ST. PAUL — CAAM Chinese Dance Theater (CAAM CDT) Artistic Director Teng Lili and Company present the premier of a two-act dance drama, “Homecoming: A Chinese New Year’s Tale” on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 26 at 2 p.m), 2014 at the O’Shaughnessy Auditorium of St. Catherine’s University, 2004 Randolph Ave, St. Paul, MN 55105.
Set in a hill-side village in Northern China, “Homecoming: A Chinese New Year’s Tale” draws upon popular customs and folk dance traditions to impart the joyous anticipation of New Year’s celebrations with loved ones, friends and neighbors.
Two tales intertwine in this dance drama. In the first story a pair of sisters long for their parents’ return; one falls into a deep sleep and dreams of the sights and wonders of the New Year. The second tale revolves around a young couple who, discovering a New Year’s gift left behind at the train station amidst the hustle and bustle of New Year’s travel; embark on a quest to return the gift.
Will the sisters be reunited with their parents? Will the rightful owner of the gift be discovered? Don’t miss this chance to see the premier of “Homecoming: A Chinese New Year’s Tale,” and ring in the Chinese New Year with CAAM Chinese Dance Theater.
Advance tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Order through www.caamcdt.org or call 651-774-0806.
CAAM Artistic Director, School Principal, Outreach Director, and Dance Instructor
Lili Teng, has a career that has spanned more than 40 years and across two continents.
Lili Teng has distinguished herself in dancing, teaching and choreography, with many of her works winning national awards in China. Earlier in her career, she was a lead dancer in such productions as Thunder Top Pagoda (Lei Fen Ta), Flowing North Xian River (Xian Jiang Bei Qu), White Hair Lady (Bai Mao Nu) and Salute to the Li Man Mountain (Li Man Song). She turned to teaching and choreography in the 1970s, directing many national and provincial television dance shows, including the dance drama Hwai River Legend (Hwai He Fon Qing), the opening ceremony of the National Short Performance Competition and the 1999 National Mid-Autumn Opera Show.
After she arrived in the United States in 1999, Lili Teng has continued to create and choreograph dance dramas and teach at CAAM Chinese Dance Theater. Her artistry comes through in Descendants of the Dragon and Beloved Land, two major productions that won rave reviews when they premiered in the Twin Cities. Her cumulative skills and artistry shine through her newest work in CAAM CDT, Quintessence, which features classical dances evoking the beauty and harmony in nature and its relationship with people.
Teng choreographed the Happy Evening by the Spring River, in which the young couple bids farewell. It is a graceful and tender dance, a segment in dance drama, Butterfly Lovers. She also choreographed the dance, Little Wu Dan, which features the mighty prowess and heroic characters of Chinese Kung Fu.
Teng currently is an instructor, the principal, and the artistic director at CAAM Chinese Dance Theater. She also teaches Chinese dance to students and teachers at XinXing Academy in Hopkins, Minn.
Dance Instructor Ying Li graduated from Shenyang Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Traditional Chinese Dance Education. She loves children and teaching dance. She started her dance teaching career right after graduating from college.
Li was a teacher and choreographer of traditional Chinese dance in Children Palace in Dalian, China for six years, responsible for all the teaching, choreographing, physical and artistic training, and production performance. As a superintendent of kindergartners for Children Dance Program in Dalian TV Center, Li organized and coordinated the dance programs in numerous live TV shows.
Ms. Li was also an artistic instructor in basic ballet, body line, and modern dance in Dalian Modern Model School for teenagers. She has won many awards both on her own dance performance and her teaching and choreographing works. She was honored the Gold Award on the dance “Little Girl by Huaihe River” and the Outstanding Creative Award on the dance “Little Heroin” in Harmonious Spring Festival Evening Gala hosted by China Central TV (CCTV) in 1999. In 2001, her dance “Ying Chun Hua Ban” was awarded with Gold Award in the Dandelion National Youth Talent Selection Completion.
Li earned the title of 2002 Outstanding Teacher of Children Art Training in Dalian in 2002. She was entitled the Outstanding Instructor Award in Sino-Japan-South Korea International Youth Arts Exhibition in 2006.
Since 2008 Li has been teaching at CAAM CDT. She also teaches Chinese dance at Minhua Chinese School, Yinghua Chinese School, XinXing Academy, and CAAM CDT Rochester School in Rochester, Minn.