Smuin Ballet Welcomes Back Choreographer Ma Cong

Cong148After a five year hiatus, we are delighted to welcome back Choreographer Ma Cong to showcase his piece French Twist for Dance Series One this fall. The dancers have enjoyed working with Ma in the studio, where he continues to amaze and inspire us all with his unique dance language. Only three dancers who performed his original work five years ago were familiar with his style, and now the entire company tackles Ma’s exact movements with the precision and speed required. Using the music of the late French composer Hugues Le Bars who composed much of his music for film, Ma captures the humor and playfulness reminiscent of cartoons. French Twist is also suffused with the subtle elements of classical Chinese dance, learned from Ma’s many years training at the Beijing Academy of Dance. Ma bonded with one of our new additions to the company, Mengjun Chen, who also studied at the academy in Beijing.

Ma Cong and Mengjun Chen | Photo by Chris HardyMa’s career as a choreographer first launched in 2004, creating Folia with Tulsa Ballet. Since then, Ma has created original works for Houston Ballet, BalletMet, Ballet Florida, Smuin Ballet, Richmond Ballet, Ballet Nouveau Colorado, Ballet Des Moines, among many others. In 2010, Ma choreographed an original piece entitled Calling for Houston Ballet II and was described by Houston’s En Pointe as having “swiftly risen to become one of America’s most exciting choreographers.” In March 2013, Ma was honored as one of the three winning choreographers for Joffrey Ballet’s Choreographers of Color Awards. Ma is the Resident Choreographer of Tulsa Ballet and continues to be in demand worldwide for his choreographic creations.

Enjoy the video below of Ma Cong and the Smuin dancers in rehearsal from his most recent visit with us. Be sure to join us in revisiting his work live for Dance Series One, opening September 18 in Walnut Creek.




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