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AP PHOTOS: Cutting-edge contemporary dance comes to Belarus

Associated Press Associated Press 5 days ago
In this photo taken on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, festival winner, Chinese dancer Yuchen Yao, performs at the International Festival of Contemporary Choreography in the town of Vitebsk, Belarus. At the end of November Vitebsk hosted the International Festival of Contemporary Choreography, which dates back to the 1987 festival of Soviet counterculture, with thirty dance companies and individual dancers from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden, Estonia, Moldova and China presented cutting-edge dance shows. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits) © The Associated Press In this photo taken on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, festival winner, Chinese dancer Yuchen Yao, performs at the International Festival of Contemporary Choreography in the town of Vitebsk, Belarus. At the end of November Vitebsk hosted the International Festival of Contemporary Choreography, which dates back to the 1987 festival of Soviet counterculture, with thirty dance companies and individual dancers from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden, Estonia, Moldova and China presented cutting-edge dance shows. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

VITEBSK, Belarus — Cutting-edge contemporary dance has shaken up the sleepy city of Vitebsk in the eastern European nation of Belarus.

Vitebsk, the birthplace of avant-garde artist Marc Chagall, is better known in the former Soviet Union as the host city of an annual festival of pop music that attracts washed-up Russian celebrities.

Yet last week Vitebsk hosted the International Festival of Contemporary Choreography, which dates back to the 1987 festival of Soviet counterculture. Thirty dance companies and individual dancers from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden, Estonia, Moldova and China performed at the festival.

A Belarusian dance company won First Prize for a dance about refugees while a Chinese dancer who performed an autobiographical dance won the festival's Grand Prix prize.

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