DANCEWORKS: Can you talk about how you began your music career?
QIU XIA HE: When I grew up in China, during the end of Chinese Cultural Revolution, my parents wanted me to gain some musical skills. These skills would allow me to continue studying and avoid being sent to a farm (which was the government’s policy). I began studying music early, became a professional musician when I was 13, continued on to university, and became a Pipa teacher later in the same academy.
DANCEWORKS: How did you and Wen Wei Wang meet?
QIU XIA HE: I have being touring and performing in Canada since 1991 with my own music group Silk Road Music. I met Wen Wei during a few performances, but only in the last four years have we started working together. Made in China was started about three years ago.
DANCEWORKS: Can you talk about your creative process for Made in China? How did you develop the musical score?
QIU XIA HE: Made in China is created by four artists and the process was very organic through improvising together and finding interesting links between each arts discipline – music, dance, and electronic arts.
We chose music, songs, percussion, and supporting sounds according to the dancers movement, mood, emotion, and the piece as a whole. There is no written score, but an idea designed for each dance movement – how fast and loud, depends on the performance.
DANCEWORKS: Thank you very much, Qia Xia He.
DanceWorks presents Wen Wei Dance’s Made in China on October 21 & 22, 2016 at 8pm at the Harbourfront Centre Theatre. Click here to purchase tickets.
Photo credit: Tim Matheson