Xiao Ke

Jérôme Bel x Xiao Ke

20, 21/5 │ Saturday, Sunday │ 20:00
Black Box Theatre, Old Court Building (accessible by stairs only)
Tickets: MOP 220

 “Xiao Ke tells her dancing story”Beijing Daily

Xiao Ke, a 44-year-old performer and choreographer currently based in Shanghai, collaborates with French choreographer Jérôme Bel for an experimental performance, a cross-cultural dialogue in the theatre.

Without international travel and experimenting with new production and dissemination practices, Bel’s approach combines concern for the environment with that of creation and transmission. Despite Bel’s absence, Xiao Ke’s autobiographical narrative, body movements and music on stage suggest a cross-cultural dialogue with him and reflect the evolution of dance and culture in China over the past 40 years.

Commissioned by Centre Pompidou x West Bund Museum Project, Xiao Ke premiered in 2020 and was met with critical acclaim.

Concept: Jérôme Bel
By and With: Xiao Ke
Technical Direction: Zi Han
Artistic Advice and Executive Direction: Rebecca Lasselin
Production Manager: Sandro Grando

 Duration: Approximately 1 hour, no interval
Performed in Mandarin, with surtitles in Chinese and English

Introductory Text

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 through online conferences and rehearsals. In this piece, Xiao Ke shares her story of dance and life with the audience through monologue and dance. In a calm voice, the Chinese choreographer tells the audience about the moments she has experienced and the people she has encountered throughout her dancing career, demonstrating the various 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, besides her own original style. Xiao Ke initially seems to be the story of her personal life and 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, having collaborated with a number of art institutions. In recent years, she has published insights and reviews on dance and theatre productions on printed media.

This article is excerpted and translated from Chinese

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