something goes before me, a Distinction in Dance Project by Cindy Li
Cindy Li, senior in neuroscience and dance, will present her distinction project to graduate with a distinction in Dance.
something goes before me is an evening-length performance work that arose from my research in the cosmologies, political histories, and architectural mappings of my people, the Hakka (¿¿). Hakka translates to 'Guest Family'; as a term, it marks an ethnic group that has been in transnational diaspora for several thousand years, and whose identity and position on revolutionary frontlines over the 19th and 20th centuries has been made invisible by the modern Chinese state. This work concerns itself with questions of origin, identification, locality, and legibility - how we might keep track of time while continuously experiencing displacement, how survival calls for joy and ritual as much as it demands rage, how certain kinds of memory can only be recalled through divinity and the movement of our bodies.
While this creative process is deeply personal and certainly carries the weight of my own stories of origin, migration, loss, and ancestry, I am also interested in remembrance and home-making as important strategies of imagination and political resistance. I am curious about diasporic spaces as structures to make sense of a world which so often makes our futures seem impossible. As I once wrote in my journal about a dream I had forgotten, 'when the flood comes, I will still remember you'.