opera (2)

From Peking to Queens to Manipur

12249540465?profile=originalIf a slim, handsome man or woman waits on you in a Manhattan restaurant, you just assume they are performers. But do you do the same in Chinatown and Flushing? Perhaps you should.  Since 1988, Qi Shu Fang, master of Chinese Opera, has been developing her own Peking Opera Company with her husband Ding Mei-kui in Queens. The professional lives of their company resemble those of American performing artists of all genres who juggle rehearsals, performances, lecture-demonstrations, tours, and outside jobs.   Now in their late sixties, Master Qi and Ding who trained since childhood in China, found the void of knowledge about the Peking Opera in the US was their opportunity. Though their lifestyles are modest, their art is magical.


This documentary directed by Alan Govenar gives us an insight as to how the Cultural Revolution affected their art and its masters, the reasons behind the elaborate costumes and makeup, a glimpse of the training.  Designed to lure you into their world, MASTER QI AND THE MONKEY KING makes you yearn to see their Peking Opera,  to study this 200 year old art combining dance, mime, singing, acrobatics, and stories, to understand its aesthetics, both visual and oral. It provokes so many basic questions about its style. Is the dancer/martial artist trained to emulate a sword? Their precise, direct swoops come to an abrupt halt, punctuated by the percussionists. Does the percussionist determine the ending or is he following the dancers?


12249541455?profile=originalMaster Qi shares at her small kitchen table a joke about how three cultures handle a fan. The American wears the fan out, beating the fan in t

he heat until the paper is shredded. The Englishman sways the fan very slowly as only a true gentleman should. But the Chinaman opens the fan very deliberately and then madly wiggles his face before it…because, of course, he must preserve the fan! 


For more information on Master Qi, visit http://www.qishufang.com/index_files/Page693.htm

I will be bringing this charming documentary to Manipur, India for Re:Play 2013!


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TenduTV announces the launch of the digital Dance on Camera Festival on Hulu, at www.hulu.com/network/tendutv. The digital Dance on Camera Festival is an extension of the Dance Films Association's Dance on Camera Festival (DOCF), which it has produced annually for the last 38 years, the last 14 of which have been co-presented with the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

"This new venture presents an exciting opportunity for dance film artists to expand their audience. The bulk of today's viewers consume their media digitally. Our partnership with TenduTV widens our distribution while offering an excellent, new venue for our participating artists," said Deirdre Towers, artistic director of Dance Films Association.

"We're excited to take this first step forward towards meeting the needs of the dance field. Finally, dance audiences can begin to get the access they eagerly desire. The Dance Films Association is a great partner and we're looking forward to doing all we can to help them fulfill their mission," said Marc Kirschner, General Manager of TenduTV.

TenduTV will be adding new films on a regular basis, providing viewers with a diverse range of dance on screen. While the initial films primarily represent contemporary works from prior editions of the festival, the Dance Films Association and TenduTV will also curate focused collections of dance films. Planned themes include "Past Masters," "Africa" and "Animation."

The first six films are available now, and feature dancers from some of thedance world's most renowned companies, including Tanztheater Wuppertal, Frankfurt Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera Ballet and Armitage Gone! Dance.

These films are:

Arcus, a jury prize nominee, DOCF 2004
directed by Alla Kovgan and Jeff Silva

Arising,from DOCF 2009
directed and choreographed by Ben Dolphin

FoliesD'Espagne, a jury prize nominee, DOCF 2008
directed by PhilipBusier
choreographed by Austin McCormick

Madrugada,from DOCF 2005
directed by William Morrison
choreographed byDeborah Greenfield

Vanishing Point, DOCF 2009
directedby Patrick Lovejoy

Wiped, Jury Winner, DOCF 2002
directedand choreographed by Hans Beenhakker

TenduTV also announced the addition of Cory Greenberg to its advisory board. Ms. Greenberg is Director of Operations & Special Projects for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, as well as Ailey's in-house counsel. She received her undergraduate degree cum laude in Art History from Duke University and her law degree from New York University School of Law, where she was an Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Fellow and a recipient of the Vanderbilt Medal for Public Service.

About TenduTV

Founded in 2008, TenduTV seeks to deliver dance to audiences through the highest quality digital distribution network available to the art form today. Through TenduTV's platform partners, dance artists and organizations will be able to transport their vision beyond the physical theater and engage audiences through computers and 200 million digital devices including internet-enabled televisions, portable video players and mobile devices. By empowering artists to connect with audiences on a global scale, TenduTV believes that the dance field can be as strong financially as it is creatively.

About Dance Films Association, Inc.

Dance Films Association, Inc. (DFA) is dedicated to furthering the art of dance film. Connecting artists and organizations, fostering new works for new audiences, and sharing essential resources,
DFA seeks to be a catalyst for innovation in and preservation of dance on camera. DFA was founded by Susan Braun in 1956, and included Ted Shawn, the founder of Jacob's Pillow, as its charter member, as well as modern dance pioneer Jose Limon and ballerina Alicia Markova as members of its first Board of Directors. A tireless advocate, Ms. Braun devoted her life to finding, showcasing, preserving dance films and videos until her death in 1995. Today, DFA seeks to carry on her spirit of creativity and collaboration in a time of extraordinary transformation.

For more information, visit www.dancefilmsassn.org and www.tendu.tv.


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