South of Gold Mountain

Oct 15: pre-show discussion with panel of scholars, historians, and civic leaders
Oct 15: $60 VIP ticket includes post-show reception

In 1850, news of “The California Gold Rush” reached southern China before most Americans had learned of it and thus began an exodus of 300,000 Chinese immigrants to “Gold Mountain.” South Of Gold Mountain draws from rich oral histories, treasured images, official and private documentation of Chinese settlers lured to America by the promise of gold and a prosperous life.  With the support of Chinese American community heritage museums and family associations in the US, three years of extensive research and in-depth interviews were conducted with immigrants and their descendants, inspiring this insightful production by HT Chen & Dancers. 

The similarity between village life in China and living in southern US communities was evident as the immigrants were helped by those arriving before them, to endure daily hardships and adjust to the cultural challenges of their adoptive country. Discrimination, racism, and physical violence were prevalent.  To survive, they became deeply connected despite rural isolation. These Chinese residents helped build America by working on railroads, levees, and plantations, and as grocers. 

HT Chen & Dancers’ production memorializes the struggles of thousands of Chinese Americans and their legacy. It acknowledges generations of descendants and blended communities now thriving across the US.  Blending a contemporary sound score, traditional Chinese music, and Deep South Blues, this vital dance-theater celebration of the first Chinese American settlements is an enlightening story of immigration, civil rights, and assimilation. 

“… a moving and engaging choreographic tribute to the few pioneering Chinese immigrants who settled in the American South starting as early as the end of the Civil War.”         –  John Jung, Author, Scholar, Professor

H.T. Chen & Dancers' performances are part of New York Live Arts' Community Rental program, which is designed for dance and theater companies, as well as producing and non-profit organizations.