Springfield, Ohio – Wittenberg University Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance Shih-Ming Li Chang presents A Dance and Culture Event that includes lectures, demonstrations, workshops and performances of Chinese and African Dance on Thursday, Nov. 18, Friday, Nov. 19, and Monday, Nov. 22. Most lectures and workshops will take place at Chakeres Memorial Theatre, 905 Woodlawn Ave., and the performances and gallery tour will take place at the Springfield Center for the Arts at Wittenberg, 107 Cliff Park Road.
The event begins at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, with “Dancing China in Springfield,” which will include a lecture and demonstration by choreographer Mui Cheuk-Yin, renowned for her modern dance, which she combines with ethnic dance. Cheuk-Yin has performed in the most respected dance theatres in China and Hong Kong, and she is completing a residency with dance students on campus. “Dancing China in Springfield” takes place in the Springfield Center for the Arts at Wittenberg.
At 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19, “A Lecture on ‘Conversations’ with African Dance,” features Chang’s collaborator Lynn Frederiksen, a choreographer who teaches modern dance with attention to rhythm in the music-dance relationship, a focus shaped by her hearing loss and her Afro-Caribbean heritage. Frederiksen will also present a workshop on Pearl Primus’ signature dance, “Fanga,” which is based on a Liberian dance of welcome. This event takes place in Chakeres Memorial Theatre.
The dance and culture event concludes with China Night at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 22, as Chang and Frederiksen present a chapter from their book Dancing in the vast land and beyond: A journey through Chinese dance, to be published by Wesleyan University Press.
The evening begins with an overview of Chinese dance, including live and video demonstrations of several dance forms and props. Chang will perform a classical Chinese dance and the evening will also feature performances by Xu Ying and Xiao Yu, both graduates of Beijing Dance Academy. The event is the culmination of Cheuk-Yin’s residency and features solo dances by Cheuk-Yin as well as a new piece that she created with Wittenberg dance students.
A tour of an exhibit of Wittenberg’s East Asian collection in the Wittenberg-Halley Gallery will be available before and following each event held at Springfield Center for the Arts at Wittenberg University.
Frederiksen, a West Indian from St. Croix, USVI, attended college in Massachusetts, obtaining a BA in Biology and an MA in Environmental Studies from Clark University. She worked for the Massachusetts Department of Water Resources, but she knew her passion was with dance, and began her journey in the arts and is currently in her third season with Peanut Butter & Jelly Dance Company.
Chang is the founder and artistic director of both the Wittenberg Dance Company and the Chinese Culture Performance Troupe in Columbus, Ohio, and Vice President of OhioDance. She teaches modern, jazz, ballet, tap and Chinese folk dancing, as well as dance composition. She also directs Wittenberg’s Annual Dance Concert and continues to choreograph and perform.
This dance and culture event was made possible through the support of Wittenberg’s African Studies Program, Departments of Foreign Languages and Literatures, and Theatre and Dance, East Asian Institute at Wittenberg, the East Asian Studies Program, Faculty Endowment Fund Board, Women’s Studies Program and the Hong Kong Government, The Quinlan Foundation and Weaving Pine.
Written By: Phyllis Eberts