LDTX stands for “Lei Dong Tian Xia” meaning “Thunder Rumbles the Universe”. BeijingDance/LDTX is China’s first officially registered private professional contemporary dance company. Willy TSAO and LI Han-zhong co-founded the company in 2005. Since then LDTX has performed at the most prestigious theaters and festivals in more than 20 countries/regions on 5 continents.
The dancers come from diverse cities in China, infusing individuality with exquisite technique and creative talent. LDTX embodies the characteristics of modern dance – including individualism, political mindfulness and contemporary relevance.
Willy Tsao’s words in a 2007 interview with the New York Times still ring true: “The idea of arts as propaganda no longer prevails… This is a natural transition where the Chinese government is adjusting its policies, shifting from a totalitarian state to a freer society.”
Willy TSAO, Artistic Director
Willy TSAO is an influential figure in China’s contemporary dance development as a choreographer, educator, curator, manager and director. Born and educated in Hong Kong, TSAO received his modern dance training in the US. He received his MBA degree from University of Hong Kong. TSAO was named an Honorary Fellow in 2000 and received an Honorary Doctorate in 2015 from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.
As a contemporary dance pioneer in China and Hong Kong, TSAO founded the first and only professional modern dance company, City Contemporary Dance Company (CCDC), in Hong Kong in 1979 and has been its artistic director since 1989. In China, he was a teacher and advisor to the Modern Dance Program at the Guangdong Dance School from 1987 to 1992. He was named artistic director of China’s first professional contemporary dance company, Guangdong Experimental Modern Dance Group, when it was founded by the Guangdong Provincial Government in 1992 and held the post until 1998. In 2004, TSAO was invited by the Guangdong Cultural Bureau to resume as artistic director of the Guangdong Modern Dance Company until 2016. In Beijing, TSAO co-founded China’s first officially registered private professional modern dance company, BeijingDance/LDTX, and had served as its artistic director since establishment.
Committed to nurturing and developing Chinese contemporary dance groups and artists, TSAO established two contemporary dance exchange platforms – the Guangdong Modern Dance Festival and the Beijing Dance Festival. The annual Beijing Dance Festival was set up in 2008 with TSAO as artistic director. It began as a one-week festivity and has since 2012 expanded to become a two-weeks. The Beijing Dance Festival has become one of the biggest celebration of dance in Beijing and among cities in China with more than 300 dance artists, over 200 dance students and more than 5000 audience attendance coming from cities throughout China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, as well as across the world from North & Central America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
TSAO holds several public posts in China. In 2015, he was appointed as council member of the China Dancers Association. In 2016, he was appointed as vice chairman of the Guangdong Provincial Dancers Association. TSAO also frequently gives lectures and holds workshops in universities and dance groups across China in cities such as: Beijing, Changde, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing,Daqing, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Guiyang, Hefei, Huhhot, Kunming, Lanzhou, Nanchang, Nanjing, Nanning, Ningbo, Ordos, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Taiyuan, Tianjin, Urumqi, Wuhan, Xian, Xiamen, Yinchuan and China Hong Kong, China Macao.
TSAO’s contribution to dance has been widely recognized. He was awarded “Dancer of Year Award” from the Hong Kong Artists’ Guild in 1988, “Ten Outstanding Young Persons” Award in 1990, “Badge of Honor” from HRH Queen Elizabeth II in 1993, “Louis Cartier Award of Excellence – Outstanding Choreographer” in 1998, “Bronze Bauhinia Star” by the Hong Kong SAR Government in 1999, Distinguished Achievement Award in 2014 and Life Achievement Award in 2017 by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council for his immense and invaluable achievement and contributions to Hong Kong dance. TSAO was invited by the Dance Committee of the International Theater Institute, a partner of the UNESCO, to be the Message Author for Asia-Pacific and delivered the message on the International Dance Day 2018.
Since the 1980’s, TSAO has created more than 60 major works. They include: Bird Songs, China Wind-China Fire,365 Ways of Doing and undoing orientalism, Wandering in the Cosmos, One Table N Chairs, Sexing Three Millenniums, Dao: Extraodinair, Conqueror, Warrior Lanling and In Search of Grand View Garden. And his choreographies have been presented in Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Korea, United States as well as Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Taipei.