Yang Meiqi, who pioneered modern dance in her native China, will be awarded the 2010 Balasaraswati/Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching by the American Dance Festival in a ceremony July 18 at Duke University’s West Campus in Durham, North Carolina. Choreographer Shen Wei, founder of Shen Wei Dance Arts and a former student of Yang Meiqi, will speak at the ceremony.
“Yang Meiqi’s brave and unrelenting pursuit to successfully build an unknown art form in her home country unequivocally deems her the mother of modern dance in China,” the ADF said in a press statement.
With the help of the ADF and its teachers, Yang established the first modern dance program at the Guangdong Dance Academy and founded the country’s first modern dance troupe, the Guangdong Modern Dance Company.
Yang served as director of teaching and research and principal at the Guangdong Dance Academy and has also been director of the Chinese Dancer’s Association and a member of the Guangzhou Municipal Arts Educational Committee.