Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers
photo courtesy of Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers

Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers’ 25th Anniversary Home Season, March 10-11

One of the country’s premier Asian-American contemporary dance companies, Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers (KYL/D), announces its 25th Anniversary Home Season, KyLin’s Garden 麒麟的花園: – A Space For Tending, Sharing & Imagination– at the Mandell Theater, 3220 Chestnut St, Philadelphia on Friday, March 10th and Saturday, March 11th.

KyLin’s Garden, the company’s original name (from 1998-2002), references K(un)Y(ang) Lin’s initials, as well as the KyLin, an Asian mythological creature that combines elements of five animals into one body – suggesting the different artistic voices that come together to form an ensemble, while “Garden” offers a community of diverse influences that flourishes as a whole.

This concert advances Lin’s vision of cultivating the next generation of dance-makers by including two world premieres: Shrill by Evalina Wally Carbonell and Dragon by Weiwei Ma, in a shared program of six diverse works, both of which were inspired by a sculpture at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ by Taiwanese artist, Yuyu Yang. 

The concert also includes four-imagined works by Lin: the beloved duet, Love Song (1998); the recently acclaimed solo with Mahler’s music, The Wind 2 (2022); the Philadelphia premiere of Kylin’s Garden (1997) and the acclaimed ensemble work, Traces of Brush (2004), with special guest, Ken Metzner, reciting a poem by Myrna Patterson.

Carbonell’s creation, Shrill, explores human yearning through a vivid kaleidoscope of the senses, deconstructing the shrill sound of isolation and heartbreak. At the same time, Ma’s work, Dragon, taps into the sculpture’s expression of symbols from Chinese philosophy– integrating contemporary dance with Chinese cultural concepts.

To celebrate the 25th Anniversary milestone, the company will present a diverse concert of works from KYL/D’s beginnings that have rarely, if ever, been seen by Philadelphia audiences, including the Philadelphia premiere KyLin’s Garden (1997) and a revisioning of well-known signature ensemble work, Traces of Brush (2004).

Kylin’s Garden, described at its premiere as “a spare, mysterious solo, slight but implacable looking” by Jennifer Dunning of the New York Times, is being offered to Philadelphia audiences for the first time as an homage to the dreamers among us who make the impossible manifest.

And after thirteen years, Traces of Brush is being reenvisioned. The work explores the parallels between the art of dance and the ancient Chinese art of calligraphy. The dancers’ bodies are, at turns, the calligrapher’s brush, ink, or energy, giving life to the space/canvas.

Interested fans can get a behind-the-scenes look into the creative process by attending two distinct offerings before the anniversary event. On Saturday, February 11th at @2:30pm, KYL/D will host its Open Studio Series at its dance center, 1316 S. 9th St. Philadelphia. Several weeks later, patrons can view the sculpture that informed the world premiere works on Saturday, February 25th at @1:00pm at Grounds for Sculpture, along with a conversation with Carbonell and Ma.

The KYL/D Ensemble artists are Evalina Carbonell, Weiwei Ma, Keila Pérez-Vega, Sophie Malin, Takashi Kanai, Robert Burden, Campbell Tosney (apprentice), Angelica Nieves-Merced (apprentice).

Hailed for its superbly trained dancers and inventive choreography, the internationally-active Kun-Yang Lin Dancers probes at the limits of national identity. The company has performed around the world, including at the Tanzmesse International Dance Festival (Dusseldorf), Busan International Dance Festival (Korea), Jogia International and AsiaTri festivals (Indonesia), Festival Internacional de Danza in Queretaro (Mexico), Victoria Theatre (Singapore) and HsinChu Performing Arts Center (Taiwan). In the U.S., KYL/D has performed at Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival, Interlochen Festival, Columbia Festival, Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, the Painted Bride Art Center, The Egg, PennLive Arts, the Kimmel Center, the Forrest Theater, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation and Philadelphia’s City Hall. Numerous funders have supported KYL/D, including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the Jerome Robbins Foundation, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the William Penn Foundation, the MidAtlantic Arts Foundation, as well as support from the U.S. Department of State.

KYL/D Commemorates 25th Anniversary
KyLin’s Garden 麒麟的花園
Fridy, March 10 at 7:30pm
Saturday, March 11 at 2:30pm & 7:30pm
The Mandell Theater: 3220 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Tickets & Information at https://www.kyld.org/2023

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