Bian Dan

Bian Dan Main Image

About the Performance

Premiered: Arizona State University/ Public Events

The Dance Center/Columbia College

Chicago Premiere : May 11, 12, 13, 2000 at 8pm

NYC Premiere at La MaMa Annex Theatre

June 1-4th & June 8-11th, 2000

New York City Community participants:
Adults: Jiao Lian Bai, Kwan Ken Chan, Choi Ping Chin, May Chiu, June Chou, Xian Lai Gao, Billy Moy, Cui Zhen Yu, Mei Fen Yu, Guo Ying Zhang.
Teens: Samantha Chan, Yula Chin, Lynn Huang, Eric Lee, Eunice Onie Lee, Sky Kwan, A Chen.
Children: Evelyn Chen, Donna Poon, Anthony Yu, Jessica Yu.

Bian Dan (2000) Highlighting the dramatic and dynamic interweaving of generations and cultures that occurs in Asian immigrant families, Bian Dan gives voice to their experiences of struggle and hope. In Chinese, the two characters Bian Dan stand for the bamboo shoulder poles used throughout Asia to carry heavy loads. In the work, the bamboo pole is symbolic of both burden and strength, representing the mixed cultural burdens shouldered by immigrants and their children, as well as their integrity and endurance. In particular, Bian Dan examines the parent-child relationship and explores the misunderstandings caused by cultural and generation gaps. In each venue, Bian Dan features community members of all ages.

“Chen, who makes a buoyant appearance in the dance’s curtain call, beautifully mixes the citizens’ troupe into the proceedings, and they respond to his direction with great zest.”
-Richard Christiansen, Chicago Tribune


New York Dancers: Jennifer Bishop, Nathanael Buckley, Bryon Carr, Dian Dong, Victor Hom, Hsin-Ya Hou, Tanya Eunhee Ko, Johan Parlagutan, Jennifer Perfilio, Evelyn Chen

Arizona Community Participants: Wan Gin Ong, Jui Sun, Keng C. Chang, Yuet Ying Lo, Mary Tang, Ta Chung Voo, Jessica Feng, Nancy Chu, Houa Vongsachang, Cheng-Jen Li, Lisa Chow, Wei Li Chen, Edgar Garcia, Quetzal Guerrero, Hurnan Chang, Irene Wang, Grace Ma, Michelle Li, Elizabeth Shih, Vicky Chang, Kohong Chen, Eric Huang.


Bian Dan Celebrates Immigrant Experience

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H.T. Dancers in Bian Dan

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Elegant Dance Program Focuses on Chinese Families

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H.T. Chen


Bradley Kaus

Additional Credits

Set Design: Eric Harriz
Costume Design: Linda Ross
Costume Construction: Mildred del Rio
Production Manager/Lighting Director: David R. Herrigel
Company Rehearsal Assistant: Hsin-Ya Hou
Community Rehearsal Assistant in Arizona: Lisa Chow

Musicians: Cao Bao-An, Bradley Kaus, Sylvain Leroux, Scott Morehouse, Youliang Zho

Photo: Carol Rossegg

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