cultureXpress - ccd workstation

introduction

The Beijing based dance theatre company the Living Dance Studio (LDS) was established in 1994 by choreographer Wen Hui and documentary maker Wu Wenguang. Before starting this company together, both artists were already well-known and respected for their achievements in their respective work fields. The LDS is an independent company, which means they do not get any funding from and are not facilitated in any other way by the Chinese government.

In April 2005 the LDS opened their own studio, called Caochangdi Workstation. This gave them facilities for their own rehearsals, for small performances and workshops, a resource centre on contemporary dance as well as two guestrooms for visiting artists. Caochangdi Workstation has established itself as a public playground for creating and presenting new and challenging work in the field of contemporary dance theatre and documentary film making in Beijing and for stimulating the debate on art and contemporary Chinese culture and society in general.

CCD’s young choreographers project

Since 2006, the Young Choreographers Project (YCP)  - co-organized by cultureXpress and made possible financially by the DOEN Foundation - has supported the development of independent performance in China by offering young choreographers the space and opportunity to pursue innovative forms of self-expression.  Young artists from all over China have been able to participate in the YCP, developing new works, presenting those pieces during the CCD’s May Festival, and sharing their insights about the creative process and the role of performance in society with one another and their audiences.

The Caochangdi Workstation in Beijing is the home of the YCP.  Wen Hui and Wu Wenguang, founders of the Living Dance Studio, have skillfully curated the project together with Tian Gebing (theatre director) since its inception.  The expertise and resources that are made available to the young choreographers at CCD have been integral components of the YCP’s success.

In addition to the guidance and support provided by CCD, each year experienced artists are invited to mentor the members of the YCP: Arco Renz from Germany (2006); Ong Keng Sen from Singapore (2007); and Jayachandran Palazhy from India (2008).  In 2009, the YCP was privileged to work with two important figures in independent Chinese theater: Tian Gebing (Paper Tiger) and Zhang Xian (Zuhe Niao). 

These mentors have been actively involved in the creative process, generously offering advice and constructive criticism to the young choreographers.  The YCP’s mentors have also played a key role during the selection process that takes place at the end of the May Festival.  Although the presentation of the young choreographers’ new works at the May Festival technically marks the end of that year’s YCP program, the participants who are selected by the jury will receive additional support to further develop their respective pieces and perform the revised versions during the Crossing Festival in Beijing, the Fringe Festival in Shanghai, and the Crossing Festival in Kunming.

Living Dance Studio – Memory Meet the Artists YCP 2007 Meet the Artists YCP 2007 young documentary film makers, May 2007 young documentary film makers, May 2007 workshop Katie Duck, November 2006 workshop Katie Duck, November 2006 YCP feedback 2009 width= YCP feedback 2009