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Living Dance Studio
Report on Body

Apr 25–27, 2003

Living Dance Studio, co-founded in 1994 by choreographer/director Wen Hui and acclaimed filmmaker Wu Wenguang, is China’s first independent dance/theater company, operating entirely outside of China’s state-sponsored arts and entertainment systems. Working with a group of performing and theater artists, Living Dance Studio makes a highly distinctive kind of documentary work. They combine dance, video, stories, and sets to document intimate acts of life in modern China, with a particular focus on the everyday lives of women: folding clothes, washing hair, making love, washing dishes, giving birth, making beds. The company’s new work, Report on Body, explores how Chinese women at the beginning of the 21st century find their relationship to their bodies being challenged and changed. With the rise of commercial and consumer culture in the 1990s, opportunities in China have changed dramatically. However, Chinese women still play a passive role in the shadows of a masculine society that does not provide outlets for their real voices or desires. Report on Body explores the contradictory messages women encounter today and also draw connections to past customs, such as foot- and breast-binding. Wen Hui and Wu Wenguang engage in research and interviews in Beijing and elsewhere in China to gather material for the work; and collaborate with their dancers, and set and lighting designers.