Xiao Ke is a solo piece co-created by Jérôme Bel, a renowned French choreographer and representative figure of “non-dance”, and Xiao Ke, a pioneer of performance art in China. As they live in different countries, they had to bring their creative ideas into shape in a unique way through online conferences and rehearsals. In this piece, Xiao Ke shares her story of dance and life with the audience through monologue and dance, and language and movement. She tells the audience the moments she has experienced and the people she has encountered throughout her dancing career in a calm voice, and demonstrates the various dance genres that have taken root in her heart and soul, such as folk dance, ballet with Chinese characteristics, modern dance, contemporary dance, break dance, disco dance, jazz dance, dance theatre, and her own original style. Xiao Ke initially seems to be the story of her personal life and dance career but, as Bel said, it is “a solo that will reflect the evolution of dance and culture in China over the past 40 years”. Xiao Ke is not only a portrait of the artist, but also a sketch that depicts the development of dance in China.
By Daisy Chu
A veteran art and culture editor and critic, Chu has worked for several newspapers and magazines, and collaborated with a number of art institutions. In recent years, she has published insights and reviews on dance and theatre productions in newspapers and magazines.
This article is excerpted and translated from Chinese