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Beijing dancers, polished and precise, take contemporary leap

“Emperor Qin’s Soldiers,’’ choreographed by Chen Weiya. “Emperor Qin’s Soldiers,’’ choreographed by Chen Weiya. (PHOTOS BY BEIJING DANCE COMPANY)
By Karen Campbell
Globe Correspondent / November 15, 2011

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Beijing Dance Company’s Boston debut Saturday night at John Hancock Hall brought elements of both predictability and surprise. One might expect a certain degree of cultural conformity to tradition from the resident company of the Beijing Dance Academy, China’s only accredited institution of higher education in dance. Yes, there was a gorgeous ribbon dance and pieces with fans. Yes, there were phalanxes of dancers in martial-like unisons. But while no dances showed a real conceptual edge, signs of a burgeoning contemporary aesthetic vividly emboldened several of the dances to offer a glimpse of China’s possible choreographic future.

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BEIJING DANCE COMPANY At: John Hancock Hall, Saturday night