Guangdong Modern Dance Company 广东现代舞团 By Wilcox, Emily E.
The Guangdong Modern Dance Company (GMDC) is China’s first professional modern dance performance group. GMDC was founded in 1992 as the “Guangdong Experimental Modern Dance Company” under the leadership of founding director Yang Meiqi (杨美琦) and artistic director Willy Tsao (曹诚渊), and with approval from the provincial government of Guangdong, China. GMDC received early support from American Dance Festival chairman Charles Reinhart and the Asian Cultural Council. Exchange programs facilitated by these groups in the United States were instrumental to the institution of modern dance in China after the 1980s. GMDC’s past artistic directors include Willy Tsao (1992–8 and 2004–7), Yang Meiqi (1998–2000), Gao Chengming (高成明, 2000–4), and Pun Siu-fai (潘少辉, 2007–12). Together with the modern dance program established by Yang Meiqi at the Guangdong Dance School (joint with the Beijing Dance Academy), GMDC has cultivated the core artistic base for modern dance in China and has helped establish Chinese modern dance on the international stage. Beijing Dance Academy, Beijing Dance LDTX, Hong Kong City Contemporary Dance Company, Jin Xing Dance Theatre of Shanghai, and TAO Body Theatre all draw leading modern dance artists from the early Guangdong school. Each summer, GMDC hosts China’s most important modern dance festival and summer camp, attracting students and teachers from around China and the world.