Bowen McCauley Dance travels to China on Monday, November 4. We will be counting down the days until the Company departs for Beijing for a week of performances, master classes, and speaking engagements. The tour includes stops in Beijing, Tinjian, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong.
We are excited to participate in the 10th Guangdong Modern Dance Festival in Guangzhou, China. As the first American dance company to be invited to the festival, BMD is honored to represent American dance in China. In preparation for this exciting journey, we asked the dancers what they enjoy most about touring with BMD, what excites them about this tour to China, what they believe is BMD’s role in representing American dance abroad and how it affects them as individual dancers; and lastly, we asked them to name their favorite “can’t travel without” item.
Here is what some of our dancers had to say:
Dustin Kimball: “I love going to new places to experience new audiences and help expand BMD’s repertoire to people who wouldn’t normally be able to know what the company does. Having been raised in the military I’ve seen a good amount of Europe but never made very far to the East. I love experiencing new cultures, the people, food, society, architecture, and getting a chance to represent my country as a guest in another land.
To me having this opportunity is an amazing and humbling honor. I believe BMD can help to show the diversity and skill of smaller dance companies in the venue of “quality over quantity.” As a dancer it is always important to continually broaden one’s world view and this is an amazing opportunity to do so. It will be an immense privilege to be a part of the festival, getting to experience other countries’ interpretation of dance as an art form.
Alicia Curtis: “I really enjoy reaching new audiences and seeing how our work is received. It’s also nice spending time with company members, because there’s not much down time during our typical rehearsal routine. I’m looking forward to learning more about the Chinese culture, visiting some landmarks, and of course, looking forward to dancing halfway around the world.
It’s quite an honor to be invited to represent American dance. I’m hoping that the audience will be entertained by the pieces we’re bringing and that they will notice how versatile BMD is. Everyone in the company is so talented and in Lucy’s Local Playlist we have the opportunity to express our individual personalities. I hope to make a positive impression so that the dance festival continues to incorporate American dance in the future.
Elizabeth Clain-Stefanelli: “This is my second season with the company and I love touring because I get to reach out to so many different types of audience members. It is really neat to be able to share our art and hard work with so many people. I am so excited about China; there are no words! I am in for the best art and culture shock of my life in the best of ways! It will be my first time to Asia.
I think it is a huge honor to represent American dance companies in the Guandong Festival. I want to take and present my best technique, emotion, and love for dance. There are a lot of companies in the US that could go but are not. BMD is going and I take that as a responsibility to bring my best. It is my job to work hard in preparation for this amazing experience.
I will not be able to travel without my camera. I am going to want to remember this trip for years to come!”
Lauren Christie: “This is my first season with Bowen McCauley Dance. This will be my first extended tour with BMD, but after our recent weekend trip to Berryville, VA, I think I’ll most enjoy the camaraderie among the company members. There are lots of different personalities, but everyone gets along well and we have fun.
So many things excite me about this tour! I’ve never been to China before, so I’m definitely excited to visit someplace new. I’ve also never performed internationally, so our performances will be very exciting for me. In addition, I’m incredibly excited to see performances by other international contemporary companies at the Guangdong Modern Dance Festival.
In representing American dance while abroad, I think we have a responsibility to put our best foot forward and show what makes American dance unique both in classes and in performances. Although we represent only a fraction of the dance happening in the United States, we can strive to be original, sincere, and open to possibility. As an individual dancer, I believe I need to be myself. As an art form, dance transcends language barriers and cultural differences. As long as we can be authentic and open in classes and performances, I believe we can show what makes American dance truly special.”
Joan Ayap: “I’m extremely excited for my first season with BMD. What I enjoy most about touring with the Company, is getting to know my fellow dancers and learning more about the Company. Everything about this trip excites me. . The country, the culture, the people, the festival itself, and the ability to share that same passion with the other performers as well.
Through the Company’s artistic mission, ‘creating community through dance,’ BMD has established a distinct way to express its artistry in dance and it is such a great honor to be part of this and be able to share that same mission to the rest of the dance community.
I can’t travel without my iPad!
Alexandra Keen: “This is my first season with the company and I’m absolutely loving it! I love how we’re a small but powerful company. Everyone has so much to offer and I thoroughly enjoy coming to the studio and working with such great artists…and friends! This tour is an amazing opportunity and I never thought I would be going to China to dance. To share our love of dance with other artists from around the world is going to be such an incredible experience that we will never forget.
As an individual, I love learning from other dancers. Whether it be technically or artistically, I love it when I walk away from a class or performance having been inspired by fellow dancers. I’m sure I will be coming back to the States knowing a little more than before, and I hope that the other artists attending the festival will be moved and influenced by what we bring to the table.
I can’t travel without a good book for the plane ride!”