RAM Conversation Red: Body as ArchiveJul 28, 2019 Sunday 19:00 - 20:30

Rockbund Art Museum (20 Huqiu Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai)
An Opera for Animals
Platform: Exhibition Education
  • About the Conversation

    The exhibition An Opera for Animals takes the history of opera as its departure point in exploring the relationship between contemporary/traditional performance, fantasy, group spectacle and the environments in which they inhabit. In the West, at the height of opera’s development, the art form became increasingly integrated with the ambitious colonialist visions and political clout of European countries. As another art form native to the West, ballet was a form of dance enjoyed in royal courts, and in the 1950s had never been used before as a political symbol. However, as we reflect on our own history, ballet entered China infused with ideological significance - ballet experts from the Soviet Union were invited to teach the dance form in Beijing, China, demonstrating the friendly political relations between China and the Soviet Union.


    Due to the prevalence of revolution-themed plays during the period of the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese people were not strangers to the art of ballet, one could even go so far as to say they were quite familiar with it. The ballet The Red Detachment of Women, being the most famous example, is the most classic instance of “Chinese appropriation of Western culture” by Chinese people, that is infused with national ideologies. During this time, ballet dancers in these contemporary revolutionary dramas were tasked with a prominent ideological function – they were the story-tellers of China’s national image.

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  • About the Speakers

    LI Jing, Associate professor of sociology at Zhejiang University, Ph.D. graduate from the State University of New York. Li’s fields of research include: sociology of knowledge, political sociology and comparative history.


    WEN Hui, Choreographer and dancer. She also makes documentary films and installations. She is one of the pioneers of Chinese contemporary dance theatre. Wen Hui graduated from Beijing Dance Academy in 1989 with a degree in Choreography. In 1994, she studied modern dance in New York. From 1997 to 1998, she received a scholarship from Asian Cultural Council to further her study of modern dance and theatre making in New York. In 1994, she formed Living Dance Studio with Wu Wenguang in Beijing, and has participated in curating and organizing numerous arts projects. For twenty years, Wen Hui has insisted in using theatre as an intervention in the society. Since 2008, she began to research the ways body form the archive of personal social documentation, using personal means to experiment how bodily memory catalyzes collision between history and reality. Living Dance Studio is an independent non-profit contemporary dance creative collective. Since 1994 till now, the company has been active at the cutting-edge of Chinese contemporary art as well as the most probing stages and festivals internationally. They have presented their works in over seventy cities in thirty countries, winning international high appraisals.French magazine Télescope describes Wen Hui as “a pioneer of dance…a miracle.” In 2015 wenhui’s work: “Dancing with Third Grandmother” “Dancing with Farmer workers"at the Venice Biennale in Italy.In 2004, Report on Body by Living Dance Studio won the “ZKB Patronage Prize” in Zürcher Theater Spektakel. In 2005, Wen Hui and Wu Wenguang established Caochangdi Workstation and co-curated the first “Cross-arts” International Dance Festival in Beijing. In the same year, they initiated European Artists Exchange Project and Young Choreographers Project.

  • Ticket info

    Free admission, reservation is required.

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RAM Conversation Red: Body as Archive

Jul 28, 2019 Sunday 19:00 - 20:30

Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai 20 Huqiu Road, Huangpu District)

Please contact info@rockbundartmuseum.org for more than 2 persons.

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