Our Future, In the Field of Hope


“Many of today’s modern dance works always want to express the most intense emotions and skills in the shortest possible time. Yang Zhen’s work In the Field of Hope provide a serene moment for the audience to think. ”
Willy Tsao, Artistic Director Guangdong Dance Festival

Beijing Nanluoguxiang Theatre Festival 2016
New Talent Section

Time and Date: July 18-19, 19:30
Location: Gulou West Theatre

Produced by: Yang Zhen
Presented by: Ibsen International



In the Field of Hope is the second part of the series of works of Yang Zhen’s “Revolution Game”, his reflection on the current social progress, people’s life styles and the issue of art. Through a large number of historical symbols, the performance illustrates a metaphor of life in contemporary times. The play explores the power play among people, and describes the young generations’ idealism and hope.


In November 2015, “In the Field of Hope” premiered at Guangdong Modern Dance Festival, and attracted interest among audience and fellow dancers. As an example of bold experimentalism, and an interesting attempt to redefine the borders of contemporary dance, Ibsen International is proud to support the participation of “In the Field of Hope” at the Nanluoguxiang International Theatre Festival 2016.

To better understand the artistic progress of choreographer Yang Zhen, we decided to re-post excerpts from an article by GDF’s Artistic Director Willy Tsao.



YANG ZHEN, In the Field of Hope

Most Chinese audience hold a myth that the modern dance in China hardly excel European or American modern dance; some dancers even go abroad to study, and came back with a “shining aura” as a saint dancer. But as China’s national strength growing, the young dancers have more and more opportunities to express themselves as to stage new creative productions and works in the local community, which in a way attracts many foreign audiences.

The 12-year- “the Guangdong Modern Dance Festival” and 8-year-Beijing Dance Festival now have become the benchmark for high-level modern dance in China. And gradually international dancing circle pays special attention on these two events mainly due to that these two parts can browse local Chinese modern choreographer’s works, from which they can touch the young choreographers’ thinking and imagination. A new phenomenon appears that when some Chinese people still are indulging themselves in European dancing aura without a clear discovery that the local dance however in the eyes of foreign visitors, has become more mature and developed.

Yang Zhen graduated from Choreographer Major of Minzu University of China. He is comprehensive Minzu dancer, but he shows great interest in choreographing with innovations. He caught my attention first at the period before his graduation that his small piece of work staged in “Beijing Youth Dance Fortnight Exhibition” called “Alicia”. In the following year, in Beijing Dance Festival, Youth dance Exhibition Unit, he staged a fantastic dancing production called Boldly Go Forward. I brought this production to last year’s “Guangdong Modern Dance Festival”, and it received numerous applause from international guests, and finally, this work were invited to perform in 14th International Festival of Contemporary Dance, Munich, Germany, and received responses enthusiastically. It can be said Yang Zhen just debut one year, but has been involved in the international dance circles.

I like the dancing rhythm of Yang Zhen’s work, which holds a rare serene atmosphere. Many of today’s modern dance creations always want to express the most intensive emotion and skills in the shortest possible time, however, Yang Zhen’s work In the Field of Hope provide a serene moment for the audience to think. Taking In the field of Hope as an example that six dancers wearing thin colored tights, but covered with a thick army coat. The clothing alone will generate strong dramatic atmosphere and exudes a rebellious taste. Young took advantage of a lot of old Chinese songs such as “A River”, “In the Field of Hope”, “Lake Baikal”, etc., which is easily to bring back memories of an era to the audience, simultaneously, the actors allows a solidification in a weird state on stage, which lighten the older generation in the past and has been romanticized spirit that connects today’s younger generations’ lost silence, thus producing a misfits, but with a strong visual and auditory impact.

After watching Yang Zhen’s work, many people inevitably ask a question: how could a work full of history and solemn sense of meditation coming from a 90s generation, who is such a sentimental and shy young man? I was not a little surprised, because modern dance offers a wonderful space for people who do not want to follow the crowd and struggle to live oneself. Among numerous young people, Yang Zhen seems as a more “weird” talent, who will deeply reflect on the relationship between states, society and individuals, in the means of dance. Even many artists choose to avoid political issues, which are obviously dangerous and exciting at the same time, he is boldly digging the meaning of it through dance. I believe that Yang Zhen belongs to a definitely rare “species” which we need to take good care of!

曹Willy Tsao Founder and Artistic Director of City Contemporary Dance Company (Hong Kong), Beijing Dance / LDTX, as well as Managing Director of Guangdong Modern Dance Company, Willy Tsao is one of the leading figure of modern and contemporary dance in China.