Chinese Dance – Nirvana HKAPA

Expressive and meditative is this excerpt from a dance called, Nirvana, which was choreographed by Wu Kam-Ming. It is danced by male dancers from the dance department from the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts.

Wu Kam-Ming is an alumni graduate of the program who choreographed this all male piece for a joint program called, “Of Night And Other Things” which aimed at bringing together a balance between opposites such as yin/yang, contemporary and traditional, East and West and past and present.

As a starting point for this piece, Kam-Ming used the age old story of the Firebird Phoenix to express the eternal cycle of life and death, and the continual striving of the human spirit. To express these arching themes, he combined the strength and grace of male Chinese classical dance with both ballet and contemporary vernacular to create a beautiful synthesis of grace, form and subtle yet powerful dynamic.

At the beginning we see a solo dancer dancing in a warm circle of light within a pitch black space which is transformed into a timeless meditation by the poignant gentle and continuously falling blossoms. The gentle Asian music adds to this timelessness, transporting us into an Eastern spiritual and meditative space. The solo opens onto an ensemble of dancers who are walking this spiritual quest and one by one, in short moments express their own unique journeys.

The dancing is very beautiful. The Asian aesthetic adds a different shade to contemporary movement which is so poignant and elemental from each graceful gesture, dynamic martial art like movement, the falling blossoms, to the simple, spiritual and meditative ambiance.

This is a lovely piece that yet again reveals to us another contemporary point of view.

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