ZERO SUN MOON's director visits Houston
On Tuesday, January 27, 1999, Rice University's Department of Anthropology hosted a presentation by YANG QUIAN, director and playwright of the newly formed ZERO SUN MOON theatre company in Shenzhen, China. Yang Quian was accompanied by his partner Mary Ann O'Donnell; both are on a current visit to the United States. Mr Yang Quian presented the script of his new play, "Hope," and spoke eloquently about the difficult challenge of creating an independent performance group in China. He also commented on the political situation and the general censorship and bureaucratic control over cultural production under the Chinese government, and shared with his audience some provocative reflections on his first public art intervention, "Sculpture and History," which he undertook with his troupe during the official sculpture exhibition "Eternal Return" at Nanshan Cultural Center in Shenzhen.
Here is a statement from the director:
Zero Sun Moon, the first experimental theater troupe in Shenzhen, China was established in 1997. We have two goals: (1) To use performance as a means of re-considering the experience of living in a Chinese boomtown and (2) to create a space for the expression and interrogation of emergent forms of public life.
Thus far we have produced two pieces. The first, "1997 Action Theater: History and Sculpture" was a six week series of performances that used a sculpture exhibition as inspiration and stage. The second, "Hope" was an experiment in absurdity, satirizing the Shenzhen rage for multi-level marketing. In addition we have participated in cultural discussions in China, Hong Kong and Houston.
We are interested in communication with other individuals and groups currently exploring urban experience in the rush of millenial globalization. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CODA - OPEN HOUSE
November 8, 1998, 5 pm
Winter Street Art Center
1. The initiative of CODA (The Houston Group for Contemporary Dance and Performance) has reached a challenging moment, after 7 months of meetings, planning sessions, and logistical efforts to create a new umbrella for cooperation among choreographers, dancers, companies, arts organisations, supporters, and our communities.
The membership has increased, and the Advisory Board now encompasses several prominent members of the arts community. But we have no formal procedure for membership and administration yet, nor have all companies and emerging dance professionals been reached. Like a good contact improv team, we improvise, move, touch, miss each other, try to locate the weight of the matter. We hope to strengthen our cooperations with artists in the music and visual arts communities. Our fundraising efforts and links to the business communities need to be elevated to another level. We hope to do a billboard campaign, speak on the radio, dance on television, go into schools.
2. At this point, CODA's primary goals have been clearly stated:
- to create a contemporary dance center for Houston that would house a school, a theatre, a management service, a film/video production studio and profit-making ventures.
- to increase membership of the initiative (professionals in dance and other occupations who care about progressive forms of movement, performance art, and music) and to further creative ventures in dance and performance.
- to serve as an umbrella and welcome all who reach toward excellence, professional stature and who strive to extend the boundaries of contemporary dance and performance art.
3. CODA was created in response to the need to bring strength and unity to a diverse group of emerging and established contemporary dance companies and choreographers in Houston.
The objective of CODA is to seek a large model that serves and is genuinely served by the community; that creates an environment conducive to making serious artistic work of international significance.
One of CODA's major objectives for 1999 is to create an ongoing event with a large impact that will bring centralization and national prominence to more adventurous forms or music and dance created in Houston.
To that end, CODA, in association with other organizations, will present THE FIRST ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY DANCE AND MUSIC during the fall of 1999 at Miller Outdoor Theatre (cooperating with Christina Gianelli's Texas Dance Series) and other locations around Herman Park and the Museum District.
At the same time, CODA pursues a community outreach and a promotional campaign seeking to attract attention and support for new dance and performance in Houston. All dance professionals and dance supporters, as well as artists from the music, video, theatre and visual art communities, are invited to participate in these efforts or to respond to the call for interdisciplinary collaboration across boundaries.
4. I want to acknowledge the efforts of Farrell Dyde and many of our colleagues who came to the meetings and shared the vision of the CODA initiative. We need to strengthen our commitment to the cause and our volunteer effort. Dance in Houston has grown, new talents have emerged, a lot of expectations are raised. We also need to acknowledge the importance of local producing organisations and the concerts and smaller festivals we have witnessed, from SPA's prominent dance series at the Wortham to DiverseWorks' concerts, from the JCC Dance Month to the Dance Salad and the activities of Kuumba House, The Duplex, TemplO, and so on.
We want to acknowledge Christina Gianelli's efforts in putting together her exciting October concert at Miller Outdoor Theatre, an event that has now become a tradition in showcasing leading talent in Texas dance. The fourth Miller Outdoor dance festival is near: October 2 & 3 (coming weekend), a moment to celebrate and start the new season.
Christina Giannelli has graciously offered space in her concert program for an ad that will feature CODA and its vision, and we hope to collaborate with Ms Gianelli in the creation of an international festival next October (1999).
It is now time to rally, cooperate and share our efforts, as the new calendars of the dance and performance season (Maxine Silberstein's calendar at JCC, and the CODA website/calendar) are prepared, and celebrate our increasingly dynamic performance scene.
Artistic Director, AlienNation Co.