Chinese classical dance incorporates not only the geographical vastness of the Chinese territory, but the time lapsed diversity of dozens of kingdoms and dynasties into its movement and evolution.
Canadian company Little Pear Garden Collective presents a collage of dance pieces from across Chinese history and geography, providing a glimpse into the beauty enjoyed by the imperial courts.
Little Pear Garden will perform the following pieces:
Butterfly Lovers – 1st Act
Butterfly Lovers is a Chinese legend about a tragic love story between Liang Shanbo (梁山伯) and Zhu Yingtai (祝英台), whose names form the title of the story. The story has often been regarded as the Chinese equivalent of Romeo and Juliet. Zhu Yingtai is a beautiful and intelligent young woman, but traditions of her era discourage females from going to school. Zhu manages to convince her father to allow her to attend classes in disguise as a young man. During her journey, she meets Liang Shanbo, a scholar. They feel a strong affinity for each other at their first meeting. They study together for the next three years in school and Zhu gradually falls in love with Liang. Although Liang equals Zhu in their studies, he is still a bookworm and fails to notice the feminine characteristics exhibited by his classmate.
This piece was taken from Chinese Opera with elements of martial arts using double swords. This is an all female piece and highlights the performers’ balance, agility and grace.
A classic and graceful traditional dance featuring delicate hand gestures that dates back to the Tang Dynasty. This dance employs ribbons and depicts scenes from the Dunhuang Caves located along the Silk Road, in China’s northwest. The dance requires rigorous training in both ballet and traditional Chinese techniques, as the piece portrays dancers as goddesses who bring fortune and blessing to all.
Saturday, July 12, 2014
7:00PM – 8:00PM
235 Queens Quay West
Little Pear Garden Collective is Canada’s foremost theatre of classical and contemporary Chinese dance. Little Pear Garden Collective was founded in 1994 originally specializing in Peking opera performances. In 2007, Emily Cheung became artistic director and transformed the company into a dance centric performance and education organization.
LPGC’s vision is to build Chinese contemporary dance vocabularies through innovations and creative works that are meaningful to the Chinese-Canadian Diaspora. Cheung also seeks to collaborate with artists from various disciplines and culturally diverse backgrounds to create work that uniquely combines different aesthetics and contemporary sensibilities.
The main focus of LPGC is to create repertoires that utilize a unique contemporary dance vocabularies based on both traditional and classical Chinese dance/opera aesthetics. In order to achieve this, all of LPGC dancers are required to conduct training in traditional and classical Chinese dance and operatic movements to preserve the authenticity of the Chinese elements in the new dance vocabularies.