xi's moments
Home | Music & Theater

A display of unity where love for dance is vital

By CHENG YUEZHU | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-12-26 08:52

The second part of Gala features group dances, in which all other performers imitate the movements of the lead roles. [Photo by LI XIAOCAO/FOR CHINA DAILY]

With inclusiveness at its core, Beijing Body On&On Cultural Exchange Center has been hosting the annual Luminous Festival, in tandem with the UK-China Disability Arts Forum.

This year's Luminous Festival featured a Beijing edition of Gala, the inclusive dance production by French choreographer Jerome Bel, first premiered in 2015.

Following the production's original structure, this iteration was performed by 20 Beijing residents of different backgrounds, ages and occupations, who went onstage one by one and gave their own demonstration of ballet, waltz, Michael Jackson's moonwalk, among other dance styles.

One of the production's executive directors, Xiao Jing, had worked on one version of Gala performed in Xiamen, Fujian province, during the third Luminous Festival in 2021.However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Xiamen edition was livestreamed without a physical audience presence.

"The fact that the Xiamen version was made possible under a challenging condition was an encouragement for us, but without an audience, the performers didn't seem so excited. So for me, the Beijing edition filled this void. I'm able to actually be with the audience and see their warm response," Xiao says.

Embracing Bel's concept that dance isn't just for professionals, but an art form shared and enjoyed by everyone, the production crew extended invitations to people with a passion for dancing, amateurs and professionals alike.

"It isn't necessary for the participants to have learned dance, but they must have a genuine passion for dancing. They must truly enjoy dancing and express themselves through their own unique styles, instead of pleasing others," Xiao says.

The dancers invited by her include a high school student, a 66-year-old retired technician, and a wheelchair user, as well as a 55-year-old domestic worker, Li Wenli.

1 2 Next   >>|
Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349