Gu Jianis work embodies both fusion and juxtaposition. Originating from Southern China, Gu trained in both ballet and classical Chinese dance.
Through exploration and self-discovery, Gu has rejected conventional training to create her own unique style of movement combining the precision of ballet and the virtuosity of Chinese classical dance. Her choreography has toured Hong Kong Festival, the US, Melbourne Festival, and throughout China.
In EXIT, Gu explores the human desire to exit the mundane. In a perpetual cycle of creation and destruction, we seek paths to liberty and self-fulfillment, yet our desires simultaneously stand in our own way.
Inspired by the principle of physics that all acting forces create equal and opposite reacting forces, EXIT explores the interplay of cause and effect. With explosive athleticism, Gu Jiani and dancers create an inter-locking system; one dancers action sparks a current that flows throughout the others. Against the tonal wash of a grayscale backdrop, the dancers’ precision movements interconnect like parts of a machine.
Yet, juxtaposed with the perpetual motion is the idea of confrontation and rejection. In exploring the tension between conflict and acceptance, Gu Jiani’s work ultimately provokes these fundamental questions: Where is the exit really? Or, should we re-examine our original desires?
Please read the article "What we talk about when we talk about Chinese contemporary dance" which situates EXIT in the greater context of Chinas recent dance history.