Duke’s basketball team isn’t the only Duke student group in Kunshan, China, this summer. Twelve student dancers will join them. The Duke University Dancers were invited to perform in numerous other Chinese cities as well, and Duke’s Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts sponsored their trip. This opportunity came about through an arts-focused DukeEngage program in Zhuhai, China in the summer of 2010, led by Prof. Hsiao-mei Ku, who is a violinist in the Ciompi Quartet, a faculty member in the Music Department and the faculty-in-residence in Pegram Hall.
The troupe combines traditional Chinese dance, break dancing, and modern dance — such an unusual mixture of styles in China that they were first asked to perform at the Universiade Games in Shenzhen. The students understandably rehearsed several times a week during the entire spring semester to prepare for their performance, says Vice Provost Scott Lindroth. More than 10,000 student athletes are competing in these games and the Duke University Dancers will be stationed front and center at the opening ceremonies.
Check out the student blog they’re using to document their tour: