This issue of the USC US-China Institute's Talking Points newsletter highlights auto industry links between the U.S. and China. It also includes our comprehensive calendar of China-focused events and exhibitions across North America.
Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company
Lily Cai blends ancient Chinese forms with modern dance to create captivating and inventive forms to produce an innovative performance.
Elegant, sensual, and captivating, the Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company melds ancient Chinese forms with modern dance in an artistic and inventive marriage of styles. The Company bridges the continuum from past to contemporary - from spectacular court dances of Chinese dynasties to contemporary works fusing classical Chinese movement and ballet, complemented by dazzling costumes, original music, and multi-media designs. Established in 1988 by Lily Cai, the Company performs and tours extensively throughout California and the United States, appearing at performing arts venues, festivals, university theaters, schools, community centers and special events. In 1994, the Company opened the Grateful Dead's concert celebrating the year of the Dog at the Oakland Coliseum, and in 1995, performed for United Nations' 50th Anniversary Celebration in San Francisco. In 1996, the Company received two coveted awards for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography and Company Performance Awards from Isadora Duncan Dance Awards Committee for the collaborative performance with Oakland's Dimensions Dance Theater entitled “Common Ground.” That same year, the Company also premiered “Chinese Myths Cantata,” a successful collaboration with The Women's Philharmonic and Chanticleer. Through increasingly contemporary and artistically intimate works such as “Candelas”(1997) with lit candles, “Southern Girl” (1998) with the Alexander String Quartet, “Detours: Common Ground II” (1999) with Dimensions Dance Theater, and “Strings Calligraphy”(2000) with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, the Company performs concerts that highlight Cai's signature technique and the professional artistry of each dancer.
Throughout the 2001- 2004 seasons, the Company introduced a variety of new pieces including “Bamboo Girls,” “Silk Cascade,” “SHE: Portraits of the Chinese Woman,” and “Beyond.” In Spring 2003, the company performed a new work, “Si Ji” (the Seasons) commissioned by World Arts West, for the 25th anniversary celebration of the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. November 2003 marked the 15th anniversary celebration for the Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company itself. In Spring 2007, the Company performed the premiere of “Red Typhoon,” a powerful and stunning dance exploration of the impact of the Cultural Revolution on the women of China; in June 2007 the Company performed Sun Yun, a playful and contemplative dance with parasols, commissioned by World Arts West with the San Francisco Arts Commission. Northern California Public Broadcasting station KQED selected Lily Cai as an outstanding artist to profile in their summer 2007 “Spark” program.
Touring nationally, the Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company performs several distinctive concert programs, Dynasties and Beyond, Silk Cascade, Dance Calligraphy, and the new Red Typhoon program scheduled to tour in 2008-9. The Company has received accolades from theater and festival audiences throughout the country, from Hawaii and the West Coast to New York, the Virgin Islands, and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Along with the concert programs, the Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company offers extensive residency programs, connecting with communities by means of educational performances, interactive ribbon dance activities, master classes, “Meet the Artist” discussions, and lecture/demonstrations. Presenters of the Company have been supported by tour grants from Westaf, the California Arts Council, Arts Midwest, Southern Arts, and the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation.
The Thanksgiving 2017 issue of Talking Points reviews Chinese doubts about the taste of turkey, TV pioneer Joyce Chen, and offers two poems. And we offer our comprehensive calendar of China-focused events and exhibitions across North America.