YANG ZHEN (CN) / RED VIRGO
Videoimpressions – filmed at schrit_tmacher OFF Festival 2021
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In the Beijing underground scene, ‚Destination‘ is a well-known gay bar. It is a popular meeting place for the queer community, but has to operate on the sidelines to survive. In China, sex is not talked about openly anyway, let alone homosexuality. Officially, China pretends to be neutral. The reality, however, is that homosexuality is taboo, in history, art, politics, and society as a whole.
In the wake of the country’s economic globalisation, China’s youth is beginning to view gender norms differently. Those who are different are slowly becoming more accepted. At the same time, Chinese society is changing so rapidly that social norms and political repression constantly clash with the desire for more openness. That is why a bar like Destination cannot operate too openly. With this performance, Zhen opens the doors of these and other gay bars around the world for us. Destination shows how secret and overt love and sexuality coexist and clash.
Zhen works as a freelance choreographer in Beijng. When studying choreography, he not only studied Western ballet and modern dance, but also the traditional dance and music of various Chinese minorities. In a Chinese society that is strictly monitored and controlled by the government, he creates work in which themes such as the suppression of culture, feminism, nationalism, and the clash with human desires take centre stage.
Zhen made an international name for himself with his triptych Revolution Game. In China itself, his work is sometimes problematic. Minorities, the first part of Revolution Game, was not allowed to be shown in China. Zhen put performers belonging to the Chinese minorities on stage and there was a funny animation about Mao – sacrilege! In Europe and North America, Minorities could be seen, as well as Zhen’s subsequent productions.
Artistic direction and choreography: Yang Zhen
Dancers: Justin Brown, Yiannis Logothetis, Peng Mi en Yang Zhen
Assistent of the choreographer: Junko Li
Decor en light design: Ketamine Tou
Costume design: JIN
Production: Red Virgo
Co-production: Theater im Pumpenhaus, MünsterenLa Manufacture, Aurillac
Agent: Menno Plukker Theatre Agent, Inc.