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Little Red Book, or Plural Body

Nov 2020 Digital premiere at REDCAT New Original Works Festival 2020

What is a Chinese body? How do Chinese bodies move? How are Chinese bodies presented in performance spaces? 

At the early stage of the establishment of the People's Republic of China, Performing Arts has been defined with a single clear purpose: it is always to be in service for the people and for Socialism. Since the 1940s, there have been multiple attempts from the government, scholars, and academic institutions in China to explore and engineer new forms of performing arts that portray the “true spirit of a new China”, as well as exercises and training that discipline bodies in collective forms. From Revolutionary Model Opera, Chinese Classical Dance, Chinese Folk, and Ethnic Dance, to Simplified 24-form Tai Chi, eye massages, gymnastics, and weekly flag-raising ceremonies in schools, Chinese bodies learn how to move by learning how to construct a collective.

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Focusing on the practices and disciplines that Chinese bodies have to undergo in the process of socialization, modernization, and globalization, Little Red Book, or Plural Body explores the conflicts and pressures contained in our bodies as they embody political and cultural symbols. Revisiting collective memories that are archived in our bodies, Xiaoyue Zhang and her on-stage collaborators playfully dissect these political and cultural symbols and examine with curiosity how we, as movers and ordinary bodies, take in them, rebel and unlearn them, and move forward with them.

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Supported by

CalArts WinterLab Festival 2020 

and REDCAT New Original Works Festival 2020


Created and Directed by: Xiaoyue Zhang

Producer: Xiaoyue Zhang, Yue Wang

Production Manager: Yue Wang

Performers: Jiayu Zhang, Yue Zhu, Lydia Li, Xiaoyue Zhang

Cinematography: Xiaoyue Zhang, Jiayu Zhang, Yikai Wu, Natalia Lassalle – Morillo

Video Editor: Xiaoyue Zhang

Scenic Design: Amy Chiao

Costume Design: Xiyu Lin

Sound Design/Mixer: Kai-Luen Liang

Dramaturgy: Yue Wang, Brittney Brady

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