not far from the Forbidden City, whose motto is "Theatre is Free". It calls itself Bejing's first courtyard-house small theatre, and is definitely an interesting art space where you get to enjoy performances on a more intimate level, thanks to the scale of the theatre. It's also quite peculiar as it seems to be rather open to independent artists presenting their projects and finding ways to fund the rent of the space.

And it was at that space that we witnessed "Dialogue - 对话" (duìhuà), a project by Fearghus Ó Conchuir (I wrote a post on another performance of his, Cósan Dearg, in Beijing in 2007) , Irish choreographer and dancer, and Xiao Ke (小珂, xiǎo kē), a Chinese choreographer, dancer and conceptual artist who's performed in many important Chinese cities as well as abroad. They've been working together, building an "artistic dialogue" for about two years, with their performance at Penghao Theatre being the result of such ongoing dialogue, a dialogue that takes place between two points of view, two cultures, two sets of life experiences and expresses both complementary and opposing feelings of understanding, harmony, opposition, distancing, empathy...

As usual, I'd rather not comment on what I thought about the performance, lest my words be unfair reflections of what I felt. Dance is an art form I enjoy thoroughly, and what really matters to me is that I can loose myself in the performance and enter another mood, another part of myself, while watching it. This was no exception, and all I should say is that I'm grateful there's artists in the world willing to go great distances (and quite literally, in this case) to bring reflection, creativity and beauty to the rest of us.

All in all I took seven different clips, which I've put together in the following video. The previous clip was my favourite but, since we're all individuals with our own very peculiar personalities, do watch the full video, as you may well discover your favourite clip to be a different one: