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WMCI Presents Yin Mei’s Peony Dreams: On the Other Side of Sleep


WMCI is proud to announce the upcoming presentation of Yin Mei's Peony Dreams: On the Other Side of Sleep, a dance-theater performance to be hosted virtually this spring with the support of the New England Foundation for the Arts!

Full Description

This April, the William & Mary Confucius Institute, supported by a grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, will present Peony Dreams: On the Other Side of Sleep, an evening-length dance theater work by New York-based Chinese diaspora choreographer {{,Yin Mei}}. Peony Dreams is inspired by a discovery of letters Yin wrote to her parents when she was a teenage dancer in China during the Cultural Revolution. Exploring themes of dreams, awakening, and rebirth, Yin weaves her personal memories and youthful longings as depicted in the long-lost letters through her own rendering of a classic Chinese story — The Peony Pavilion — which also centers on a young woman who dreams. Peony Dreams premiered at La Mama Theater in New York and toured to the Ringling Museum in 2020. The 90-minute work features five dancers, with computer-driven sound and visual projections, a newly-commissioned score, and a unique stage architecture and lighting and costumes for a proscenium stage.

A Zoom conversation between the choreographer Yin Mei and William & Mary Associate Professor of Chinese Studies Emily Wilcox will follow the performance on Tuesday, April 20th at 11am-12:20pm EST (Meeting ID: 914 1814 4876; Passcode: 864677). During this conversation, Yin Mei will discuss her artistic background as a professional dancer and choreographer in China, Hong Kong, and the United States. She will also reflect on the creation of Peony Dreams and her experiences growing up in revolutionary China. Registered participants will have on-demand access to the performance video for one week following the initial presentation. This event is part of the COLL 150 course “Revolution in Life: How Communism Changed China” offered in the College Curriculum and the William & Mary Chinese Studies Program. This event is free and open to the public.

Please register for the event at

A link to the dance performance will be sent to all attendees who registered for the event by Saturday, April 17th. 

The presentation of this work was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.