Lily Cai dance group to perform at Lied

· 3 min read

Lily Cai dance group to perform at Lied

Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company will present its celebrated “Dynasties and Beyond” on the Lied Center for Performing Arts’ main stage. (Courtesy)

Critically acclaimed Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company will present its celebrated “Dynasties and Beyond” on the Lied Center for Performing Arts’ main stage at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2.

The Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company melds ancient Chinese forms with modern dance in an artistic and inventive marriage of styles. The company bridges the continuum from past to contemporary – from spectacular court dances of Chinese dynasties to contemporary works fusing classical Chinese movement, modern dance and ballet, complemented by dazzling costumes, original music and innovative staging. With vivid choreography and style, Lily Cai reveals the strength, beauty and complexity of the Chinese woman from the distant past to today.

“As Nebraska’s home for the arts, the Lied Center is committed to providing a performance lineup that touches all genres of the arts – dance, theatre, music and comedy,” Lied’s executive director, Bill Stephan, said. “Last season we saw a 30 percent increase in dance attendance among our patrons. This season we are presenting a fantastic combination of classical and modern dance. We are proud to present the Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company as the first dance performance of the 2013-14 season.”

Signature works include “Candelas,” a work performed with lit candles, the “Strings Calligraphy” suite for dance, string quartet and erhu, with sets of traditional and contemporary calligraphy, and “Silk Cascade,” a vibrant tour of traditional and contemporary ribbon dance.

In spring 2007, the company premiered the powerful Red Typhoon, an evening-length dance exploration of the impact of the Cultural Revolution on the women of China. New works include “Shifting,” a beautiful suite based on Lily Cai’s impressions of the fan dances of her own Han ancestors, the “Connections,” an abstract work of pure movement and focused energy, and “Dynasty Revisted,” a modern interpretation of ancient Tang dynasty dances.

In addition to its stage performance, the Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company is collaborating with the Lied Center to offer a variety of residency activities for Nebraska students of all ages surrounding its performance. For instance, several members of the company will travel to area schools to lead “ribbon dance” exercises with Nebraska youth.

Founder Lily Cai will lead a dance techniques class with University of Nebraska-Lincoln students of and will also give a pre-performance talk 6:30 p.m. Oct. 2 in the Lied’s Steinhart Room. Cai will discuss her style, dance philosophy, and how her experiences as a Chinese woman helped shape “Dynasties and Beyond.”

“This is a truly rare opportunity for the students of Nebraska to gain access to world-class performers and work with the masters in their fields of study,” Stephan said.

Tickets, which start at $28, are available at, at the Lied Center box office at 12th and R streets or by phone at 402-472-4747.

The Lied Center is offering all UNL faculty and staff a 50 percent discount on tickets to the performance with the promo code Culture through Oct. 1. With the discount, tickets are available for $18 (Section 1) or $14 (Section 2).

Recent News