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Friday 5 November 2010

Shanghai Lounge, Liquid Loft (Vienna) Xin Jing Dance Theatre (Shanghai) on tour in Switzerland, Highly Recommended (also for those not normally into dance)

Take the modern day confidence of beautiful Shanghai women, add the cool sophistication of the suave Viennese Art Scene. Then top the whole thing off with Xin Jing, an ex colonel in the Chinese Red Army, turned internationally renowned male dancer, who had a sex-change to become an internationally renowned female dancer, choreographer and performer.
Sit down in a lounge bar atmosphere, relax, sip your cocktail, listen to great jazz-tunes, soon you'll be ready to be wowed by your host, a sassy “mistress of ceremonies”, who approaches her audience with a cosmopolitan directness shared by the inhabitants of iconic urban centres to which international money and smart people flow: London, New York, Shanghai.

The beginnings of this collaboration by the Xin Jing Dance Theatre in Shanghai with the Viennese Liquid Loft  go back some time. The Austrians won the Golden Lion at the 2007 Venice Biennale and had met Xin Jing and her dance company there. Shanghai Lounge originally premiered in (my hometown) Salzburg under its original title "China Project". It  is an international co-production of Liquid Loft, Jin Xing Dance Theatre, Impuslstanz Vienna Int. Festival, Szene Salzburg, Tanzhaus NRW, Teatro Laboral Gijon and Culturescapes.

The young Chinese dancers, one male the other female, strut their stuff. They skilfully reflect the contradictory pressures created by traditional expectations and modern opportunities and demands on today's Shanghai-women. Shanghai women smart, successful, demanding – Sex in the City - and today THE City is Shanghai.

I saw them at the GrĂ¼ White.Box in Geneva. The international Geneva audience was appreciative, the applause was heartfelt and long.

Due to recent arts budget cuts a planned visit to London is not going through. This indeed is London's loss.

For the time being Shanghai Lounge continues its tour-de-force through Switzerland. Catch it if you can.
(on this website you can also find a video "foretaste")

Choreography: Chris Haring in collaboration with Jin Xing and the dancers.
Performance: Jin Xing,
Dai Shaoting, Deng Mengna, Liu Minzi, Pang Kun, Sun Zhuzhen, Wang Tao
Xie Xin

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