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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter contextualizes stage dance developments in China in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries (through Republican, Maoist, and reformist periods) against the backdrop of the country’s changing sociopolitical conditions and relationships with the Western world. It explores, in historical terms, the interface between Chinese dance and politics to suggest that Westernizing impulses lay behind many of China’s attempts at modernization, leading to hybrid performance practices that are quite unique. The chapter then focuses on the intercultural ArtsCross initiative (2009–2013), a series of projects between the Beijing Dance Academy, Middlesex University London, and Taipei National University of the Arts, which exemplifies the quest for a more equitable form of East-West exchange in the context of globalization and China’s reformist ideological agenda. This section includes a comparative reading of Chinese and Western training and devising processes, as witnessed in these projects, and analysis of Guo Lei’s hybrid choreography Mask.

Keywords: Chinese dance, Chinese politics, China, modernization, interculturalism, hybridity, ArtsCross, Mao, Guo Lei

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