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Why CHIANG CHING 江青 as the Narrator?

1) Ms. Chiang was born in Beijing and attended the Beijing Dance Academy, yet she started her acting training in Hong Kong at the Shaw Brothers studio, and hit her big time in Taiwan's film industry. She was the only movie/stage artist who traversed the three Chinese political entities – PRC, British colonial Hong Kong, and Taiwan – during the Cold War. Now living between New York and Sweden, she uniquely personifies the global Chinese. Kang's career, starting from China's ancient regime and flourishing for a decade in the Chinese diaspora, actually represents the origin of this global Chinese history.

2) Ms. Chiang is a pioneering Chinese modern dancer/choreographer, transplanting the bare-foot dance inaugurated by Isadora Duncan onto Chinese soil. Kang Youwei was the historic figure who liberated Chinese women from foot-biding, thus making modern dance in China possible. One might say Ms. Chiang is in her way one of Kang You-wei's spiritual daughters – a woman who benefits from and excels in one of his most important legacies

3) Ms. Chiang, just like Kang Youwei, has found (and owned) her beloved island in Sweden. They have both, for very different reasons, fallen in love with Sweden, despite their quintessential Chinese identity. Both of them are profoundly affected by the poignant meaning of, and search for, “home.” Datong, the Confucian utopia, is about establishing a home for all…


About CHIANG CHING 江青, the Narrator:

An actress-turned-theatre-artist, CHIANG CHING is an internationally renowned choreographer and stage director who lives between Stockholm and New York. In the 1960's and 1970's, she made close to 30 films in Hong Kong and Taiwan, before switching to a dance career in New York, where, in 1973, she founded her own Chiang Ching Dance Company, the first Chinese modern dance company overseas.
Born in Beijing, raised in Shanghai, Chiang Ching enrolled at the Beijing Dance Academy at the age of ten. Six years later, while visiting her family in Hong Kong, she received an assignment to choreograph for a costumed drama, Seven Fairies (1963), for the Shaw Brothers Studio. And the film's director Li Han-hsiang decided to cast her in the lead role. But then Li had a split with the Shaw Brothers and brought his project to Taiwan to kick off his own film company. Seven Fairies became a big hit in Taiwan, and the Li Han-hsiang-Chiang Ching team followed up with a string of hit films, including Hsi Shih: The Beauty of Beauties (1965), at the time the biggest-budget Chinese language movie ever made. In 1967, Chiang won the Best Actress Award at the Taiwan Golden Horse Film Festival for her riveting performance in Many Enchanting Nights (1966).

In 1970, Chiang left the Taiwan/Hong Kong film industry at the height of her popularity to pursue a dance career in New York. Between 1982-1984, she became the founding artistic director of Hong Kong Dance Company. Since 1985, Ms Chiang has been free-lancing as a choreographer and stage director in Asia, Europe and the US. Her extensive and diverse stage credits include A Midsummer Night's Dream, Gluck's Orpheus and Eurydice, Schoenberg's Moses and Aaron, Mahler's The Song of the Earth, and her own solo dance drama, Variations on a Poetess' Lament, with a text by the Nobelist Gao Xingjian, and at venues such as London's Old Vic, Vienna People's Opera, Bern's Coiffeur Opera, Berlin's International Culture Center, Sweden's Dramaten, and New York's Guggenheim Museum. She was the choreographer and artistic director for Franco Zeffirelli's production of Turandot at New York's Metropolitan Opera in 1987, and subsequently directed her own production of it at Folkoperan, Sweden and the Gdansk Opera, Poland. In 2008, she brought Tea: A Mirror of Soul, the Tan Dun opera she initially staged at the Stockholm Concert Hall, to the Grand National Theatre in Beijing, during the Olympics.

Chiang has written two books -- Of Times, Events, and Ruminations Past (1991) and Snippets from the Theatre World (2010) -- and has also taught dance at UC-Berkeley, Hunter College, the Beijing Dance Academy, and the Swedish Dance Academy.

Datong: The Great Society marks her return to the movie screen after forty years.

For more info about Chiang Ching, see Evans Chan's essay:

江青的影舞人生 .陳耀成


CHIANG CHING and Her Island:

Chiang Ching's Swedish husband, Birger Blomback (1926-2008), a prominent bio-chemist, served on the Nobel committee. Known for his research into blood properties, Blomback himself was a leading contender for the Nobel Prize. For many years, he and Chiang Ching divided their time between Stockholm and New York -- he for his research at the New York Blood Center, and she for her international career as a choreographer. They owned the island of Loskar in the north of Stockholm.
Chiang Ching : A Life in Film and Dance




CAST 台前:

LIU KAI CHI 廖啟智 (Kang Youwei) is one of Hong Kong's outstanding character actors. In a career encompassing TV, film and stage for more than three decades, he has appeared in dozens of TV serials. He won the Hong Kong Film Awards' Best Supporting Actor Award for his performance as a mentally challenged son in Jacob Cheung's Cagemen (1992). Liu was again nominated in 2003 for a HKFA Best Supporting Actor Award and took home the Chinese Film Media Best Supporting Actor Award for his role in Infernal Affairs II (2003) as a stone-faced henchman in a crime family. Most recently, he won yet another HKFA Best Supporting Actor Award for Dante Leung's The Beast Stalker in 2009. His other notable performances include his portrayal of a morgue attendant in Wong Ching-Po's Fu Bo (2003), and Galileo in Spring Theatre Company's Chinese production of the Bertolt Brecht play in 2008.


LINDZAY CHAN 陳令智 (Kang Tongbi aka Kang Tung Pih) is a former ballerina at the Hong Kong Ballet, and a former TV host at Hong Kong's TVB. Her filmography includes Eric Tsang's Aces Go Places/Mad Mission (1982), Allen Fong's Dancing Bull (1989), Tony Au's Moonlight on the Rooftop (1993), and Evans Chan's To Liv(e) (1991), Crossings (1994), The Map of Sex and Love (2001), and The Life and Times of Wu Zhong Xian (2003). She is also a yoga teacher, cabaret singer and composer. (She is the vocalist and co-composer of the soundtrack for Datong: The Great Society.) For her performance in Evans Chan's To Liv(e), she won the Best Actress award at the Taiwan Golden Horse and Portugal Sintra film festivals, both in 1991.


The filmography of BEN YEUNG 楊尚斌 (Liang Qichao) includes Alaric Tay's When We Were Bengs (2006), Simon Chung's End of Love (2009). He has worked in Singapore as a stage and TV actor. Currently, he fronts his own hip-hop band and performs regularly at Sands Casino, Macau.




CREW 幕後:

Peggy CHIAO 焦雄屏(Executive Producer) is a renowned Taiwanese film producer and a major pioneering critic-cum-promoter of Chinese-language films in general and Taiwan films in particular. Films produced by Chiao, which included Beijing Bicycle (2001), Blue Gate Crossing (2002), Empire of Silver (2009), Hear Me (2009), Love You 10000 Years (2010) and many others, have won numerous awards. She is also a columnist and a prolific award-winning book author whose contribution to the international film culture has been recognized both at home and abroad.


MARY STEPHEN 雪蓮 (Editor), one of the most celebrated editors at work today, has had a diverse international career, with more than 30 films to her credit. Originally from Hong Kong, Stephen arrived in Paris by way of Montreal in 1977 and befriended the classicist of the French New Wave, ric Rohmer. She became Rohmer's chief editor starting from Winter's Tale (1992) through his last full-length feature Triple Agent (2004). In the past decade, Mary Stephen has edited Seren Yuce's Majority (2010), Freddie Wong's The Drunkard (2010), Du Haibin's 1428 (2009), Lixin Fan's Last Train Home (2009), Liu Jie's Touxi (2008), Li Yang's Blind Mountain (2007), Huseyin Karabey's Gitmek: My Marlon and Brando (2007), and Babak Shokrian's America So Beautiful (2001). She has also directed five films of her own: Vision from the Edge: Breyten Breytenbach Painting the Lines (1998), In Transit, in Transition: Poem from South Africa (1998), In Transit, in Transition: A Poetic Encounter in Hong Kong (1997), Justocoeur (1980), and Ombres de soie (1978).


KING WING CHEONG WONG 黃永昌(director of photography) received his filmmaking training at The Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education. He first gained attention in 2008 when he entered his Sophie into the Johnnie To-created Fresh Wave Short Film Competition. His Banana and Flower won a “Selected Work” prize at the 2009 Tokyo Video Festival. He is currently working on his first full length feature.


CHARLES TEO 張家銘 (co-composer and vocalist, www.charlesteo.com) started collaborating with Lindzay Chan on her cabaret acts in 2005. Chan eventually invited Teo to work with her on a project to set Buddhist chants in contemporary East-meets-West musical arrangements. Together, they expanded that music project into an original score for Datong: The Great Society. Born in Malaysia, Teo won a Creative Award at the Kuala Lumpur Arts Festival in 1995, when he left Malaysia to pursue his studies in musical theatre at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA). In 2001, Teo was invited to perform Morton Gould's Tap Concerto with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Currently the director of the Musical Theatre program, which he created at the HKAPA, Teo has also been active as a music and dance producer in film, TV, theatre, and commercial events.


LINDZAY CHAN 陳令智(co-composer and vocalist) started singing in her teens while studying in London, and has kept up with cabaret acts over the years. When she started teaching yoga ten years ago, she became aware of her own needs for appropriate music in her classes. The philosophy behind yoga eventually led her to the primeval sankscrit chants preserved in Buddhism. In 2008, the actress invited Charles Teo to collaborate with her on a project to set Buddhist chants in contemporary East-meets-West musical arrangements. Together, they expanded that music project into an original score for Datong: The Great Society.


TU DUU CHI 杜篤之(Dolby sound mixer/designer), one of the most highly regarded sound designers in the world, has worked closely with Hou Hsiao-hsien 侯孝賢, Edward Young 楊德昌, and Wong Kar-wai 王家衛, among others. Named multiple times the Best Sound Designer at the Taiwan Golden Horse Awards, Tu won the Prix du Jury a un technician at Cannes in 2001 and became the subject of the tribute program at Le festival des trois continents at Nantes, France in 2004. It was also in 2004 that he founded his own 3H Sound Studio Ltd. 聲色盒子, where he began to train a younger generation of sound professionals for both Taiwan and Hong Kong.





MARIANNE BASTID-BRUGUIÈRE 巴斯蒂 is a graduate of L'Ecole Nationale des Langues et Civilisations Orientales and Peking University and has been a researcher for the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique since 1969, with her scholarly specialty on late Qing and the early republic period in China. She has taught at the L'Institut d'études politiques de Strasbourg, L'École des hautes tudes en sciences sociales, Paris Diderot University, Harvard University, Seikei University, the University of London, and the University of Kyoto. She is a reader for The China Quarterly.

She is a member of the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques, the Society for Asian Studies, the Academia Europaea. From 1992 to 1996, she was President of the Association Européenne d'Etudes Chinoises. She has received honorary PhDs from the Russian Academy of Sciences and the University of Aberdeen. In April 2010, she was awarded the Légion d'honneur.

Her many publications include Aspects de la Réforme de l'Enseignement en Chine au Début du XXe siècle (1971), L'Evolution de la Société Chinoise à la Fin de la Dynastie des Qing (1979), Educational Reform in Early Twentieth-Century China (trans. P.J. Bailey) (1988), and La Chine 2: De la Guerre Franco-Chinoise à la Fondation du Parti Communiste Chinois, 1885-1921 (co-written with J. Chesneau and M.-C. Bergère) (1972)


CHOW KAI-WING 周佳榮 is a former head of Department of History in Hong Kong Baptist University, where he still teaches. Prof. Chow attended the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hiroshima University, Osaka University of Foreign Studies before receiving his PhD at the University of Hong Kong. Chow's research interests include the modernization of East Asian countries (China, Japan and Korea), Sino-Japanese relations, and the intellectual history of modern China, with special focus on Liang Qichao.

Among the 14 books that Prof Chow has published are New Citizen and Revival: Major Themes in Modern Chinese Thought (2008), From Hanlin to Educator: Cai Yuanpei and His Career (2007), Japanese Journalism in Modern China (2007), Modern Japanese Culture and Thought (2006), Interpreting the Changes from Ancient to Modern Times: On the Teaching of Chinese History (1999) Historical Modern Japanese Culture and Thought (1985), and The Chinese Medical History Dictionary (2002).


ARIF DIRLIK 德理克 is the 2010 Liang Qichao Memorial Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Academy of National Studies (Guoxue yuan) at Tsinghua University, PRC 清華大學 (北京) 梁啟超紀念講座訪問教授. Of Turkish-origin, Prof. Dirlik is a multi-disciplinary historian most known for his writings on globalization as well as on 20th century China, with a focus on the history of Chinese Marxism. He received his PhD in History at the University of Rochester in 1973.

From 1971 until 2001 Dirlik taught at the History Department at Duke University. In 2001 he moved to the University of Oregon where he was also appointed Director of the Center for Critical Theory and Transnational Studies. Between 2006-2008, he taught at the Centre for East Asian Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has held honorary appointments at China Center for Comparative Politics and economic, Central Compilation and Translation Bureau, Beijing, the Center for the Study of Marxist Social Theory, Nanjing University, and Northwest Nationalities University, Lanzhou, PRC. He was a Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Asian Studies in the Netherlands, and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of British Columbia, and a visiting faculty member at UCLA, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

He serves on the editorial boards of over ten periodicals in Chinese, Asian and Cultural Studies, and is the editor of two book series, "Studies in Global Modernity," with the State University of New York Press, and "Asian Modernities," with the Chinese University of Hong Kong Press.

His most recent book-length publications are Selected Works of Arif Dirlik (2010, in Turkish), Pedagogies of the Global (2007), and Global Modernity: Modernity in the Age of Global Capitalism. He has recently completed two edited volumes, The Formation and Indigenization of the Disciplines in China: Sociology and Anthropology, and The End of the Peasant? Global Capitalism and the Future of Agrarian Society. Among his many earlier titles are The Postcolonial Aura: Third World Criticism in the Age of Global Capitalism (1997), Anarchism in the Chinese Revolution (1991), and The Origins of Chinese Communism (1989).


HO-FUNG HUNG 孔誥烽 is an Associate Professor at at Johns Hopkins University, where he obtained his PhD in Sociology in 1999. A graduate of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hung became the Associate Director of the Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business at Indiana University at Bloomington, where he taught between 2005-2011.

Hung's research interest includes: contentious politics, globalization, nationalism, and social theory. His new book, Protest with Chinese Characteristics: Demonstrations, Riots, and Petitions in the Mid-Qing Dynasty, won the 2010 Social Science History Association President's Book Award. He is the editor of the acclaimed volume, China and the Transformation of Global Capitalism (2009), which was reviewed in Choice, Contemporary Sociology, and Foreign Affairs. His recent article for New Left Review, “America's Headservant? Dilemma of China in the Global Economy” (No. 60 Nov/Dec. 2009) has been translated into Norwegian (Rødt. February 2011); and into Chinese and carried by Guanchajia bao (The Economic Observer) and Xinhua yuebao (New China Monthly).

His other notable book chapters include “Orientalism and Area Studies: The Case of Sinology.” in Richard Lee and Immanuel Wallerstein eds. Overcoming the Two Cultures (2005), and the forthcoming “Peasant Rebellion in China” in The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social and Political Movements. One of Hung's ongoing research project is to trace China's changing conception of nationhood in light of Beijing's contentious interaction with Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan since 1949.


JANE LEUNG LARSON 譚精意 is an independent scholar specializing in Baohuanghui (BHH, “the Chinese Empire Reform Association” in English) the overseas political organization that Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao built in exile after their collapsed Hundred Days reform of 1898.

Larson began research on the BHH after the papers of her grandfather Tom Leung (aka Tan Zhangxiao, 1875-1931) were re-discovered more than fifty years after Tom's death. A student of Kang's in the 1890s, Tom moved from China to Los Angeles in 1899 and at Kang's behest helped establish the BHH in the United States. From that period Tom saved several hundred letters and other materials written by Kang, Liang and many other BHH leaders and members. Larson brought this valuable material to the attention of scholars in China, with the help of the UCLA Asian Library, which now houses the collection (http://digital2.library.ucla.edu/viewItem.do?ark=21198/zz002311s5). In 1997, the documents were published as a book in Chinese, Kang, Liang and BHH, edited by Fang Zhiqin, a prominent Kang/Liang scholar at the Guangdong Academy of Social Science.

Larson has presented papers in Beijing, Guangzhou, Singapore, and the United States. An article on the BHH's involvement in the 1905 anti-American boycott, “Articulating China's First Mass Movement,” was published in Twentieth-Century China (Nov, 2007). In 2009, she led an international panel on BHH Scholarship at the conference of Institutes and Libraries for Chinese Overseas Studies at Jinan University, Guangzhou. She subsequently created an online collaborative forum, BHH Scholarship (http://baohuanghui.blogspot.com/) for sharing scholarly resources.

Between 1980 and 2005, Larson was the founding executive director of the Northwest China Council, one of 12 regional China Councils sponsored by the national China Council of the Asia Society in New York. She has been the editor of the newsletter of the national Chinese American organization, Committee of 100 (http://committee100.typepad.com/committee_of_100_newslett/) since 2000. Larson has a BA in anthropology from Reed College, Portland, Oregon.


GÖRAN MALMQVIST 馬悅然 is a literary historian, sinologist, translator as well as a member of the Swedish Academy. Following introductory studies of Chinese under Sinologist Bernhard Karlgren at Stockholm University, Professor Malmqvist studied in China between 1948 and 1950. His international research career began with a lectureship in Chinese at the University of London in 1953. Between 1956 and 1958, Malmqvist was appointed Swedish cultural attaché in Beijing where he met Kang Tung Pih, who requested his assistance in annotating Kang Youwei's Swedish Journals. He translated Kang's book into Swedish in the 1970's, while his annotated edition of the Chinese original was published in 2007 in Hong Kong.

Malmqvist's translation works include the classical Chinese novels, The Water Margin (Shui hu zhuan) and Journey to the West (Xi you ji). He has also translated the works of May Fourth novelist Lao She, contemporary poet Bei Dao, and the playwright and novelist Gao Xingjian, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 2000.

A prolific writer and translator, Malmqvist was elected to the Swedish Academy in 1985. His books in Swedish include Bernhard Karlgren : ett forskarporträtt and Kinesiska är inte svårt. His books in English include A Selective Guide to Chinese literature, 1900-1949 (4 vol.) and Problems and Methods in Chinese Linguistics. His Chinese writings, published by Taiwan's Unitas Publishing, include Another Kind of Nostalgia (Ling yi zhong xiang chou) and One Hundred Haikus (Pai ju yi bai shou).