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On Monday, May 8th, the American Cancer Society hosted the 7th annual Dance Against Cancer performance at the AXA Equitable Theater in New York City. A group of prestigious movers and shakers from the dance world participated to support the fight against ciancer. We were fortunate enough to speak with Edwaard Liang, artistic director of Ballet Met, the day of the benefit about his premiere that night. 

courtesy of Ballet Met

courtesy of Ballet Met

{ DIYdancer }, Morgan Beckwith: Is this your first time participating in Dance Against Cancer?

Edwaard Liang: This is my first time. I have known Erin Reifel and Daniel Ulbricht for many years now and I have always admired them as artist and as administrators. They are always fully committed to what they want to accomplish. They asked me a couple years ago but schedules didn’t work out. I am very excited to be a part of this year’s program.


MB: Why did you choose this benefit for the world premiere of you newest work?

EL: I thought a new work would be best for this program since one of my dancers, Arielle, and I both lost our fathers to cancer. I thought it would be a great way to honor and dedicate the work to our loved ones. It is very important for the dance community to participate and support such a worthy cause and fantastic event. We all have been affected by this disease in one way or another.

MB: Tell us a bit about the piece you prepared with Ballet MET. Did you work from a particular place of inspiration?

EL: Yes. I have always loved this work by Schoenberg. He composed this piece to Richard Dehemel’s poem, “Transfigured Night”. It’s beautifully somber yet it’s all about forgiveness and letting go.

MB: What was your biggest challenge, as well as your biggest triumph, in the process of creating this piece?

EL: The biggest challenge was finding time to choreograph this piece during my season. Triumph? I’m just happy to get to create and work, especially for DAC.


Though the benefit performance has come and gone, you can still donate!


Written by Morgan Beckwith

After graduating from Walnut Hill School of the Arts in 2009, Morgan Beckwith went on to dance at Southern Methodist University, performing in ballets ranging from classical undertakings such as Balanchine’s Serenade to the works of contemporary choreographers Adam Hougland and Jessica Lang. While at SMU Morgan decided to take on a double major in Art History, earning the senior departmental distinction award, along with interning at the Christie’s auction house Dallas regional office. She has worked toward combining her passions for dance and critical art writing with endeavors such as the grant-funded research with Mystic Contemporary Ballet. Morgan worked as a booker for the NBC broadcasting of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.