此身此行:fat bird in guangzhou


this body
Originally uploaded by mary ann odonnell.

over the may day long holiday, fat bird went to guangzhou to participate in the guangdong modern dance festival. the festival was divided into roughly three events: performances by established troupes, performances by young chinese artists, and workshops with established dancers. the performances by young chinese artists were short, roughly 5 to 10 minutes in length. fat bird performed “此身此行 (this body, these movements)”, which was developed over the course of the winter workshops. at the festival, this piece unexpectedly won a gold medal. unexpected because only one fat bird member was trained as a dancer. however, it seems that a willingness to put amateurs onstage was one of the defining features of experimentation at this year’s festival, where the technical quality of the dancers often overwhelmed the dance itself.

to the right is a copy of the poster for the performance that i designed. it is a reinterpretation of the photos that dominate official funerals. during the performance a larger version of this image (without writing) hung onstage. fat bird members yang qian, yang qie, and hou junmou walked across stage and bowed to this photo, while dancer liu hongming performed a series of intentionally discordant movements. yang jie created the music mash “此地此时 (this place, this time)” for the piece. as promised, “此身此行 (this body, these movements)” is now online.

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