Chinese dance company to perform 'Shanghai Tango' Feb. 8

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Internationally renowned dancer and choreographer Jin Xing brings her modern company, Jin Xing Dance Theatre Shanghai, to Penn State to perform "Shanghai Tango" at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, in Eisenhower Auditorium on the University Park campus. "Shanghai Tango," a retrospective of works by the choreographer, features 10 pieces mixing East and West in dance, music and costumes.

Tickets for the Center for the Performing Arts presentation are $40 for an adult, $15 for a University Park student and $30 for a person 18 and younger. Buy tickets online at or by phone at 814-863-0255. Outside the local calling area, dial 800-ARTS-TIX. Tickets also are available at four State College locations: Eisenhower Auditorium (weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Penn State Downtown Theatre Center (weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), HUB-Robeson Center Information Desk (weekdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and Bryce Jordan Center (weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). A grant from the University Park Allocation Committee makes Penn State student prices possible.

China’s first independent contemporary dance company, formed in 1999, Jin Xing Dance Theatre is the creation of an artist born in China to ethnic Korean parents. Jin Xing earned accolades as her country’s best ballet dancer and by age 19 had moved to New York City to study with modern dance icons Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, Jose Limon and others. She then performed with ensembles in Italy and Belgium. Following six years in the West, she returned to China.

“Her life is a pas de deux in every possible direction,” wrote Erich Follath in the German news magazine Der Spiegel. “She is a revolutionary tolerated by the party, a national artist with her own privately run company, an avant-gardist with a feeling for the mainstream. She is careful to not be pigeonholed and to dance her way away from the cliches. Jin Xing is an original.”

"Shanghai Tango’s" sensual dance does not include tango, but the use of music by Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla lends a tango influence. "Shanghai Tango," which also includes music by John Williams, Johann Strauss, Rene Aubry and others, provides a glimpse of contemporary Shanghai, a cosmopolitan city that melds cultures.

Audio description, which is especially helpful to patrons with sight loss, is available for this performance at no extra charge to ticket holders. Penn State International Dance Ensemble Endowment sponsors the presentation. WPSU is the media sponsor. Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring a visiting artist or local expert, is offered in Eisenhower one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints seating is available on a first-arrival basis.

The 2012 national tour of the Jin Xing Dance Theatre Shanghai is part of a major, multi-year cultural exchange with Minneapolis-based Arts Midwest, the Chinese Ministry of Culture and the United States Major University Presenters consortium. Support for the tour has been provided by the Ministry of Culture, People’s Republic of China. The presentation of Jin Xing Dance Theatre Shanghai was made possible by the MetLife Community Connections Fund of the New England Foundation of the Arts’ National Dance Project. Major support for NDP is also provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with additional support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Boeing Company Charitable Trust. This performance is made possible, in part, with support from the Penn State Confucius Institute.

Last Updated January 24, 2012