Illusionism, Reflexivity, and Contra-Perspective in Modern Dance: a Creative Interlude..

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Dancer with a Brush-painted fan

Wang Yabin Art of the Fan, Video-Montage, 2002

Nothing quite like it has happened in the world of what is academically genred as gudianwu (classicist dance) since that category came formally into place in 1954. An MV module named “fan dancer over inkbrush landscape” first “filmed” in 2002 (but first danced as a specific live solo performance in 1996) choreogr by Tong Ruirui at the BDA graduate gala of that year.

The 4 minute dance went down so well that it was filmed as a high-art MV in 2002, starring Wang Yabin of of Mrs. Tong’s prize pupils.

What is perhaps of more interest than the when and whom, or even than the title (dancing with extended or palm-flicked fan onto which a poem or collophon (later, inkbrush painting) had been inscribed) is the way the … arts of arm and body dance, fan movement, calligraphy, landscape, and “ancient” guzheng music were overlayered, and the dancer herself animated so as to move across the landscape and sample poetry brushwork.

A kind of piying (shadow-puppet) show but in elite (ya) scholar-painter-poetic mode, not for an audience as it were, but as a collector’s item (as indeed were painted round fans). (see Court Dance Lessons: (1) The “Interior” Palm Fan Lecture with Demo, Prof Zheng Weizhong    Published on Oct 19, 2012)

But one (and this is essential) in which the moving image (dancer) is freed from dimension or perspective  (not in any case part of the 2-dim painting tradition): thus is able (through animation) to float within illusioned space. There is no stage. Or even set, shadow or light.

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