The Dance Enthusiast (Philadelphia) Asks KUN-YANG LIN/DANCERS
Kun-Yang Lin and Ken Metzner, Directors of the Philadelphia Company, Reflect on Their New York Beginnings and Inspiring Future Plans
Philadelphia Prepares for the 5th Anniversary Celebration of Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers
Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers at the Painted Bride Art Center
Thursday-Saturday, November 7th-9th
8 p.m. Thurs.-Fri., 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.* Sat.
*Saturday’s 8pm performance is a special KYL/D Fundraiser and celebration
$30 in advance, $35 day of show, click Painted Bride Art Center for Tickets
Roger Lee for The Dance Enthusiast: What is the mission and artistic intent behind Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers?
Kun-Yang Lin: I explore the concept of Chi and how it is applied into dance through body, space, time, and energy. You cannot see the Chi, but you can feel it as energy in the room.
Ken Metzner: Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers celebrates the ability of dance to integrate body, mind, and spirit, inviting audiences to engage in their own journeys of self-discovery. Proceeding from a rich frame informed by diverse philosophies, living traditions and contemplative practices of Asian origin, the company creates contemporary works that transcend cultural boundaries. Kun-Yang Lin’s work is global in perspective.
TDE: What do you think has attributed to the company's long-lasting success?
KM: A clear artistic vision. The work is relevant to changing times because at its core it explores our common humanity. The work is challenging for the dancers who are required to bring their full selves -- body, mind and spirit -- into the work. The same goes for audiences, who are offered an opportunity to reflect through the work.
Also, Kun-Yang’s love for research and professional development has served the company well over the years. He constantly travels the world to reflect, perform, teach, and study. The company also rehearses year-round in preparation for home seasons and tours.
TDE: How has the company evolved over the time?
KM: Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers moved from NYC to Philly in 2008. We acquired our own space -- not just for own creating and rehearsing but for nurturing emerging choreographers through, for example, our quarterly Inhale Series where we have presented over 300 artists in 20 concerts. Kun-Yang also has created a bridge between higher education and the professional dance world for students at Temple University who have gained experience through the company's activities. Kun-Yang is also an Associate Professor of Dance at the University.
Enjoy Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers Preview Video
TDE: Where do you see the company going both artistically and administratively within the next five years?
KYL: As an artist, you just keep doing what you know you have to do. You become a leader simply by fully committing to what you are doing and embodying your vision. I plan to continue down this path of artistic growth over the next few years.
KM: My job is to ensure that the administrative framework continues to grow so that it can fully support the outstanding artistry. It takes a lot of support from the community -- board, funders, donors, and volunteers. We are moving in the right direction.
TDE: What is this weekend’s concert series about?
KM: This weekend’s concert series celebrates Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers 5th anniversary in Philadelphia!
In honor of the big occasion, the company performs a rare repertoire spanning over 20 years. The diverse work speaks to the company’s versatility, virtuosity, and fearless engagement with contemporary themes including sexual identity, addiction, self-acceptance, and the meaning of community.
Highlights will include works never seen in Philadelphia – the solo, Butterfly, set to the haunting music of Puccini, the duet, Love Song from Kun-Yang’s Poem of Arbos, and the tango-inspired, Shall We…? These works received high praise from The New York Times and Backstage. The program will also include a new piece choreographed by Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers senior dance artist, Olive Prince.
TDE: What is your fondest memory with the company?
KYL: Being inspired by the dancers’ full-bodied commitment to the work that makes them shine on stage. Each moment that I see them reach their full potential is a new memory. I remember watching a dancer on stage being authentic and owning the choreography. They were having a moment and becoming a part of the dance piece. Watching a dancer lose themselves in the work and connecting with the audience is a great part of my work with the company.
TDE: How can the public get involved with Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers?
KM: People can come take our classes, attend the Inhale Performances and our Open Dialogs, and see our performances. They can also spread the word and volunteer at our center. For those who are passionate about our mission and artistry, please consider joining our Board of Directors. People can also get involved by coming to see and be a part of our 5th Philadelphia Anniversary concert series this weekend!
To Get Tickets for KYLD's 5th Anniversary Celebration- Click Painted Bride Art Center