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Situ-Asian Dance Performance

“Situ-Asian” An evening of new dance works by Jia Wu.
May 1, 2007

Saturday, May 05, 2007, 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
UCLA Glorya Kaufman Dance Theater
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Cost: $15 Admission $5 Students
Tel: 310-825-3951

Situ-Asian Jia Wu directs 23 artists and draws on 15 years of training in Beijing Opera, Tai Chi and Chinese folk dance to create biting social commentary through contemporary inter-media dance works. Hypocrisy in international political relations and the changing role of women in an era of rapid modernization are among the themes explored. Situ-Asian features original music by Derric Spivak Jr., David Karagianis and Jeff Hayman, three video collaborations with filmmakers Mariel Louise McEwan, Cari Ann Shim Sham, Pinar Yoldas, and animator Xiaojin Bao.

Situ-Asian, the two-part work which opens the program, is an autobiographically inspired video set in China in the late 1970’s, which tracks a girl’s life from age 5 to 18, followed by Wu’s performance of a classic solo from Bejing Opera, “An Imperial Concubine Gets Tipsy” (Gui Fei Zui Jiu). In Poker Face, her duet with dancer Ally Voye, Wu employs slapstick humor and a table to explore the two faces of diplomacy in international political relationships. A second duet titled Bird Cage, a collaboration with Jose Reynoso, exposes the situation of Chinese women struggling with traditional and modern female roles, employing the theory of helplessness from social psychology.  Delicious Trees, a trio made for the camera inspired by Jia’s studies with Eiko & Koma, embraces a cycle of life that includes tree spirits and human beings. The Other Shore is a floating dreamscape which explores the confusion of what we want versus what we need.

PerformersSpecial Instructions
Parking: $8 in Structure 4 adjacent to Kaufman Hall (From Sunset Blvd., turn onto Westwood Plaza and park in Structure 4)

Sponsor(s): World Arts & Cultures

Jia Wu, Ally Voye, Eva Aymami, Jonathan Corps, Jose Reynoso, Maya Zellman, Marissa Ruazol, Rosemary Candelario, Niuniu He, Selena Jixing Bao.

The creation and production of Situ-Asian is funded by: The UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture, The UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures.

Jia Wu started professional training in dance at the age of five and began to perform as a soloist and principal dancer shortly thereafter. In 2001 Jia got her B.A in Chinese dance performance and choreography at Beijing Dance Academy (graduating with honors) and worked as a full-time dance instructor in the Dance Department at South China Normal University. Jia's choreography is deeply influenced by the Artistic Director of Beijing Dance Academy—Deng Yijiang, a master of traditional Chinese opera aesthetics and story telling.  In 2004 Jia came to the United States to pursue her MFA degree at UCLA. Her current work applies Asian dance elements and aesthetics to interpret modern issues such as globalization, feminism, and racialism.

Jia received awards for outstanding performance and choreography at the Chinese National Dance Competition in 2000 (Shanxi Province), the most prestigious dance competition in China. She received the Best Performance Award in the International University Music Festival in France in 2004 and is also the recipient of a 2007 DanceWeb Scholarship from ImPulsTanz Festival in Vienna, the Evelyn and Mo Ostin Performing Arts Award, the Edna & Yu-Shan Han Scholarship, and the Clifton Webb Scholarship from the School of the Arts and Architecture at UCLA.

Jia has performed her contemporary choreography and traditional works on programs in China, Japan, France and the United States. Jia' s choreography has been presented at the 2006 American Dance Festival and in a Gala Concert at the 2007 American College Dance Festival. Her work has also been presented in Los Angeles at USC’s Bing Theater, UC Irvine’s Claire Trevor Theatre, and Royce Hall and Glorya Kaufman Hall at UCLA. She has received commissions from Hunan Chinese New Year Festival, Ren Min University, Peking University, Tsinghua University, South China Normal University and other institutions.

Currently Jia is the Director of the UCLA Chinese Folk Dance Troupe. The group has made appearances in numerous events on and off campus in Southern California, including the 2006 Lotus Steps at UCLA's Royce Hall, the 2005 UCLA Chinese New Year Culture Fair, UCLA Chinese Heritage Week, the Chinese Lunar Year Parade in downtown Los Angeles, and the Chinese New Year Reception the Moon Festival Show sponsored by the Chinese Students and Scholar Association of Southwest America.

She has performed professionally for choreographers Victoria Marks (USA), David Dorfman (USA), and Luis Garay (Argentina) and Cheng-Chieh Yu (Taiwan/USA).