会见中国舞蹈创作家赵明

(MsL公司计划把优美的中国舞蹈带进英国剧场,本文为MsL经理刘莉女士在北京会见中国舞蹈创作家赵明的纪录)

五月的北京,温暖,春阳光明媚。赵明老师选择了一个提供西餐饮料的优雅咖啡厅与我会面。我打趣地说他把我当外国人看待。事实上,赵明自己曾在美国学习了几年的现代舞蹈,当然也会接受一些西方的礼俗。我们俩挺有缘分还是老乡,都出生在南方四季如春的昆明,他解释说,他名字中的“明”就是含义昆明。

他看上去没太大的变化,3年前我在伦敦第一次见他,当时他的精品之一杂技芭蕾《天鹅湖〉 来伦敦首演。该节目在芭蕾舞界反响巨大。我猜想特别是对俄国人的打击比较大。中国人可以在人头上跳芭蕾,这对原创芭蕾的俄国人的骄傲来说必定是个沉重的打击。

赵明是高俊生上校介绍给我的,他也是这场戏的导演之一。他们俩与大多数这场戏的演员来自军区表演团体。中国的军区表演团体由中国政府直接资助和管理,培养了一大批优秀的各类艺术家, 在中国文化艺术的捍卫和宣传中起着积极的主导作用,并产生了许多一流的作品。

赵明很谦虚有礼,十分随和。谈话中他有时陷入深思,似乎创作的心灵随时都在运作。我看过他在舞台上的表演,令人动心动情;我看过他编排的很多台舞剧,风格迥然不同,都美丽感人;与他交谈,感觉他很善解人意。

我们畅谈了他已成功的作品, 正在编排的作品,以及分享了他对将来作品的构想。看着我面前的一大堆他的作品DVD和资料,十分钦佩他的生产能力和创作能力。同时我又感到一种对才子的伶惜之情。我不能鼓励他这样不停的工作,操劳过渡有损健康。

我问他搞创作的最终愿望是什么?他表示:希望中国的艺术被世人赞赏。

他的话在我心中引起了共鸣,这难道不是十年前我成立了这个MSL公司的目的吗?英国的舞台创作和伦敦的音乐剧赋予我很多灵感,英国剧场已在世界舞台上占有领先地位,但中国艺术还没有得到应该得到的地位。中国文化灿烂,表演艺术丰富,所以凭着自己对艺术的爱好和天赋,我把为中国艺术开辟市场当作了自己的使命。十多年来在英国做了很多宣传中国文化的项目,武术,杂技,音乐等, 一直在摸索和建立这条路。

赵明是中国现代舞蹈的传奇人物,是当今中国最优秀的编舞和舞剧导演之一。毕业于北京舞蹈学院,后赴美国和香港学习现代舞。他现在是中国舞蹈协会的副主席。他曾多次胜任国家级和军队级的演出总导演。他的作品无数次荣获国家级大奖。代表作有《闪闪的红星〉,<霸王别姬>,<红楼梦>,<天鹅湖>(杂技),<家住长江边>,<杨贵妃〉,以及中国版本的<胡桃夹子> 。

我们的交流很坦诚。我们一致认为中国舞蹈具有世界第一流的舞蹈表演者和创造者,但是,这个品牌还没有真正做出来。有待我们进一步的探索和研究如何打进西方市场。

我们交谈得很默契,具体谈了合作的项目。相信我们的合作将兼并东西双方文化的智慧,更好的打开市场。

在舞台和屏幕上,西方多以显示机智和幽默取胜,而传统的中国以及亚洲文化,更善于通过肢体的运动来传递信息与感知。

赵的舞蹈令你心旷神怡,美的享受, 心的陶冶。 展示了中国表演艺术的魅力和力量。

我们最后在外面等候出租车时,我诚恳地对他说:“请多多保重,抽时间停下来好好想一想我们今天谈过的一些问题,宣传和市场营销与节目制作同样重要。回伦敦后,我会把更详细的项目计划整理出来。”。

“我会的,谢谢你 ”。 他说着,掏出一支香烟,点燃,深深吸了一口,吐了出来,目送我跳上出租车消失在他的烟雾中。

Liu Li meeting Zhao Ming in 2012

 MsL’s development with Chinese artist groups

This article is written by MsL Managing Director Liu Li , recording a meeting with Zhao Ming in Beijing.

It was warm and sunny in May in Beijing. Zhao Ming arranged our meeting in an elegant cafe bar which serves Western drinks. I teased him for treating me like a westerner.

In fact, he had studied modern dance in the United States for some years and may have developed some western habits. We were actually born in the same city Kunming, which he explained it was where his name ‘ming’ came from.

He has not changed much from three years ago when I met him in London when his acrobatic ballet version of Swan Lake came to perform at the West End. The show was a massive hit in the ballet world, especially to Russians I guess —— when Chinese people can dance ballet on people’s heads, that must hurt Russian ballet dancers’ pride.

Zhao Ming was introduced to me by Colonel Gao Junsheng, who was also a director of this show.  Both of them are from the Chinese Military Performing Group. Chinese Military Performing Group funded by the Chinese government plays a magnificent role in Chinese national celebrations and events, and constantly produces first class artists and their productions.

Zhao Ming is very modest and polite, an easy going guy. Sometimes he seemed absorbed in his deep thoughts, his creative mind is restless.  I have watched his own performance on stage as well, it captures heart and soul; I have watched many dances he choreographed,  each one has its own style, but all are beautiful and mind blowing… He showed thoughtful, understanding and was shrewd in his conversation.

We talked about his works and current productions, and he let me share his thoughts on some forthcoming productions… I was so overwhelmed by his productivity and creativity.  Looking at his DVDs and achievements piled in front of me, I was lost for words for a minute.

I asked him what was his ultimate aim in dance creation?  He smiled and said it would be great if more people in the world can enjoy watching Chinese dance.


I thought to myself:  was it not the same desire as mine when I set up MsL company? British Theatre has given me a lot of inspiration to promote culture exchange between the west and China. British theater has established itself very well on the world stage, but Chinese theatre has not, at least not yet. Chinese performing arts are compelling and have rich forms and contents. I see my role here utilizing my Anglo-Sino arts connection. 

Zhao Ming is a  Chinese modern dance legend, one of China’s premier contemporary choreographers and directors.  He graduated from the Beijing Dance Academy and went to study modern dance in America and then Hong Kong.  He has taken responsibility to conceive many major national shows and events. His works have won numerous national awards. Some of his better-known productions include Shining Red Star, Farewell My Concubine, The Dream of the Red Chamber, Swan
Lake(acrobatic), Life by the Yangtze River, Concubine Yang;  and a Chinese version of The Nutcracker. He is now the vice Chairman of the Chinese Dance association.

Our talk was frank and genuine.  We both believe Chinese dance will have a good market in international showbiz while realising the market has not really been developed yet. There is plenty of things for us to explore and improve in terms of show presentation and marketing.  Our cooperation can pool together expertise and wisdom from both east and western cultures,  and better our position to open the market.

In the entertainment industry, I find that many western shows are wit and humour whereas Chinese actors are good at expressing their ideas and feelings through facial expression and body movements, so China has developed Tai Chi, Shaolin and Wushu which are such  unique forms of performing arts.

Zhao’s dance choreography is a feast for eye and soul, they are the perfect examples of demonstrating the charming and exotic Chinese dance.

While we were waiting outside for a taxi, I said to him: “It is really nice to have a chance to talk with you face to face.  Please give our conversation some good thought.  Marketing and promotion are as important as the show production itself. We can continue to exchange thoughts after I go back to London, please take care of yourself and take some holidays whenever you can, you have worked too hard.”

“I will, thank you, ” he replied.  He took out a cigarette, lit it up,  inhaled deeply,  then blew out the smoke while watching me jump into an oncoming taxi and disappear into the busy Capital city street.