What are the traditions we want to protect?
What do we want to leave behind?
Last winter, in partnership with Phil Chan and Georgina Pazcoguin of Final Bow for Yellowface, we asked choreographers Yin Yue, Edwaard Liang, and Peter Chu to use their voices and vocabularies to reimagine the Chinese Tea variation from The Nutcracker on their own terms. We called this project UNBOXED. To investigate the questions, challenges, and possibilities this project posed, these Asian-American dancemakers engaged in workshops with the Hubbard Street Dancers to create new variations of the Chinese Tea dance borne out of authenticity and inclusivity rather than harmful stereotypes.
We are excited to unveil the next phase of this project: The UNBOXED Professional Development Series - a complete curriculum, provided free of charge, for arts educators consisting of comprehensive study guides and virtual professional workshops with the UNBOXED choreographers, held over Zoom this fall. Guided by National Core Arts Standards and developed by Hubbard Street’s Education team, this curriculum addresses vital topics such as diversity, prejudice, culture, and appropriation, using these new dance pieces as inspiration to tackle these important and universal themes.
Scroll down to explore the curriculum and learn more about the Professional Development Series of virtual workshops this fall.
Final Bow for Yellowface co-founder Phil Chan takes us on a magic carpet ride through a history of orientalism in ballet, and explains why preserving a Eurocentric view of “exotic” people and places on our stages isn’t doing us any favors with the diversity conversation. How do get more comfortable talking about race and tradition as performing arts educators? How do we become more inclusive and find new ways to innovate while upholding the traditions that are the foundation of our art forms?
In this 90 min open level introduction to FoCo technique* class, participants will experience an active follow-along sequence including Activating, Rooting and Mapping. In each of these sections, participants are led by the instructor to develop awareness in muscular structure and response to achieve precision and control, identify and embody rhythmic pattern and dynamic change, form strong interaction and connection with gravity, and generate heat in the body to prepare for the phrase work. There will be an introduction and explanation of the section after each exercise sequence and class will end with a phrase development.
* The standard FoCo Technique™ class requires sophisticated understanding of dance technique and demands strong physical and mental stamina. Additionally in standard class, there is no break between sections.
A chuthis. Ideas class fuses Artistic Director Peter Chu's research and discoveries that have been acquired over the years focusing on controlled breathing, composition of the body and space, mind/body familiarity, and Qigong & Taichi fundamentals—relaxed, rooted posture; and a straight, supple spine. These ideas will further the dancers’ gentle, tranquil approach to movement and strengthen the dancers’ emotional control and the ability to be out of control when required.
Have you ever faced a thorny racial issue when staging a work for students? How do we talk about changing works in the performing arts to be more appropriate for our community and for our times? As a closing workshop to our series, Final Bow for Yellowface co-founder Phil Chan returns to lead us through an interactive conversation on the many issues surrounding race that performing arts educators face.