Luo Wenbo has left deep — and shining — "footprints" behind her. In 2009, she received first prize during the Ninth Taoli Cup National Dancing Competition, sponsored by China's Ministry of Culture. As she has acted as principal dancer during many international cultural events in recent years, the gifted, hardworking dancer has created a miracle within the world's dance community.
Luo is a native of Qiqihar, a city in Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. While people marvel at her ability to absorb a dizzying range of styles and choreographies, and at her capacity to perform at the highest level of excellence, they might not realize how much pain the young dancer has endured, both physically and psychologically, over the years. They definitely will not realize how, through her "painful" experiences, she has gained tremendous power, with which she has promoted her career development.
When she was a little girl, Luo had a gift for art. She was good at painting, and at playing the electronic piano. Yet, she was most interested in dancing. "I will never forget how excited I was when I first danced on stage. I was seven years old then. It was the happiest, most unforgettable moment in my life," recalls Luo.
Although some of her senior relatives opposed her learning how to dance, as they tended to believe dancing was a profession for young people rather than a lifelong career, Luo remembered her original dream and followed her heart. Luckily, her parents supported her decision.
When she was 12 years old, Luo enrolled in the Affiliated Secondary School of Beijing Dance Academy. At first, she was the plumpest girl in the class. That left her at a disadvantage. However, the strong-willed girl took pains to substantially reduce her body fat, and to improve her dancing skills. Within several months, she not only lost 15 kilograms, but she also tempered her willpower.
During the Ninth Taoli Cup National Dancing Competition, which was held in Shenyang (capital of Northeast China's Liaoning Province) in August 2009, The Parting, her solo dance, earned Luo the top prize for young dancers. At that time, she was studying in Beijing Dance Academy. During the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, she acted as "ambassador" of Qiqihar, to promote the event.
|Luo Wenbo performs in costume dress.|
Freedom to Develop Her Potential
Over the years, Luo has turned down job offers from several song and dance troupes. Why? She wants to have more freedom to develop her potential.
Like many other young people who have moved to Beijing to explore career and development opportunities, Luo has experienced many hardships and difficulties in both career and life. Shortly after she graduated from the academy, in 2011, she sprained her foot. That meant she could not dance for three months. Worried she might lose fans if she did not go on the stage, Luo played a role in a modern drama a couple of weeks later.
Luo has paid a heavy price for her passion; she has suffered numerous injuries over the years, and, given her hectic performance schedule, she has been forced to cope with intense pressure in her work. In early 2013, Luo traveled between Shanghai and Beijing to participate in rehearsals for So You Think You Can Dance and the Spring Festival gala. She took pains to study new styles of dances while she prepared for So You Think You Can Dance, a reality talent show. Luo has become a hit with Chinese TV viewers since she debuted on the show, which premiered in February 2013 on Dragon TV (a satellite TV station in Shanghai). Her performance during the Spring Festival gala, hosted by CCTV (China Central Television), was also a great success.
During the G20 Hangzhou Summit, held in Hangzhou (capital of East China's Zhejiang Province) in September 2016, countless people around the world were fascinated by the enchanting dance performed by Luo and her dance partner, Liu Fuyang. The dance was adapted from an ancient Chinese love tragedy. Many viewers said they were deeply impressed by the graceful dance on the bank of West Lake (in Hangzhou), decorated with high-tech colorful stage lighting.
Luo has endured several life-changing events during the past several years; for example, she enrolled in the Graduate School of Beijing Film Academy in 2016; and, the following year, she starred in Dayu (the God of Floods in Chinese mythology), a grand original dance drama, staged by National Center for the Performing Arts. In 2018, Luo had a fruitful year. She danced for various countries' State leaders during the Shanghai Cooperation Qingdao Summit, held in Qingdao (a city in East China's Shandong Province) in June 2018. Later that year, she performed during both the Mid-Autumn Festival gala and a variety show that premiered on Hunan Satellite TV. During the past few years, Luo has played roles in many movies and TV shows.
"One has to experience numerous difficulties and setbacks when he/she develops his/her career. Making persevering efforts to turn your dream into reality is painful, but joyful … Despite the difficulties and hardships that lie ahead, I'll carry on. I'll also spare no effort to improve my dancing skills, to promote the traditional Chinese culture," says Luo.
|Luo Wenbo dances on the stage.|
Photos Supplied by Luo Wenbo
(Women of China English Monthly November 2020 issue)
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