Workshop creators talk | Wu Zhenhong, Zheng Yuanchang, Zhang Muzi: Classics and new sounds, continue to come

Sun May 05 08:50:27 CST 2024

The premiere of the Central Ballet Company's "14th Ballet Creativity Workshop" is imminent, and it will meet the audience at the Beijing Tianqiao Theater from May 5th to 7th. As the "Beijing Culture and Art Fund 2023 Funding Project", it will bring the audience the latest creative and enthusiastic works of young artistic talents from China and Pakistan, and deeply explain the theme of this year's Workshop - Riding the Wind.

There is a highlight in this workshop: Mr. Wu Zujie, the first generation ballet artist in Zhongba, and Ms. Wu Zhenhong, the daughter of Ms. Zhang Linyi, presented her work "Ballade" this time, which will be the Chinese premiere of the work; Zheng Yuanchang and Zhang Muzi, students of Zhongba Dance School, will also bring their small works "Day and Night Walker" and "If I Were You" with unique creativity and perspective, adding a touch of youthful light and vigorous vitality to this workshop. Today's "Main Creator Talk" series let us listen to their voices...

"When I was young, my father and mother rehearsed in the classroom, and I played in this courtyard and danced to the music in this corridor." After walking into the Central Ballet again many years later, Wu Zhenhong felt both familiar and unfamiliar. She was familiar with the troupe, the place where she played and danced since childhood, and the new identity of the troupe this time - the rehearser. "I am very happy to have this opportunity at the invitation of Captain Feng Ying to share the artistic experience I have learned from the guidance of different artists in Canada and around the world with the new generation of actors in Zhongba!"

"The Ballade" was specially written by Wu Zhushan, a famous Chinese-American choreographer and dancer, for his niece Wu Zhenhong. "I was very fortunate to be able to perform this work. It was this work full of modernist style that made me realize for the first time the importance of incorporating my own unique mood, feeling and understanding into the performance, and opened up my artistic vision at that time." Wu Zhenhong recalled the mood when the work was first performed in 1986. Wu Zhushan died young in 1987, making this "Ballade" his last work before his death.

For the Chinese premiere of the revival, Wu Zhenhong said: "The two teachers, Aftermath and Cao Shuci, did a lot of work in the early stage. The actors of Zhongba are serious and curious, and I hope to guide them to find a true sense of freedom in the performance, a feeling of innocence like the first love of youth! I am very happy that this work is on the stage of the Workshop, and I look forward to its appearance at the Chinese Dancers Festival at the Kennedy Center in the United States in June!"

"It is a great idea for Feng Ying to create a workshop to cultivate young creative talents!" Wu Zhenhong said, "This project provides young creators with such good opportunities and resources. They can have the courage and strength to realize this plan and hold it every year, which is rare in the world. I wish this platform better and better!"

The works of Zheng Yuanchang and Zhang Muzi, both students of Zhongba Dance School, are derived from their holiday homework. This is the holiday task that Principal Feng Ying arranges for the children at the end of each semester, advocating that the children actively observe life, absorb nutrients from life to think and create practices, and report back at the beginning of the school year. These two small works stand out from the crowd and stand on a bigger stage as the best. They perform on the same stage with the works of Zhongba actors, becoming a precious experience on their way to school, and also a good embodiment of Zhongba's "leading the school with a group" purpose.

Wang Sizheng, who served as the instructor of the two works, said: "Through this special assignment, not only did the children exercise their creative consciousness, but they also had a deep interaction and dialogue with us teachers who taught skills with their works. It was a learning experience for both parties. The establishment of this kind of creative thinking is bound to subtly bring positive influence to them on the level of dance technology and dance performance, so it is no longer the most important thing to present a work in the end. Independent observation, thinking and improvement in this process are the real meaning!"

"When I was looking for creative themes, I wanted to pay attention to some ordinary people who could be seen everywhere around me. After observing life, I turned my perspective to the delivery staff. Every day I can see their busy figures running around every corner of the city, and I can also see all kinds of difficulties in their work, so I want to record their hard work in a day's life with dance." Zheng Yuanchang, a student of Zhongba Dance School, interpreted his creative inspiration in this way. "Through the teacher's guidance, every movement in the work was given subtext and meaning. It was no longer a simple show of skills and display, but became the vocabulary of dance, which made the work full, and also made me truly appreciate the meaning of'close to life '. I believe that after returning to class, I can more consciously find the root behind each movement."

His classmate Zhang Muzi has participated in the Workshop for the second time. Last year, her work "Great Detective" was impressive. This time, under the guidance of the teachers, she tried to explore different styles and possibilities. She said: "If I Were You" was inspired by my kitten. I used to like to make some handsome works, but this time I want to try to break through myself and make a cute and smart work. " In order to create this work well, Zhang Muzi observed the kitten's every move in depth, scratching things, stretching and other gestures were all programmed into the dance by her, "I am very happy that my work was selected for the Workshop. The teachers gave me a lot of help during the rehearsal process, which made the work better, and also gave me a lot of exercise. My imitation ability, reaction ability and expression ability have all improved. I hope I can create more interesting works in the future!"

From the homework to the stage of the Workshop, the two young students still have a long way to go. Their instructors, Wang Sizheng, Cheng Xinran, and Wu Menglan, have helped them move forward, from the big structure to the small details, helping them carefully polish and guide them to go deeper and deeper in their editing.

Cheng Xinran, the instructor of "Day and Night Walker", said: "Zheng Yuanchang is a child who is very sensitive to narratives, and every time the choreographer chooses a creative direction with strong storytelling. His progress can be clearly felt during the preparation process of the work being selected for the Workshop. How to establish the structure of the work, how to choose music, and how to use dance vocabulary has improved him at the level of the creator. The rehearsal process has formed a performance level improvement for him. The whole process of observing life, experiencing psychology, and expressing oneself has formed an educational level improvement from the whole."

Wu Menglan, the instructor of "If I Were You", said: "Zhang Muzi's creations are very tense and often make people feel bright. Under the guidance of the teachers'art comes from life ', she chose her pet cat as the creative object, imagining the scene of the kitten and the owner switching identities. One of the characteristics of the Zhongba Dance School is to give children more opportunities to perform on stage and integrate into the Zhongba University collective. Thank you to the troupe for allowing children to participate in the workshop, a high-standard platform. The process of participating in the creation frees the children's body and realizes a more comprehensive development."

Wang Sizheng said with emotion, "Every choreographer and actor in Zhongba has benefited from Workshop and been inspired and improved. Today, these children in the dance school can harvest and grow from this excellent platform. I hope this experience can become a seed in their hearts and take root in the future!"

From May 5 to 7, 2024, the 14th Workshop, let's meet at Beijing Tianqiao Theater, ride the wind, and feel the dance steps of youth, the charm of art, and the power of creation!