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WOMAD 2009 Featured Artist: Sa Dingding (China)

WOMAD 2009 Featured Artist: Sa Dingding (China)

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World of Music Art and Dance 2009
13-15 March
Brooklands Park & TSB Bowl of Brooklands, New Plymouth
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Sa Dinding’s concert performances are dazzling affairs with Kung Fu style dancers, stunning costumes and in the midst of it all songs borne of Chinese folk music combined with Western electronica. Sa Dingding has been called China’s answer to Bjork or Kate Bush. Not only a multi-instrumentalist she sings in four languages and won a BBC Radio Three award for Best Asia/Pacific Act.

With her unmistakable unique voice and distinctive musical vision, Sa Dingding represents an original creative passion affected by ethnic diversity and shaped by a modern China.

As a singer, musician, composer and choreographer, Sa Dingding owes her original style to an intriguing background and array of diverse interests. Born in Mongolia to a Mongolian mother and Chinese father, she was fascinated by ethnic-minority music styles from a young age.

At age 18, she released her debut album, and quickly earned repute as the “Best Dance Music Singer” in China. By 1998, her curiosity in Buddhism, Dyana Yoga and Sanskrit unleashed her creative spirit and pushed her musical boundaries. Buddhism taught her to express with her heart and connect with nature, the meditations of yoga built up her inner peace and spiritual being, and learning Sanskrit encouraged her to create her own language, where new words formed from emotions evoked by music. She is also well versed in Tibetan chanting and chorus singing in the near-extinct Lagu language. Her secret to honing so many disciplines is solemnity. “Loneliness is the best way for me to become more creative,” she says.

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Dingding’s talents have been recognised with the most prestigious invitations and collaborations on offer in her country. She’s a regular performer at CCTV and MTV events, including the 2006 MTV Style Gala and 8th CCTV-MTV Video Music Awards. In 2005, after meeting the highly respected American musician Eric T. Johnson of the Recording Academy (that presents the Grammy Awards), she was invited to visit the US, representing China for an exchange trip in “culture and music communication.”

Now, having won best artist for Asia/Pacific at the BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards in the UK and countless plaudits through the UK press and media, Dingding has live shows in Europe never imagined for such an artist of this genre from the Far East

Signed to Universal Music in 2006, she is a very special choice to lead China onto the world stage. With engaging beauty and graceful reverence, Dingding makes getting “lost in translation” a wonderful experience in unexpected pleasure.


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