In ancient Chinese myth, the one who creates humans from the earth is a creation goddess: Nüwa was walking along the Yellow River and suddenly discovered her reflection in the water. She decided to use the mud from the riverbed to sculpt figures like her own. Nüwa blew on the figures, and that's how life was breathed into them. The characters became small, intelligent and dexterous, living things that could walk and talk. Nüwa called them "Ren", meaning 'human'.

 

WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT is the second creation in the WHIRLING LADDER series, in which choreographer Chun Zhang continues her practice of 'embodied process'. This piece addresses the question "how does the spine deal with gravity over time?", drawing inspiration from the human developmental stages, it explores the physical, mental and spiritual significance of the human body's unique process of uprightness and it celebrates the animal, humane, divine beauty of women's backs with a minimalist spinal movement derived from somatic research and choreography: a poetic journey of the body rising from the earth and dancing with the three-dimensional force, meanwhile the female body is the earth where human arises.

Conceptual and aesthetic pre-research: 01.02--04-03.2022 with:

Photography: Kai Strathmann

Venue: Disdance Project, Köln

Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT
Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT

Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT

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Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT
Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT

Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT

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Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT
Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT

Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT

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Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT
Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT

Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT

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Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT
Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT

Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT

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Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT
Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT

Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT

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Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT
Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT

Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT

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Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT
Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT

Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT

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Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT
Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT

Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT

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Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT
Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT

Chun Zhang | Kai Strathmann YIBU DANCE WHIRLING LADDER | UPRIGHT

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Somatic research phase 1: open studio, 18.04--30.04.2022 with:

Ludovica Pinna, Mariane Verbecq, Francesca Pavesio, Minju Kim, Pin Chen Hsu,  Anca Huma, Ying Xiao, Alberto  Gunslingerz, Nina Patricia Hänel, Maria Sauerland, Leo Gnatzy, Enora Gemin. 

With the friendly support from: FREIRAUM Düsseldorf, Tanzstation Wuppertal, Maria Del Mar Studio Essen, TanzFaktur Köln

Founded by  Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen,  'Auf Geht's'

03-05.2022 Visual inspiration and research

Inspired by the work of Spanish visual artist Joan Cruspinera: Matrius In/Materials, we will collaborate with lighting designers Philipp Zander and Jari Matsi to bring together the essence of visual art and choreography, creating a beautiful atmosphere through lighting design.

05.2022 Visual inspiration and research

The scenographer Veronika Kaleja and Chun Zhang have developed a concept for an installation: embellished from 24 wooden sticks (just like 24 vertibrae). Each wooden stick is hung closely vertically above the dancers, curving in the sagittal plane like a spine. All the sticks are connected to a tube, a motor is installed to allow the tube to roll and create the subtle movements on the bar.

Wirbelsäule_ 1.jpg

Mood Board created by Veronika Kaleja