MapFund

About the Grant

$25,000 to support Antonioni in China (MAP 2011), a new dance-theater piece by choreographer Yin Mei.

About the Project

In Antonioni in China (working title), choreographer Yin Mei conjures a dance-theater “conversation” with Chung Kuo, a rarely seen documentary film by iconic Italian film director Michelangelo Antonioni. Shot in China during the Cultural Revolution, Chung Kuo offers a window into what Mei herself lived through—an era of chaos that affected a generation of Chinese. In creating this work, the choreographer has found inspiration in Antonioni’s minimalist and architectural approach to film—an approach which confounded the Chinese government when Chung Kuo was released and led to a yearlong political campaign against “foreign things,” which Mei participated in as a child.

The choreographic conversation also looks back to the legend of the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove, a group of Daoist-inspired scholar-artists of the third century Common Era who are revered in China as much for their love of wine and poetry as for their willingness to challenge the moral corruption of the Imperial Court of China. Chinese artists today look to the Seven Sages when navigating difficult cultural and political waters in a globalizing nation.

Collaborating with Mei on Antonioni in China are experimental theater director Jay Scheib—who will employ a live-cinema approach in creating a stage environment for the work, and Korean-American multi-instrumentalist, composer, and performer Bora Yoon—who will compose the music and perform live. Melding computer-projected images drawn from Chung Kuo with real-time images of the live performers—and touching on themes that resonate with the past and future—Antonioni in China offers a mash-up of avant-garde stage technologies, magnetic music, and fervid movement to tell the story of a moment in time when art and political theater collided.

Related Websites

Yin Mei Dance



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