Temple Dance Department – Our Bare Truths: An Evening of Three Premieres, Feb 15-16

The Department of Dance at Temple University proudly presents Our Bare Truths, an evening of dance choreographed by final year MFA candidates: Chenyu Xiong, Qijundai Liu, and Alissa Elegant. Each has a piece dancing her personal truth. Enjoy three unique premieres by promising young choreographers.  Performances will take place on February 15th and 16th at 7:30 pm.

“Harbin, My Refuge” by Alissa Elegant
Harbin, My Refuge, is a modern narrative dance theater piece that tells a story of a city, a refuge and a family that became uprooted.  It explores the parallel and intertwined stories of Eva Krongrouz and Harbin of the 1920’s and 1930’s a city full of contradictions. It is a story impacted by the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, Stalin’s Great Terror, and missionaries of the Catholic church.  Great world events of the twentieth century had an outsized impact on Eva Krongrouz and the city of Harbin resulting in the loss of family and the disintegration of community.  These traumatic losses are explored through movement.  This piece features a new composition by Adam Laub of Tidal Archive.

Alissa Elegant is a dance artist and emerging choreographer who produces multidisciplinary and thoughtful work. She has many years of dance experience both in the United States and China. She grew up dancing at the Oakland Ballet Academy under Ronn Guidi and performing roles with the Oakland Ballet Company. She spent a year in Beijing studying dance on a Fulbright Fellowship. She took classes at Minzu University and participated in field research alongside Chinese professors. She has set pieces on the San Francisco dance company World Dance Fusion and presented at the Association of Asian Performance Conference.

“Mask” by Qijundai Liu
This is a live dance performance all about humans, building gender, race, and culture. It is about finding the commonality of humans and locating the genuineness underneath the skin. It is a journey of revealing ourselves and being brave to live with our true selves in harmony. Masks pile up across the entire stage. Living creatures crawl, communicate, giggle, fight, struggle and dance with their masks. They tear it down, tear it down, tear it down… the voice echoes in their hearts. It is a live performance with multimedia technology; it creates a visual feast. This work features music and visuals by Darryl Justin Padilla.

Choreographer, Qijundai Liu is a current third-year MFA student at Temple University with a multi-cultural dance background. A dancer/choreographer, she started her dance career when she was six. She trained in Chinese dance for at 4 years at Central China Normal University where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in dance. She spent time at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at University of California, Irvine, where she started to learn modern dance and ballet. In 2016, she became an MFA student in dance choreography at Temple University. She began working on the mask project over the past two years. She has already presented her mask solo for many dance series in different venues, Conwell Dance Theater at Temple University, ETC dance series in Philly, 8 in Show at Dixon Place in NYC, etc. She also did a mask theme dance exhibition at the United Art Museum in Wuhan, China. In 2019, she also was awarded a Terminal Master’s Project Completion Grant from the Graduate Board Fellowship Committee of Temple University.

The Body Constrained” by Chenyu Xiong
Our body is like a museum. The further we explore inside, the more diverse the movements, the more this stimulates the audiences’ imagination. The question of how to better explore and make use of our body to express our own ideas is an important question for every dancer. I am exploring a dancer’s relationship with their body focusing on concepts such as muscle memory, precision, and breath. Exploring the concept of a bodies’ limitations, there will be a dancer continuously struggling under the binding of yarn. By using three different forms of performance ­ a group dance, duet, and solo, I aim to illustrate the development of the dancer’s body and strive for the audience to feel the body and soul of the dancers.

Chenyu Xiong is a Chinese dancer and choreographer who trained at professional institutions in Chinese classical dance, modern dance, and Chinese folk dance for 14 years. She received her BFA in choreography from Beijing Contemporary Music Academy in 2015. Currently, she is in her third and final year of her MFA in choreography at Temple University. She performed in the 2008 Summer Olympics and at the China National Grand Theater in 2012 and 2015. At Temple University she performed in a premiere by Ishmael Houston-Jones. In 2018, her work was showcased in a charity gala in Shenyang China.

Our Bare Truths
Friday and Saturday, February 15 and 16, at 7:30 PM
Conwell Dance Theater Philadelphia, PA
$20 general admission; $15 students/senior citizens;
$10 Temple employees; $5 w/ Temple Student Owl Card
Purchase tickets online at by phone at 800-298-4200
CASH ONLY at venue 30 minutes before each show.

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