The first week of August was one not to forget. At the Sino-Dutch opening performance in May ‘17, Loura & Liam met and performed together with Zen, a passionate and beautiful dancer and teacher. He has danced a great repertoire at the Guangdong modern dance company and now free-lances throughout the whole country.
Each year he organizes a dance intensive in his hometown, Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan, a province in the east-central part of China. Following the festival in Guangzhou, Zen invited Loura to teach at his annual modern dance intensive. It consisted of daily technique workshops in the morning from several teachers and a choreography workshop in the afternoon. At the end of the week was a presentation of both the classes and the choreography. It was an extremely hot week and with all the dancing happening, it got, let’s say, really sweaty! Forget the sweat, more important, we managed to create a very safe, inspiring and creative atmosphere during the entire week.
To break the week we also had an improvisation performance on one of the evenings. A few advanced students and the teachers performed whilst the other participants were the audience. Following the performance, everybody shared their views and there was some time to ask questions. It was really special to connect with the dancers, even though it’s tough to – in normal life – communicate with each other, the magic on stage just happened. We were able to connect on an artistic level and share a story together. A memory for the heart. The few outdoor classes were fun too, giving the students an opportunity to work site-specific and transform the environment as an element within their improvisation.
Apart from the work, the people were just fantastic. Igor, the other foreign dance teacher from Russia, Aee, beautiful contemporary dancer and my translator for the week and of course Zen went from strangers to friends within the week. We laughed, we danced and we enjoyed so many delicious dishes from Henan province!
But then, they surprised me in a way beyond words.., After the presentation, a day before my birthday they threw a mini-surprise party! They sang, we danced and I cried. What a love, such beautiful people and they made me feel at home in a place where I’d never been before. What a blessing! The cake, the flowers, the joy… Like I said, a week not to forget!
Thanks, Zhanghongru, Igor, Aee, and Zen!