By Merilyn Jackson for The Dance Journal
Dance is a career that parallels those of athletes in terms of length – short, and actors in terms of character development – elusive.
Dance training – especially on a professional level – is rigorous, endless, expensive, often leads to painful injury, and the repetition can just be a boring pain. But it can also lead to the joy of attaining perserverance and the mastery over a difficult combination and, in the end, the gratitude of an appreciative audience after a soaring performance underpinned by good technique.
Last year, choreographer Kun-Yang Lin devised an innovative training program with master teachers that he hoped would reinvigorate his company by engaging their skills, mind and sense of self. It began with the first visit by master teacher from Taiwan’s Cloud Gate Dance Theater Hsu-Hui Huang and expanded this year with the return of Huang, followed by Chik Qadir Mason in Martial Arts, Hua Hua Zhang a master puppet artist now living in Boothwyn, PA and concluded with Tibetan ritual dance master Losang Samten (who will be the subject of the next installment in this series.) Lin’s intention is to provide his company dancers’ (and any others who wish to participate) with new pathways that can lead them to reach ever deeper into their psyches to bring out emotionally expressive nuances that trump mere technique. As anyone who has watched Lin himself dance knows, the externalization of these inner impulses create a more organic experience for the audience.
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