Last Updated on September 18, 2008 by Paulette Brown-Hinds
Clifford Breland’s Dance Studio sits on the site of what once was known as the “Chinese Quarter”, before the Chinese were, again forced to move further out from the ‘Down town’ area. In a UCR Sweeney Art Gallery collaboration/program titled, “A Sense of Place: Remembering Riverside’s Chinatowns”, Bre’s student Imani Bias, performed a stirring solo expressing yearning for connection, and the ‘company’ performed a “hip-hop” dance version entitled “Asylum” wearing heavy boots and straight-jacket costumes.
Karen Wilson, renowned historian and performer spoke of the pain of loss and separation people feel when forced from their homes, people, and culture into an environment both foreign and hostile. They naturally carry with themselves, in their hearts and minds, what cultural elements they need for ‘protection’ as well as for ‘nourishment’.
San-Ching Chang, artistically and academically trained in China and a PhD candidate at UCR spoke about features and meanings expressed in Chinese dance, and then performed several dances that demonstrated these traditions.