IN ADDITION to “Western-style” dance with its multiple forms there are several “exotic” dance styles that are rarely seen by central European or Slovak audiences. They include Chinese dance, with its two main forms: ethnic or folk dance and classical dance. Ethnic or folk dance refers to the different regional and ethnic styles that have been passed down through the centuries. Classical Chinese dance is different and on May 7 and 8, a renowned ensemble, Shen Yun Performing Arts, will show off this dance form in Bratislava.
Performances by the Shen Yun troupe primarily comprise classical Chinese dance that requires extensive training. It basically carries the essence of Chinese cultural expression in its movements, postures and aesthetics. In its early years, classical Chinese dance was passed down primarily through the imperial court and as part of ancient theatre, according to the ensemble’s website, www.shenyunperformingarts.org.
In modern times, its training was systematised to include elements like barre and centre work. This dance has three combined main components: form, bearing and technique. In addition to presenting classical Chinese dance, Shen Yun will offer ethnic and folklore dances from northern parts of China, as far as Mongolia, and from southern parts of Yunnan province. One of the performance’s organisers, Marek Tatarko, told the SITA newswire, “The dances which draw from more than twenty dynasties and fifty ethnic groups revive ancient legends about famous characters and heroes and also current stories from recent China.”
Shen Yun, which was founded in New York, has performed at numerous prestigious stages and now comes to the new building of the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava.
2. May 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff