• HISTORY
  • COMPANY
  • BOARD & ADMINISTRATION
   
 
 

Lily Cai, Artistic Director & Choreographer

Founder and Artistic Director of the Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company and the co-founder of Chinese Cultural Productions, Lily Cai blends Chinese traditional, folk, and classical dance with Western ballet and modern dance, to create compelling, contemporary choreography.

A native of Shanghai and former principal dancer with the Shanghai Opera House Dance Troupe, Lily Cai arrived in the United States in 1983 and founded her company in 1988. She has since choreographed dozens of works for her company Home Season and touring performances, often working in collaboration with artists from music, film, and the visual arts. Today, Lily Cai is recognized for her artistic productions and her masterful teaching of her dance technique for contemporary dance and ballet.

An Irvine Fellow in Dance (2000), Lily has received the Isadora Duncan award for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography and the Choreographer's Fellowship from National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council. Her creative dance-making has been supported by Center for Cultural Innovation, the Creative Work Fund, the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Rockefeller Foundation, among others.

In 2003, Lily Cai received commissions from the Santa Fe Opera for dance in the premiere of the opera, Madame Mao, and fromWorld Arts West for the 25th anniversary of the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. The year 2006 saw the premiere of Lily Cai’s full-length work, Red Typhoon, supported by the Dance: Creation to Performance grant from Dance USA and The James Irvine Foundation; Red Typhoon, performed by dancers from the US and China, explored the impact of the Cultural Revolution on generations of Chinese women. In 2009, Lily Cai set choreography on and directed the performance of her work for the Memphis Ballet in Tennessee and dancers at the University of Texas, Dallas.

In addition to creating dance, Lily has developed her own unique technique to improve dancer strength and stamina, drawing from the Chinese philosophy of Yin-Yang, the concept of Qi (energy flow), and a lifetime of research. In 2010, she opened the Lily Cai Dance Studio in San Francisco, training aspiring and professional dancers to develop internal power, core strength, and breath control.  She travels the world teaching contemporary and ballet dancers the Lily Cai Technique, so that they can dance, without injury, their whole lives long.  


Gang Situ,
Music Director and Composer

A native of Shanghai, Gang Situ has composed many works for orchestra, chorus, chamber ensemble and dance.   His compositions have been performed in China, Europe, Canada and the United States.  Situ is the recipient of many honors and awards, from such organizations as the National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, San Francisco Arts Commission, The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, Ross McKee Foundation, Creative Work Fund, Center for Cultural Innovation, Aaron Copland Fund for Music and Shanghai International Music Festival.  In 1998, Situ was named one of six national recipients of a three-year commissioning award from Meet The Composer's New Residencies Program. Through the residencies, he has composed scores for the Lily Cai Dance Company in collaboration with the Alexander String Quartet, Dimensions Dance Theater, erhu master Jibing Chen and the New Century Chamber Orchestra.

Situ’s composition reflects the diversity of his musical background. His Double Concerto for Violin and Erhu has been performed by orchestras around the world since its premiere in 1994, including San Francisco Symphony, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, I Music de Montreal Chamber Orchestra, City Chamber Orchestra of Hong kong and many others.  In 1997, San Francisco Symphony gave the world premiere of his San Francisco Suite, which includes solo parts for Chinese, Japanese, South America, and African American jazz instruments to dramatize the numerous musical traditions flourishing in the City.  In 2004, he created new rhythms for traditional lion dances in A Musical Dialogue with Dancing Lions, which was premiered by Melody of China and Loong Mah Sing See Wu.

More recently, Situ composed a Concerto for Erhu, Yangqin and Orchestra for Melody of China and The Women’s Philharmonic (2001), Si Ji for Lily Cai Dance Company and cellist Robin Bonnell (2003), Untitled for San Francisco Chamber Orchestra (2005), a Concerto for Cello and Strings for New Century Chamber Orchestra (2006), a Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra for the Sacramento Philharmonic (2007), Six Images for Quartet x 2 for Melody of China and San Francisco Guitar Quartet (2007), Leaving Bai Di for Peninsula Symphony (2008), Sohn for Guqin and Orchestra (2011) and seven works for the San Francisco Symphony’s Annual Chinese New Year Celebration Concert, Red Seal-Strings Calligraphy II (2002), Chinese Opera Suite (2004), Echoes (2005), Festival Suite (2005), Drum Overture (2006), Jasmine Flower (2009) and Shanghai Night (2010).  His first opera, Grand Seducers: Giovanni meets Ximen Qing, premiered in May 2006 at San Francisco’s Chinese Culture Center and was profiled on public broadcasting station KQED. 


Dancers


Mindy Chan
Chui Cheung
QIONG HUANG
C-One
Angela Yuen Uyeda
Phong Voong
Alexandra Nguy
CLARE CHENG
Jia Liu Thompson


MINDY CHAN

Mindy Chan joined the company in 2014. As the newest addition to the company, she shares her passion in dance and music. Mindy has trained in Chinese folk dancing, lyrical, contemporary, blues and fusion partner dancing. She enjoys exploring creative expression at the intersection of art, science, and technology. She is also a pianist, composer, and data scientist with a PhD ibioengineering / neuroscience.

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CHUI CHEUNG

Chui Ling Cheung was born in Hong Kong and started her dance training with the Kai Kai Ballet in Hong Kong. She moved to the United States in 1995 and continued her dance training in Riverside, California with choreographer Sofia Carreras. Chui Ling Cheung danced for Dance Intersect in Southern California, before moving to Northern California. She joined the Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company in 2007 and has performed on tour, as well as in the Company Home Season performances. She is happy to be exploring the new dance challenges that Lily Cai’s training and choreography provides.

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C-ONE

C-oNe, an all around artist of media, movement, music, and mixology has been performing for over 15 years in multiple arenas. With her inner passion to explore the entire spectrum of the arts, C-oNe has studied various forms of dance, music, and culture ranging from ballet to breaking. These influences ignites her ever-evolving creations as she continuously searches for more inspirations throughout this massive playground we live in. She is honored to be studying and performing under the direction of Lily Cai since 2007 learning not only dance, but understanding the internal importance of the human spirit to conjure such authentic concepts.

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JANE Q. HUANG

Jane Huang has danced with professional companies in her native China, as well as in the United States. After graduating from the Arts Academy of Chang-Sha in 1985, she joined the Qunzhong Dancers Troupe; during this time, she also performed the part of Xier in the play White Hair Girl. Her dance performances earned a gold medal in the Hu-Nan folk dance competition and a silver medal in the Hu-Nan International Ballroom Dancing competition. After moving to the U.S. in 2001, Ms. Huang joined the Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company in 2002, performing on tour throughout the country. She teaches dance for the Company’s outreach program, as well as to students in several Bay Area Chinese academies and dance schools.

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ANGELA YUEN UYEDA

Angela Yuen Uyeda began her dance training, studying ballet in San Francisco, Arizona, and Hong Kong. She was privileged to work under Galina Alexandrova, Yuri Zhukov, Alexandra Koltun, and Christine Liao. She later danced with Peony Performing Arts under the direction of Sabrina and Xiaomu Hou. As a soloist, she was selected as guest artist for performances by World Arts West and Chinese Historical Society. In addition to performing with Lily Cai Dance, Angela shares her passion of dance with over 400 students per week as instructor to toddlers, children, teens, and adults.

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PHONG VOONG

Born in China, Phoong Voong has been dancing with the Company since its premiere performance in 1988. She has toured with the Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company throughout the United States, appearing in theaters and major festivals in 24 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Europe. She teaches Chinese dance as apart of the Company’s outreach program. Phoong has a double career as a dancer and also as an R.N. In the summer of 1992, she had the honor of being selected by the American Red Cross to help with the International Fair in Spain. Phong was honored for her years of dance performance, dedication, and excellence at the Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company 20th Anniversary Home Season in San Francisco

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ALEXANDRA NGUY

Alexandra Nguy was born and raised in San Francisco. She began her dance training in classical ballet at the Shan Yee Poon Ballet school. In 2009, she graduated cum laude from the University of Southern California where she was a founding member of USC's traditional Chinese dance group, a performing arts group dedicated to exploring and educating the public about Chinese traditional & folk dance. She served as co-captain of USC TCDance from 2007-2009. Alex joined the Company in 2010, performing on tour and in the Company Home Seasons.

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CLARE CHENG

The newest member of the Company, Clare Cheng was born in Taiwan. She graduated from the Youth High of Dance School and The Hong Kong Academy For Performing Arts, with a major in Modern Dance. From 1999 to 2004, she danced with White Show Performance Troup in Taipei and toured to Singapore, Alaska and Costa Rica. After moving to the US in 2007, she continued her studies in Ballet, Modern Dance, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Aerobic dance. This is her first season performing with the Lily Cai Dance Company

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JIA LIU THOMPSON

Jia Liu Thompson is a singer and dancer, with performance experience on two continents. She trained in ballet at the Beijing Dance Academy in China, danced in several Chinese ensembles, and recorded a song for The Bell is Ringing, a TV drama on China Central Television. While majoring in Dance at San Jose State University in California, Jia performed with the Chinese Performing Arts in America ensemble, at theaters throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

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