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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

In Context: Wild Grass

Beijing Dance Theater's Wild Grass comes to BAM  from October 15—18. Context is everything, so get even closer to the show with this curated selection of original blog pieces, articles, interviews, and videos related to the artists and the production. Once you've seen it, help us keep the conversation going by telling us what you thought below.

Program Notes

Wild Grass (PDF)


“The Power of Silence” (
Choreographer Wang Yuanyuan’s latest work turns down the volume.

“Wildly Abstract” (
Wild Grass has roots in a poetry collection by one of China’s most revered literary sons.

Gloria Davies on Poet Lu Xun (
For author Davies, Lu Xun’s collection Wild Grass is the “holy grail” of his oeuvre.

"Lu Xun: China's Greatest Modern Writer" (
Mao Zedong called Lu Xun "commander of China's cultural revolution."


On Wild Grass (YouTube)
"We're all just like grass, searching for our own way to survive ," says choreographer Yuanyuan.

Center Stage: Wang Yuanyuan (YouTube)
“Modern dance is about physical release and completely setting the mind free."
Haze, Beijing Contemporary Dance Theater (YouTube)
Beijing Dance Theater was last at BAM with this dramatic portrait of Chinese modernity.

Worthwhile Words

A passage from Lu Xun's Wild Grass, which inspired the "Dance of Extremity" movement of Wang Yuanyuan's work:
And there remains only the vast wilderness; this dried couple, completely naked, sword in hand, stand in the middle. With dead men's eyes they observe with gusto the withering passers-by in a great bloodless carnage. They are eternally plunged into life's giddy, excruciating bliss. 
Now your turn...

So how did you enjoy the show? Likes? Dislikes? Surprises? Tell us what's on your mind in the comments below.


  1. Memorable show with world-class dancers in innovative, challenging, fascinating choreography
    Wonderful almost boneless-like movements cutting the air with delicate and yet sharping precision.
    No less than great poetry is dancing on BAM stage these days.
    Thank you Ms. Yuanyuan

  2. Really extraordinary. Some of the most precision-like, passionate dancing I have ever seen and great choreographic choices.

  3. No soul.
    No feeling.
    The dancers were executing but not dancing.

  4. Technically good but passionless, cold, and robotic kind of. The beautiful poetry is not reflected in the dance. No completeness.

  5. First and third pieces were beautiful, elegant, emotional, touching. Dance in world class. The middle piece was technically impressive but less interesting. All in all, I wish I had time to see the show again.