Jin Xing's modern dance a blend of East and West

Posted by John Mark Rafacz on February 7, 2012 

China's Jin Xing has been making headlines for two decades for both her contemporary dance and her private life. The dancer, choreographer and artistic director leads her 14-member Jin Xing Dance Theatre Shanghai on its first North American tour, which comes to Penn State in a performance of Shanghai Tango at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, in Eisenhower Auditorium.

Shanghai Tango, a collection of 10 short works, is a retrospective of pieces Jin Xing created from 1991 to 2000. While the evening does not include tango dancing, the inclusion of music by Argentine master Astor Piazzolla lends a tango flavor to the title work about a woman torn between her husband and lover.

Hear my interview with Jin Xing, who began life as a male but had gender reassignment in her late 20s.

Read my feature article about the dance maker, whose troupe was the first independent modern company in China.

Jin Xing, who spent four years studying in New York City with the likes of Martha Graham and Paul Taylor, uses a considerable amount of Western music in Shanghai Tango. In addition to music by Piazzolla, the program features works by John Williams, Johann Strauss and others.

Tickets are still available for the Feb. 8 performance, in which Jin Xing performs two works.

She is also scheduled to speak at Artistic Viewpoints, an informal session that begins one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders.


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