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LRCCS Noon Lecture Series | Dancing Productive Missteps: the American Dance Festival at China’s Reform Era

Fangfei Miao, Assistant Professor of Dance, University of Michigan
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
12:00-1:00 PM
Off Campus Location
This talk explores the paradoxical role that the US played in China’s dance modernization during the Reform Era through a paradigmatic case: for four years (1987-1991), teachers from the American Dance Festival, at the invitation of the Guangdong Dance School, taught dance techniques and composition and trained the first group of professional modern dancers in China, most of whom continued on to establish the country’s first modern dance company in 1992. Contesting the presumption that a smoothly-communicated physical and spiritual liberation defined the program, Professor Miao argues that recurrent reciprocal misunderstandings deeply marked the exchange, because of the American teachers’ and Chinese students’ profoundly different conceptions of kinesthesia, pedagogical approach, and freedom. These missteps generated new methods of dance modernization and significantly shifted the history of Chinese modern dance.

Fangfei Miao, dance scholar, choreographer, and dancer, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Dance at the University of Michigan. She received her PhD from UCLA and MFA from the Beijing Dance Academy. Dr. Miao is working on her book manuscript that investigates the productivity of embodied cross-cultural missteps in transforming dance history in China’s Reform Era. Her publications, in both English and Chinese, have featured in Dance Research Journal, Asian Theater Journal, Journal of Contemporary Research in Dance, and Journal of the Beijing Dance Academy. With extensive professional training in both western and Chinese dances, she has toured internationally and staged her choreography in New York City, Los Angeles, Auckland, and Beijing, among others.

If there is anything we can do to make this event accessible to you, please contact us. Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.

Zoom webinar; attendance requires registration:
Building: Off Campus Location
Location: Virtual
Event Type: Livestream / Virtual
Tags: Asia, China, Dance
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, International Institute, Asian Languages and Cultures