Choreographing and Reinventing Chinese Diasporic Identities - An East-West Collaboration
MetadataShow full item record
In demonstrating Eastern- and Western-based Chinese diasporic dances as equally critical and question-provoking in Chinese identity reconstructions, this research compares choreographic implications in the Hong Kong-Taiwan and Toronto-Vancouver dance milieus of recent decades (1990s 2010s). An auto-ethnographic study of Yuri Ngs (Hong Kong) and Lin Hwai-mins (Taiwan) works versus my own (Toronto) and Wen Wei Wangs (Vancouver), it probes identities choreographed in place-constituted third spaces between Chinese selves and Euro-American Others. I suggest that these identities perpetrate hybrid movements and aesthetics of geo-cultural-political distinctness from the Chinese ancestral land ones manifesting ultimate glocalization intersecting global political economies and local cultural-creative experiences. Echoing the diasporic habitats cultural and socio-historical specificities, they are constantly (re) appropriated and reinvented via translation, interpretation, negotiation, and integration of East-West cultural-artistic and socio-political ingredients. The event unfolds such identities placial uniqueness that indicates the same Chinese roots yet divergent diasporic routes. In reviewing Ngs balletic and contemporary photo-choreographic productions of post-British colonial Hong Kong-ness alongside Lins repertories of Chinese traditional, Taiwan indigenous, American modern and Other artistic impacts noting Taiwanese-ness, the study unearths cultural roots as the core source of Chinese identity rebuilding from East Asian displacements. It traces an ingrained third space between Chinese historic-social values, Western cultural elements, and Other performing artistries of Hong Kong and Taiwanese belongings. Juxtaposing my Chinese traditional-based and transcultural Toronto dance projects with Wangs Vancouver balletic-contemporary fusions of Chinese iconicity, Chinese-Canadian identities marked by a hyphenated (third/in-between) space are associated as varying North American self-generated routes of social and artistic possibilities in a Canadian mosaic-cosmopolitical setting the persistent state of Canadian becoming. My conclusion resolves the examined choreographic cases as continually developed through third-space instigated East-West cultural-political crossings plus interpenetrative local creativities and global receptivity. Of gains or losses, struggles or rebirths, the cases of placial-temporal significations elicit multiple questions on Chinese diasporic cultural infusions, social sustenance, artistic integrity, and identity representations amid East-West negotiations my experiential reflection on the dance role and potency in the reimagining and remaking of Chinese diasporic identities.