Right & Left is performed by two female dancers, who employ the feeling of the human body to express divergent reactions to human experience. It utilizes a table and two stools to frame the dancing within the context of daily life, while simultaneously creating an abstract landscape with their shadows that sketch visible lines in the empty space. The shadows made by human hands over the stream of light cast by the projector further cut the space into disjointed pieces.
The work reveals the delicate nature of human relationships, by closely examining and developing the relationship between the two performers. By only using two dancers, the choreographer is able to focus the audience’s perception like a microscope. She is especially interested in how our relationships are shaped by the environments we inhabit. Central questions to this work are: What does it mean to care for another person? How can we understand the different ways people choose to behave with each other? And how can we give and find balance, even in the face of inequity?
The dancers’ movements are a reflection of their experiences and beliefs. Different opinions lead them to find divergent movements, while often times they move seamlessly together, or find themselves opposed - right and left. They meet through different dimensions, finding asymmetrical movements that bring them into an off-kilter symmetry. Ultimately, the work shows that there is no right or wrong. Rather, our divergent moral frameworks stem from the different ways in which we conceive of our reality and the attitudes with which we face our circumstances.
*Meet the Artist and an Introduction to Gu Jiani's "Right & Left"
Professor Emily Wilcox (U-M, Asian Languages and Cultures) will discuss Chinese contemporary dance and Gu Jiani's work at 6 pm, Thursday, September 24.
Image: Courtesy of Fan Xi
China Producer / Management: Ping Pong Productions
Presented by the U-M Confucius Institute and LRCCS.
Dancers: Gu Jiani and Li Nan