Matrix: 20 dancers, 2 countries, 1 universal language of dance

matrix expressions dance company
Image: Jade Ellis

Internationally renowned Chinese dance company BeijingDance/LDTX is coming to Brisbane to perform Matrix, a cultural collaboration with Expressions Dance Company (EDC).

Prior to the season at QPAC, EDC spent five weeks in Beijing creating the double bill. During that time, they developed new works from Australian multi-award-winning choreographer, Stephanie Lake, and Chinese choreographer, MA Bo.

As a result, Matrix sees two companies combine on stage with 20 dancers filling the QPAC Playhouse stage. It is a wildly ambitious display of dance virtuosity. The production overcomes language barriers, differences in physiques and artistic sensibilities to present two breathtaking, and vastly different, dance works.

EDC artistic director, Amy Hollingsworth said the Matrix double bill highlighted the varying styles of the choreographers and showcased the range and versatility of the dancers.

“Ma Bo’s piece, Encircling Voyage, is an emotional, intricate, undulating work with powerful imagery and evolving textures.

“Stephanie’s piece, Auto Cannibal, is a delicious dichotomy of hyper-physical yet incredibly detailed movement. It is sophisticated in both rhythm and structure.”

matrix expressions dance company
Image: Luke Pegrum DFAT

Matrix: a groundbreaking partnership

In 2015, through a long-term friendship with artistic director Willy Tsao, EDC entered into a ground-breaking partnership with three leading Chinese contemporary dance companies. They are BeijingDance/LDTX, City Contemporary Dance Company (Hong Kong) and Guangdong Modern Dance Company (Guangzhou).

Only a handful of the Chinese dancers spoke fluent English and also, only one of the EDC dancers spoke Mandarin. However, Lake said the dancers easily overcame the language barrier.

“They communicated non-verbally through gesture, tone of voice, and also action. It was a true testament to the universality of dance,” she said.

This is the third collaboration between Expressions Dance Company and the Chinese companies as part of the Chinese Australian Dance Exchange Project.

International Australian born dancer Richard Cilli who recently joined Expressions Dance Company features in the productions.

Tickets available at QPAC.

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