November 29, 2023


masterpiece of human

Yin He Dance Company celebrates Chinese art and culture through classical, modern movement


Five a long time back, dance instructor Hana Liu could tell two of her youngest students weren’t satisfied with their qualities.

At about 6 decades outdated, the two had just started dance lessons at Yin He Dance, a Chinese dance enterprise in Chicago. They weren’t quite adaptable nevertheless — but a classmate was, Liu mentioned, and she could sense their disappointment.

Go residence and stretch, Liu explained to them, and “you will get there, much too.”

One particular working day, they arrived in, and she asked, “Did you extend?”

“Yes,” they answered. And she could see their progress.

Judy Liu of the Yin He Dance company performs the “Love Of Lotus” at Free Family Fun Days at Navy Pier.

Judy Liu of the Yin He Dance corporation performs the “Love Of Lotus” at Free of charge Loved ones Fun Days at Navy Pier.

“Knowing that they truly care more than enough to extend on their personal was a little something that manufactured me comprehend the reward from this work,” stated Liu, an instructor and dancer at Yin He who, 5 many years later, continue to has them as learners.

Their tale illustrates what Yin He means to her, Liu said: “Dance is for absolutely everyone.”

That was a core philosophy of Yin He from the get started, stated Angela Tam, the company’s co-founder and dancer. She started off the team in 2015 with dancers Dollie Diaz and Amy Xie. They performed jointly for a long time under trainer Jin Qiuyue in a preprofessional dance troupe termed Little Star — Xiao Xing Xing in Chinese.

Soon, Jin was hunting to retire, and the three dancers realized they weren’t just “kids participating in all-around any more,” Tam explained, but had been “pretty superior.” They fashioned their individual group and named it Yin He. Motivated by Minimal Star, Yin He suggests Milky Way in Chinese. They wanted it to be obtainable to anyone and collaborative.

They uncovered Liu and another dancer from the University of Chicago, which kickstarted their community appearances. Tam mentioned they did a lot of community performances, especially in Chinatown.

Angela Tam — co-founder of the Yin He Dance company.

Angela Tam — co-founder of the Yin He Dance firm.

The future phase was launching the Yin He dance middle. Yin He opened its personal area in January 2017 and began supplying classes with just 4 pupils that very first thirty day period.

“That was pretty sad,” Tam mentioned.

Yin He now has about 60 learners. It also has 5 dancers and two apprentices who complete quite a few moments a yr, showcasing Chinese classical dances, folks dances and up to date dances, Tam claimed.

A single of her favorites was in 2019 and early 2020. Tam said the team did a dance termed “Flying Kites.” Initially choreographed in 1953, it turned common with dance firms in China. It depicts a team of youthful women traveling kites — symbolized by enthusiasts every dancer retains. They shift to make imagery with their lovers — in the center of the dance, they’ll make a butterfly. Kites are a visible art type in China, Tam said. It is pretty elaborate, and the dance is thought of folkloric.

Brianna Tong (left) and instructor Hana Liu, of Chicago’s Yin He Dance company, perform “Playing the Pipa in Reverse” at the Free Family Fun Days at Navy Pier.

Brianna Tong (remaining) and teacher Hana Liu, of Chicago’s Yin He Dance firm, perform “Playing the Pipa in Reverse” at a latest Navy Pier occasion.

People dances are fun, Liu stated — celebratory, upbeat and strong. And any individual can do them, Tam mentioned.

“It would be in a modest city through a holiday getaway celebration, all the persons in the town would just get collectively and do that dance in the town sq.,” Tam stated.

Classical includes additional education, Liu claimed. Created in the mid-1900s, it attracts from Chinese martial arts, Chinese opera, Chinese people dance, ballet and also paintings and sculptures of dancers from ancient moments.

“It involves a good deal of command in how you move,” Liu said, “but also getting able to not have regulate. Controlling your physique but also becoming peaceful.”

Tam also choreographs dances for the troupe. In 2018, she made a dance motivated by the #MeToo motion. In China, a identical hashtag circulated, with the identical pronunciation but a distinctive which means. In Chinese, “mi” means rice, and “tu” means rabbit, so people applied the hashtag “rice rabbit.”

The dance took inspiration from modern day and classical dance and made use of wave imagery to express a sense of gals uplifting each individual other.

When Tam co-launched Yin He Dance, the founders felt that undertaking both of those common and contemporary dances was crucial mainly because “culture is constantly changing.

“I like to notify people, it’s not your grandma’s Chinese dance — but also we do that, too,” Tam stated.

Liu began dancing when she was 4 years outdated. Her mother place her in Chinese classical dance courses at a local community centre. But she did not love it and stop in eighth grade, returning to it many years later.

Liu reported she now looks again and understands some of the factors of her dance instruction that pushed her away and tries to assistance her students realize that.

“Dance is for all ages, all entire body styles,” Liu stated. “It’s not aligned with overall flexibility.”

She explained Yin He instructors also speak a good deal about self-self confidence with their learners — which they can get further than dance.

She hopes her pupils are happy “of what they are accomplishing and how far they’ve appear from when they to start with started off.”


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