1995 Honorary Fellow
Li Zheng-yi was born in Dandong city of Liaoning Province. After graduating from Bei-fang University where she studied the music of Chinese traditional theatre, she pursued postgraduate research in dance at the Central School of Drama in Beijing. In 1950, Madam Li began her career as a professional performer. She also started teaching at the Beijing Dance Academy at the same time. Over the past four decades, Madame Li has held a number of important positions including Directorship of the Beijing Dance Academy and Presidency of the Society for Chinese Dance Education. She is currently a senior professor and Chairperson of the Academic Board of the Beijing Dance Academy, Chairperson of the Chinese Dance Teachers’ Association and Deputy Chairperson of the Chinese Dance Association.
Li Zheng-yi is one of the founders of the modern systematic approach to education and training of Chinese classical dancers. For more than forty years she has devoted time and energy on researching the aesthetics and performance characteristics of Chinese dance and martial arts in the theatre. She has developed teaching materials based on the most beneficial and appropriate experiences from both within China and abroad. Many fine performers and teachers have been cultivated through this method under her guidance.
During the 1980s, Madame Li Zheng-yi furthered her research in rhythmic body movement in classical dance. The outcome of this work was the creation of a new curriculum which won her the National Distinguished Teaching Award. Her basic training method and dance movement curriculum have been widely used throughout the world.
Over the years, Madam Li has regularly served as this Academy’s external examiner. Each time, she has lent her expertise in refining our syllabuses. She also served as an adviser in preparing the Chinese dance curriculum for the Academy’s Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree proposal. Many of the Chinese dance teachers who have taught at the Academy have been students of Madame Li.
Mr President, for her outstanding achievements in the art of dance and dance education, and for her contributions to the development of Chinese dance at this Academy, I present Madame Li Zheng-yi for the award of Fellowship of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.