News: ADF Honors Yan Meiqi

Lovingly known as the “mother of modern dance in China,” Yang Meiqi has won the 2010 Balasaraswati/Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching at The American Dance Festival (ADF).


Her association with ADF dates back to 1986, when she participated in its International Choreographer’s Residency program, which proved to be a significant event in the history of modern dance in China. With ADF’s assistance, Yang founded Guangdong Dance Company and Academy, China’s first modern dance company and school. Her efforts paved the way for artists following in her footsteps, including the acclaimed choreographer Shen Wei, who founded his own troupe in 2000. “I am so pleased to see Yang Meiqi win this award,” says Shen. “When we look at the dance happening inside and outside of China, they are all her students. She has such a good eye for dancers and excellent work.” Shen will speak at the award ceremony on July 18 at Duke University.


Yang is the recipient of several honors: inclusion in the Roster of Chinese Dance History as one of the “Most Outstanding Chinese Dance Educators,” recognition for “Outstanding Contribution to the Art of Dance in China” from China’s Federation of Literature and a John D. Rockefeller III Award. For more:


—Nancy Wozny


Photo courtesy of Yang Meiqi

Getty Images

Despite worldwide theater closures, the Universal Ballet Competition is keeping The Nutcracker tradition alive in 2020 with an online international competition. The event culminates in a streamed, full-length video of The Virtual Nutcracker consisting of winning entries on December 19. The competition is calling on studios, as well as dancers of all ages and levels, to submit videos by November 29 to be considered.

"Nutcracker is a tradition that is ingrained in our hearts," says UBC co-founder Lissette Salgado-Lucas, a former dancer with Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. "We danced it for so long as professionals, we can't wait to pass it along to dancers through this competition."

Keep reading... Show less
Robbie Sweeny, courtesy Funsch

Christy Funsch's teaching career has taken her from New York City to the Bay Area to Portugal, with a stint in a punk band in between. But this fall—fresh off a Fulbright in Portugal at the Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa, School of Dance (ESD), teaching and researching empathetic embodiment through somatic dance training—Funsch's teaching has taken her to an entirely new location: Zoom. A visiting professor at Slippery Rock University for the 2020–21 academic year, Funsch is adapting her eclectic, boundary-pushing approach to her virtual classes.

Originally from central New York State, Funsch spent 20 years performing in the Bay Area, where she also started her own company, Funsch Dance Experience. "My choreographic work from that time is in the dance-theater experiential, fantasy realm of performance," she says. "I also started blending genres and a lot of urban styles found their way into my choreography."

Keep reading... Show less
Courtesy Meg Brooker

As the presidential election approaches, it's a particularly meaningful time to remember that we are celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment, when women earned the right to vote after a decades-long battle.

Movement was more than a metaphor for the fight for women's suffrage—dancers played a real role, most notably Florence Fleming Noyes, who performed her riveting solo Dance of Freedom in 1914 to embody the struggle for women's rights.

This fall, Middle Tennessee State University director of dance Meg Brooker is reconstructing Dance of Freedom on 11 of her students. A Noyes Rhythm teacher and an Isadora Duncan scholar, Brooker is passionate about bringing historic dance practices into a contemporary context.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.