News: Meet The Dancer - Pan Linguan
Acclaimed for its award-winning choreography and exquisite dance, Hong Kong Dance Company performs The Legend of Mulan, an ancient ballad that celebrates humanity, wisdom and courage, telling the story of Mulan, a young maiden who disguises herself as a man to go to war in her father’s place.
Pan Linguan as Principal Dancer performing the part of Mulan with Hong Kong Dance Company. This will be the UK premiere of its signature dance drama The Legend of Mulan. An ancient ballad that celebrates humanity, wisdom and courage, telling the story of Mulan. At the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre in London on 15 April 2017.
When did you decide you wanted to dance professionally?
I didn’t actively decide to be a dancer, it felt more like a calling, almost like my destiny. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t stop until I have given my best and reached my goal. I think it’s this kind of mentality that got me into dance school. Someone asked me once if dance was the most important thing in my life. I said no, because there are so many things in life and priorities shift as you grow. Right now, I am really enjoying my time with the Hong Kong Dance Company.
What drew you to dancing?
My dwindling health! When I was young, I used to get sick a lot, so my parents asked me to take up an activity that could train up my body. I know it’s a dull story, but this is how I got into dance. I am a very determined person, so once I started dancing I never really stopped to think or plan ahead. In fact, it was my dance teacher who spotted my talent and enrolled me into a dance school secretly. I just continued dancing from then on.
What has been the standout moment in your career to date?
My performance at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York as Mulan. I remember that feeling very well – like I was on the first page of a truly extraordinary journey with the rest of the crew. I wouldn’t say that was the pinnacle of my career, but it was a new chapter for me.
What do you enjoy most about performing with Hong Kong Dance Company?
I am proud of the Company and its incessant creativity. We are constantly producing new works and looking for the next breakthrough. I have been involved in all kinds of dance dramas that keep reinventing themselves. I have played many roles and danced many styles that led me to discover parts of myself I never knew existed.
Where do you draw inspiration from when performing live?
I draw inspiration from real life. I like to keep my memories in many compartments, only to fish them out when I need them. I also read a lot and watch many movies. I get to live vicariously through the characters, their scripts and their perspectives. It gives me a tingling feeling of excitement every time.
What piece of advice would you give to dancers beginning their journey, a bit of advice you wish you knew when you were starting out?
Hone your skills, own them as there are a lot of technicalities in dance. But more importantly, keep an openness to experiencing different art forms. Take your time to listen to your body, and let it learn all the pros and cons in order to bring out the best in yourself. Be wise and be open about it.
You are at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall with The Legend of Mulan on Saturday 15 April, what else is next for Hong Kong Dance Company?
The Company will bring its award-winning dance drama L’Amour Immortel to the stage again, before embarking on a tour to Beijing and Guangzhou, China. We will stage some new works towards the end of the year, including our new dance drama Lady White of West Lake – a reinterpretation of the Chinese folklore Legend of the White Snake – which explores love, loss and humanity.
The performance is in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
About Hong Kong Dance Company
The Legend of Mulan – Trailer