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Photos: 1, 3 © China Championdance 2009/2010, 4 © Konstanze Winkler, 2, 5 © Andrè Elbing
Graphic and layout: Konstanze Winkler
Interview with the Chinese
belly dance superstar
Guo Wei

by Marcel Bieger

interpreter: Yingchun Ding

Mister Guo masters a broad range of dances from classical belly dance to Tribal. How did he learn them all by himself?

At the beginning, he danced only the traditional Egyptian style, but soon he discovered that he still had a lot to learn. A whole new world (of dance) unrolled before him.
His Chinese students begged him to learn more dances like Tribal, Fusion, Hula, Hip Hop, Oriental, Indian Fusion, Sino Fusion and many more. And so one dance led to another.
The dance which he performed as a juror before the contest looked to us as beeing related to Tribal or Tribal Fusion. Can Mister Guo confirm that?

(„It was China Tribal!“ says Mister Guo laughing.) Mister Guo composed about a dozen of such dances. They are not Tribal in its proper meaning, but belly dance with Chinese elements. But Mister Guo also loves and dances Tribal Fusion like we know it, and flavours it with his personal touch.

In Mister Guos dances one can detect poses and moves of the martial arts.

In Chinese dance you have many moves and poses from Tai Chi, Kung Fu and even Peking Opera, and of that Mister Guo wants to work in as much as possible into his dances. What you believe to be Kung Fu is actually something much older. Long before there was Kung Fu there already existed a dance, which in its ways showed some similarities with the later Kung Fu; but this dance had in reality nothing to do with martial arts.
Guo Wei with "China-Tribal", no Tribal in its proper meaning, but belly dance with Chinese elements
Who writes the choreographies?

(Mister Guo points at Mister Yao, and Mister Yao points at Mister Guo. The interpreter laughs) “That’s the proverbial Chinese humility. Both of them work together on the choreographies. Mister Yao is also responsible for the costumes. When it comes to choreographies both of them sit together, but most of it will be from Mister Guo.

How did they come to Germany, how do you establish a connection between two so faraway countries?

The Chinese state television made the contact. They called Leyla Jouvana on the phone and asked her, if they could bring Guo Wei with them.

They wanted to report on Western belly dance festivals
and knew Leyla Jouvana already and told her they thought that it would be much more interesting for the Chinese audience to watch a Chinese artist acting abroad. Mister Guo agreed, because he had already heard from Moria Chappell of Leyla’s and Roland’s Oriental Festival.

After that Mister Guo and his entourage met Leyla and Roland at several international festivals in Egypt, Saint Petersburg, Mexico and the USA. They became friends and hold each other in high esteem as a personality as well as aartist; and from this developed a very pleasant cooperation.
Will Mister Guo come back to Germany and will he perform at other places also?

(To the first part of the question Mister Guo answers immediately: “Yes, I hope.” And to the second one: „Leyla and Roland are my good friends … go to another city, I don’t know.” The interpreter says that this was a polite way to all others to say “Sorry, but no way.”) In China it is custom to be loyal to your partners. As long as Mister Guo and Mister Yao work together in Germany with Leyla and Roland, they are partners and will not look out for other promoters or shows. When Leyla and Roland toured through China (see report in this magazine) they were addressed by other promoters if they would like to perform at their places. But Leyla told them all no way and she will only work together with Mister Guo and Mister Yao. That is the way also for Mister Guo and Mister Yao while cooperating with Leyla and Roland. (“I like Germany!” laughs Mister Guo.)

Mr. Yao -
Manager of
Guo Wei
but also his cousin
Would you please tell us something about your female dancers?

The two dancers belong to Mister Guo’s dance teachers’ team and dance in his troupe also. They work with him in Beijing and teach at his dance studio there. When Mister Guo performs abroad they accompany him as his backing and his ensemble dancers.

“Dank-schön” – thank you – says Mister Guo after the interview is finished
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YouTube Video
from the
Beijing
International Oriental Dance Festival 2010

DISTRACTION FOR THE EMPEROR