Dynasties and Beyond
Dynasties and Beyond takes the audience on an artistic journey from the past to the present, from the East to the West, opening with elegant dances from the Chinese dynasties and closing with the rapid swirls of Lily Cai’s modern ribbon dance choreography.
The opening suite presents dances from thousands of years of Chinese culture, replete with colorful costumes and ornamental headdresses. The Suite is one of contrasts, from the flowing freedom of movement in dances from China’s Golden Age, the Tang Dynasty, to the constrained steps of the more recent Qing Dynasty, when foot-binding was fashionable.
The Bamboo Girls dance piece is drawn from the angular dance movements of the Dai minority of Southern China. Bamboo Girls, a dance of innocence and youthful exuberance, features dance lines both straight like the bamboo and curved like the “S” shape deemed so beautiful throughout Chinese history. From its traditional beginning, the program then moves to a graceful East/West blend in Candelas, combining the Chinese sensibility of movement-within-the-space with Mahler’s music and the beauty of candlelight. The finale number blends the ancient art of Chinese ribbon dance with Lily Cai’s stunning modern choreography.
Movement, transition, crossing from beautiful traditions to bold contemporary movement, inspired by the ancient arts of China.
In the Xing program, Lily Cai transforms elements of Chinese dance into unique and visually stunning choreography. Designed for theaters with full technical capability, Xing (pronounced Shing) is Lily Cai’s celebration of nearly 30 years of international touring, and moving to the future. Blending elements of Lily Cai’s Shanghai dance heritage with unique movement, the performance features new and signature works that present an exquisite blend of cultural elements and innovative contemporary staging.
Program may include Lily Cai's edgy fan dance, Xing, performed alone or in a suite with other modern and traditional variations on the Chinese fan dances. The program often ends with signature Lily Cai works: the quiet Candelas and the exuberant Silk Cascade. The haunting Candelas number, danced with lit candles, speaks to humility and self-sacrifice as the flames melt the candles while giving light and warmth to others. The candles, like human life, are powerful, yet fragile, requiring careful attention to maintain their luminosity
Silk Cascade is a kaleidoscope of color, dance, and light. Inspired by the paintings of Jackson Pollock, Silk Cascade presents waves of vibrant silk ribbons symbolizing health, wealth, and good luck for the future. The choreography proceeds to both embrace and challenge tradition, with contemporary rhythm, and the defiant play of light. The finale to Silk Cascade is a colorful explosion of dance movement and energy, celebrating joy, the unexpected, and the vibrancy of life.
Family Matinee - Court and Folk Dances of China
The Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company Family program is a 50-60 minute theater performance for families with young children. The narrated program presents a fast-moving collage of Chinese court and regional dances, with colorful costumes and props, designed to hold the attention of young audiences. Presenters may choose to have the Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company conduct its interactive ribbon dance activity with the audience members following the matinee.
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Dynasties and Beyond
Programs and content are subject to change.
Chinese women and the Cultural Revolution.
Lily Cai's full-length work the women of China caught up in the effects of the Cultural Revolution.