CCM Professors Miguel Roig-Francolí (Composition and Theory) and Jiang Qi (Dance) are collaborating on a new work set to premiere on December 10 in New York City. Jiang has choreographed a new ballet to Roig-Francolí’s Five Pieces for Orchestra, a work written in 1980. The new ballet, titled Wu/Xing-Five Elements, will be performed by Dance China NY, of which Jiang is Artistic Director.
This is the second ballet done to this piece, with the first being performed by National Ballet of Spain in 1987. Jiang also choreographed a different version of Wu/Xing-Five Elements for CCM Ballet last fall. Roig-Francolí’s Five Pieces for Orchestra will be performed in a concert setting by the Symphony Orchestra of the Balearic Islands in Palma de Mallorca, Spain on November 25, conducted by Salvador Brotons. It has previously been performed by the Orchestra of Spanish Radio-TV, the National Orchestra of Spain, the Orchestra of the City of Barcelona, the CCM Philharmonia and the Madrid Symphony Orchestra.
Jiang describes the ballet as a work based on “a world that is created in balance. Wu Xing was used mainly as a mnemonic device for describing interactions and relationships between phenomena and was utilized in many fields of early Chinese thought.” This traditional Chinese philosophy inspired the progression of the ballet. “Wood feeds fire; fire creates earth (ash); earth bears metal; metal carries water; and water nourishes wood.” When describing why he chose Roig-Francolí’s Five Pieces for Orchestra, Jiang was very clear. “Miguel’s music has this depth and feeling as well as being very dramatic. Both CCM ballet dancers and Dance China NY’s modern dancers respond to Miguel’s music with positive energy. It’s like the music was made for dance.”
Roig-Francolí also recognizes the power of the music and its nice fit for dance. “It’s a very expressive, colorful piece with powerful orchestration. I have not seen Qi’s choreography for New York yet, but what he did for CCM last year was very powerful, intense, and beautiful. He tells me that the NYC version is even better, so I’m sure it will be spectacular and I can’t wait to see it!”
About Jiang Qi
Jiang Qi, artistic director of Dance China NY, associate professor of dance and artistic director of Ballet at CCM is an award-winning teacher, dancer and choreographer. In 1980, Jiang earned the top prize in China’s National Dance Competition and earned the title Premier Artist from the Chinese government in 1985. He has worked with companies and schools around the world, including the Hong Kong Ballet, Toshiko Sato of Japan, Beijing Ballet, Ballet of Dallas and Utah Ballet. After his arrival in the U.S., Jiang received his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts from the University of Utah. He joined Ballet West in 1986 and was promoted to principal dancer in 1988. He was ballet master there from 1999 to 2001. He joined the CCM Dance Division in 2001. He has served as a dance panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. His recent choreographic works for Dance China NY include The Dream of the Red Chamber, When the Leaves Turn, Morning Song, Mountain Water, Some Seasons and Wu/Wu. His recent work, Undetermined Space, which he choreographed for the Shanghai Dance Academy, received third place for choreography at the 2008 China National Dance Competition. The combination of his roots in traditional Chinese dance and his wide-ranging experience in the United States make Jiang an ideal candidate to interpret and evolve Chinese dance in the American context. He has been the artistic director for Dance China NY since June 2005.
About Miguel Roig-Francolí
Miguel Roig-Francolí, recipient of the 2009 George Rieveschl Jr. Award for Creative and/or Scholarly Works, is an accomplished and award-winning composer. His compositions have been widely performed in Spain, England, Germany, Mexico and the United States, and he has been honored with First Prize in the National Composition Competition of the Spanish Jeunesses Musicales (1981) and Second Prize at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers (Paris, 1982).
Born in Ibiza, Spain, Roig-Francolí received an M.M. in Composition (1985) and a Ph.D. in Music Theory (1990) from Indiana University. In addition, he has published numerous scholarly articles in major refereed journals in the U.S., England, Spain and Italy, and he is the author of two music-theory college textbooks published by McGraw-Hill, Harmony in Context and Understanding Post-Tonal Music. Prior to joining CCM in 2000, Roig-Francolí taught at Ithaca College, Northern Illinois University, Indiana University and the Eastman School of Music.
About Dance China NY
Dance China NY, the resident touring company of the NY Chinese Cultural Center, is comprised of award-winning professional dancers. The Company brings the richness of traditional dance, Peking Opera, and music to audiences across the country. Each year, the Company performs at over 500 events, workshops, master classes and lecture/demonstrations for over 150,000 people of all ages. Recent highlights include participating in the Pathmark Festival, the Dancing at the Crossroads Festival in Times Square, the Autumn Moon Festival presented at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, and the Downtown Dance Festival. DCNY has toured to theaters, schools and cultural centers in 26 states around the U.S.