Sang Jijia

Sang Jijia

The protégé

Published in 2003

“I am interested in interacting with the West to understand how cultural differences affect the work of artists,” said Sang Jijia at the outset of the mentoring year.

For the 30-year-old Chinese dancer and choreographer of Tibetan origin, working closely with his “hero”, William Forsythe, has been a dream come true. “Every day was exciting, full of new ideas and new things to try – even when Bill was not working with me directly. Observing his work with other dancers was exciting and surprising too.”

Sang has been dancing and choreographing professionally since 1993, following his studies at the Music and Dance Department of the Central Ethnic University in Beijing, China, a country where contemporary dance faces many difficulties. He began his career as a dancer and choreographer with the Guangdong Modern Dance Company, China’s first and finest modern dance company. In 1999 he left to join the foremost modern dance troupe in Hong Kong, the City Contemporary Dance Company.

Performing to rave reviews in Asia and the West, Sang has collaborated with leading choreographers around the globe. A top-prize winner, in China and at an international dance competition in Paris, he was also declared a “Star of the Next Century” by the Guangdong provincial government in 1998.

Already recognized for his powerful technique, Sang looks forward to spending another year with the Ballett Frankfurt, continuing his artistic and creative growth. “We’ve made a very good beginning, but one year wasn’t enough. At this point. I’m just beginning really to understand what Bill wants and what I can do.”