Springboard Performance’s presentation of Wen Wei Wang’s newest dance piece Ying Yun is focused on his mother, who passed away four years ago from ovarian cancer. The production was choreographed in collaboration with the five dancers on stage, to convey both Ying Yun’s story and their own.
The movement of the piece is strong and fluid especially combined with the ticking of the sound design or electroacoustic music by Sammy Chien in collaboration with Wen Wei Wang and the dancers. The ticking of a clock reverberates throughout the theatre as the dancers lunge and push and leap. The strength in the lines are apparent in the choreography and it is telling that each dancer is not in perfect unison with each other, depicting how they are telling a narrative with individual stories.
The dancers are so strong as they twirl and spin in an abundance of grace. The pieces that make up the performance vary in intensity. Sometimes they feel like there is never enough time, the movement is quick and the ticking of the clock creates a sense of urgency. Sometimes the movement gets smooth, the projection design by Sammy Chien takes on a look of smeared sequins that turns into a living breathing force. These pieces all carry characteristics of ovarian cancer, which presents itself as tumors and spreads quickly through the body. The cancer cells multiply at a breathtaking pace, as depicted by the ticking clock and the stripes of white that flash across the back of the theatre and the acceleration of tension throughout the piece.
With the dancers in simple white tank tops and shorts and knee wraps, it seems like a lost opportunity to not have the projection design be on the dancers as well, instead of just on the backdrop. But the performance is an intriguing display of strength and grace.
Springboard Performance has more presentations this year. More information can be found online.
Photo Credit: Chris Randle