A week ago I went to see the Beijing Dance Theatre perform Wang Yuanyuan’s Haze.
My first reaction after the final curtain was “Wow! They just danced for 70 minutes straight!”
But of course it’s way more than just that. The choreography is engaging and (this probably sounds weird) well-paced. I liked the choice of music, the minimalist backdrop, and the lighting.
The surprise for me (and it took me a while to realize it) was that the dancers were not extremely good at bouncing off the floor, but were actually dancing on a mat.
I know modern dance can sometimes be strange or leave you feeling like you’ve missed something, but this choreography is not like that. It was aesthetically pleasing and impressive in an endurance-sport kind of way. It also did a good job of visualizing the multiple meanings of the title. The title Haze alludes to air-pollution, but also to the hazy circumstances that cause financial crises, and finally to the confusion that the multiple layers of social interactions (with veiled intentions and unclear goals) can cause.