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Positively Philadelphia: Kun-Yang Lin and His Spectacular Dance Company

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(Photo provided by Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers)

(Photo provided by Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers)

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Lauren Lipton, a fixture in Philadelphia journalism, is “at the...
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By Lauren Lipton

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In international dance, there is a dream that every major modern dance company has:  to attend a special festival in Düsseldorf, Germany.

“The Tanzmesse Internationale festival is one of the most important contemporary dance festivals in the world,” notes Kenneth Metzner (below left), executive director of Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers.  And this Philadelphia-based troupe is going this month!

(Dancer-choreographer Kun-Yang Lin, right, with Kenneth Metzner, executive director of the company.  Photo by Ed Fischer)

(Dancer-choreographer Kun-Yang Lin, right, with Kenneth Metzner, executive director of the company, at the KYW Newsradio studios. Photo by Ed Fischer)

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“Sixty companies will be participating from all over the world,” says Metzner.  “Only three have been invited from the United States — one from New York, one from Los Angeles, and Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers, from Philadelphia.”

The company was invited to the festival after judges saw them dance “The Mandela Project” and said that people all over the world needed to see it.

Company founder and artistic director Kun-Yang Lin is from Taiwan.  He started the group in New York City, but says several events intervened.

“September 11th happened, and my father passed away.  And then (I was) diagnosed with a brain tumor,” he explains.  He came to Philadelphia for a medical referral, and fell in love with the city.

He began teaching dance at Temple University.  He also saw that his dance company could afford to own its own studio in Philadelphia, something that had been unattainable in New York.

“If you have only one year to live, what are you going to do to make this life more complete?” he recalls thinking.

His health is good now, and Philadelphia is now his home.

Hear the expanded  interview in this CBS Philly podcast (runs 14:52)…

For more information, go to kunyanglin.org.

And, for this week, that’s “Positively Philadelphia!”

“Positively Philadelphia” main page

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