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Li Chiao-Ping’s ‘Dolce Stil Novo’ heralded as 'thought-provoking experience'

January 10, 2019

Two local media outlets gave glowing reviews to dance performances created by UW-Madison’s Li Chiao-Ping and her Li Chiao-Ping Dance team.

Li is a Vilas Professor at UW-Madison and a faculty member with the School of Education’s Dance Department. She formed her own dance team, Li Chiao-Ping Dance (LCPD), in 1990. Through her dance team, she aims to not only produce and perform creative and original pieces, but to inform dance as a form of contemporary art and to explore ideas of culture and identity.

In December, LPCD gave a performance titled, “Dolce Stil Novo” at the Madison Masonic Center. This performance, from a female perspective, was motivated by 13th century Italian literature, specifically poetry and prose that concern love and reflection.

Li Chiao-Ping Dance productionAccording to a review by the Badger Herald, Dolce Stil Novo, meaning "sweet new style," showcased the essence and gravity of Italian culture. LPCD did this through dramatic music selection, like songs from Italian operas, and unique dance patterns.

The multidisciplinary performance featured five acclaimed artists — fashion designer Emily Popp, lighting designer John Frautschy, musician Julia McConahay, visual artist Chele Isaac, and artistic director and choreographer Li. In addition to these roles, Popp, McConahay and Chiao-Ping played physical parts in the performance accompanied by several company members, guest artists and student dancers from UW-Madison.

As reported in the Badger Herald, other parts of the show featured multidisciplinary works, like “Three considerations before choreographing the End,” a video that became more interpretable as the final performances were given. The last two pieces, “Endgame” and “Fortuna,” featured live musical accompaniment to the dancers.

The Isthmus reports on “Endgame,” as well, calling it a testament to Li’s literal and figurative strength, as she carried four other dancers in the performance.

The Isthmus also notes the talent of a UW-Madison dance student, Aliya Rose, saying “she combines skill with an indelible presence.”

In these reviews, Li was named a "Madison treasure" (Isthmus) whose "earnest performance" (Badger Herald) was a "thought-provoking experience" (Badger Herald) which gave "goosebumps and a sense of total satisfaction" (Isthmus) to the audience.

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