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Silk road soliloquy

By CHEN NAN | China Daily | Updated: 2018-07-16 08:08
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Scenes of dancer-choreographer Wang Yabin's new work An Individual Soliloquy. The dance drama will premiere at Tianqiao Performing Arts Center in Beijing on Sept 14 to 16. [Photo/China Daily]

"It's been like a spiritual journey working with Wang on An Individual Soliloquy. Before that, I knew little about Kumarajiva," says Hirahara in Beijing, adding that it was the first time that he worked with Chinese dancers and he tried to design moves for each one based on their own personalities.

Hirahara spent about 20 days in the capital to rehearse with the dancers. For months prior to his Beijing visit, he had discussed the piece with Wang via email.

"The theme of the dance allows me to imagine stories and people from thousands of years ago, which is new to me," he adds.

Born in 1981 in Japan's Hokkaido, Hirahara started his career as a professional classical ballet and hiphop dancer, before becoming a contemporary dancer-choreographer.

He danced with Noism dance company from 2004 to 2007 and established OrganWorks, his own dance company, in 2011.

Japanese composer Yuta Kumachi, who has worked with Hirahara before, wrote music for An Individual Soliloquy, which is described as "taking audience through a visualized journey" by Wang.

"With his music, I could see desert, sunshine, war and a bustling modern city," adds Wang.

To get inspired, Wang, along with the seven dancers of her studio, traveled to places where Kumarajiva stayed and visited, including the 1,600-year-old Kumarajiva temple in Wuwei, Gansu province, as well as the Hexi Corridor, a part of the Silk Road in Gansu province, and ancient grotto complexes in Mogao and Yulin.

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