This year’s Dancing Moons Festival features the world premiere of Exquisite Corpse, a new ballet co-choreographed by Phil Chan, Seyong Kim, and Elaine Kudo. Based on a Surrealist parlor game invented in 1925 in which players collaboratively create a figure by taking turns drawing sections of a body on a sheet of paper, folded to hide each individual contribution. Playing off this concept, each choreographer will create a solo (head), group (torso), and duet (legs) and the nine sections will be woven together to create an “Exquisite Corpse.”
Amber Waves by Phil Chan (2022)
Layer Upon Layer by Caili Quan (2022)
Ballet des Porcelaines or The Teapot Prince by Phil Chan (original 1739; reimagined 2021).
“…This production is an eye-catching delight on so many levels. These pieces by five Asian American choreographers stand on their own, while the richness of this community will become evident as the repertoire grows. Witness the emergence of a new chapter of Asian American history at the Dancing Moons Festival!”
– Evelyn Lee, Oakland Asian Cultural Center Secretary, March 2023
About Ballet des Porcelains or The Teapot Prince
A lost 18th Century Divertissement, the original ballet was performed in 1739 at the Chateau de Morville near Paris. It was presented once more, in 1741, in the garden of the château before being virtually lost forever. Not much survived of the 15-minute divertissement, no sets, costumes or choreography, but the score and the libretto which are kept at the National Library of France in Paris.
In 2021, Phil Chan was commissioned by the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art to reimagine the ballet’s centuries-old plot – creating a new version of the story more appropriate for today’s diverse audiences. Says Chan, “Now, instead of it being about, ‘Let’s triumph over Asian people,’ it’s about Asian people saying, ‘Hey, don’t treat us as porcelain dolls. See us with nuance.’”