Performing the unspeakable
Unspeakable, a modern dance to be staged at Beijing's Haidian Theater on Saturday, will present Tibetan modern dancer/choreographer Sang Jijia's view of the absurdity of the world as inspired by French philosopher Albert Camus's Myth of Sisyphus.
"A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man suddenly feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity", wrote Camus in Myth of Sisyphus. These words are important to Sang Jijia's conception of Unspeakable, though not to all that he wants to express in the work.
Sang Jijia, the first Tibetan modern dancer, recently joined the Beijing LDTX Modern Dance Company as a resident artist. Choreographed by him, Unspeakable is the company's second performance under the Spring Thunder Series, after Xing Liang's Nijinsky in March.
"In Unspeakable, I try to combine dance and non-dance movements to exhibit a kind of asymmetry," said Sang Jijia. "It represents some of my thinking on the current conception of dance."
Born in Northwest China's Gansu Province, Sang Jijia graduated from the Central University for Nationalities and became a dancer with the Guangdong Modern Dance Company in 1993. He joined the Hong Kong City Contemporary Dance Company in 1999.
Talking about his identity as a Tibetan, Sang Jijia said it exerted a deep influence on him, but not directly on his choreography.
"My thinking and aesthetics are fundamentally Tibetan, but I don't use Tibetan elements as symbols in my work," he said..
Sang Jijia has received many dance awards, such as best performer in the "Tao Li Bei" National Dance Competition and the Gold Award in the Male Solo Class at the 7th Paris International Dance Competition.
In 2002, he was selected to be one of the five winners of the Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative to study at the Frankfurt Ballet under William Forsythe for one year. Since then, he has performed at many international dance festivals throughout the world.
"The last time I presented my work in Beijing was in 2000," said Sang Jijia. "I look forward to the audience reaction to Unspeakable. It makes me both excited and nervous."
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