Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company
DANCE ORIGIN: China
ARTIST DIALOGUE WITH LILY CAI
Lily Cai is considered a major authority and resource in Chinese dance and we are excited to feature her in our first Artist Dialogue of the season. She will share insight into her artistic process and vision, connecting her work with her fascinating life bridging Chinese and American cultures. She is a passionate dance innovator, working both within traditional Chinese dance forms and blazing new territory in the contemporary dance realm with her Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company. A native of Shanghai and former principal dancer with the Shanghai Opera House, Lily Cai has been a prominent member of the Bay Area’s dance community since her arrival in 1983.
Founder and Artistic Director of the Lily Cai Chinese
Dance Company and the co-founder of Chinese Cultural
Productions, Lily’s strengths as a choreographer derive mainly from
her ability to combine and integrate Chinese traditional,
folk and classical dance, Western ballet, and American modern
dance. Throughout her career, she has choreographed dozens of
works expanding traditional Chinese dance forms into
contemporary theatrical settings.
In 1994, the company reached a large mainstream audience by opening a Grateful Dead concert at the Oakland Coliseum, and in 1995 performed for the United Nations’ 50th Anniversary Celebration in San Francisco. In 1996, the company received two coveted awards for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography and Best Company Performance from the Isadora Duncan Dance Awards Committee for their collaborative performance with Oakland’s Dimensions Dance Theater entitled Common Ground. That same year, the company also premiered Chinese Myths Cantata, a successful collaboration with The Women’s Philharmonic and Chanticleer.
Lily Cai’s signature works include Candelas (1997) with lit candles, Southern Girl (1998) with the Alexander String Quartet, and Detours: Common Ground II (1999) with Dimensions Dance Theater, and Strings Calligraphy (2000) with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, Bamboo Girls
(2001), Silk Cascades (2001) and SHE: Portraits of the Chinese
Woman (2002). In Spring 2003, the company premiered Si Ji (Four
Seasons) commissioned by the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival for its 25th anniversary celebration and Madame Mao for the
Santa Fe Opera.
TITLE: Sun Yun