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About the Company
Formed in 1979 after the Cultural Revolution, the Shanghai Song and Dance Ensemble has been one of the most prestigious companies in China, receiving international acclaim on its overseas tours to more than 30 countries. The ensemble has entranced audiences around the nation, on television, and especially in its command performances for visiting dignitaries, including Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Founded with divisions that cover dance, song, and music, the Shanghai Song and Dance Ensemble focuses on ethnic dance drama, drawing on various genres to re-invent Chinese dance and speak to a broad range of audiences in a new language. Among its award-winning repertoire are full-length dance dramas that reflect Chinese folklore and historical figures (Su Wu the Patriot , General Yue Fei) and those that exhibit lavish costumes and reconstructions of courtly dances of past dynasties.

Currently under the artistic directorship of Doudou Huang, who assumed the position of artistic director at the age of 23 in 2000, the Shanghai Song and Dance Ensemble made a multi-city tour of the U.S. two years ago with its signature dance drama Dances of Gold and Silver, a work that has had more than 800 performances at home and abroad on such special occasions as the Asian Games in Beijing, Singapore's Asian Arts Festival, Biennale de la danse in Lyon, and the APEC in Shanghai.

This October, the Shanghai Song and Dance Ensemble not only performs at the Kennedy Center's Festival of China, but also collaborates with the Sydney Dance Company in a full-length dance drama Mulan, a popular tale about the Chinese girl who dressed as a man to go to battle. Mulan will then tour China and internationally.

Critics around the world have been watching Doudou Huang's meteoric rise in the past few years, not only as a superb dancer but as a creator. Huang made his choreographic debut in 1998 with a work entitled Spirit of Martial Arts, and in 2001 his work Chinese Go - based on the ancient chess game—stunned the audience at the Vail International Dance Festival. In the past years, Huang has worked closely with composer Tan Dun in experimental works and installation art. Dubbed the “the Baryshnikov of China,” Huang's solo dance performance was broadcast worldwide during the closing ceremony for the 2004 Athens Olympics. A recent recipient of a grant by the Asian Cultural Council, Huang spent six months in New York earlier this year.


Related Articles
'Shanghai: Not the Same Old Song and Dance From China": The Washington DC – Washington, DC (Oct. 20, 2005)