The Atlanta Chinese Dance Company presents

Back to the Roots

***click above for program description and pictures***

...the story of a Chinese American girl who rediscovers her heritage.


Hwee-Eng Y. Lee, Artistic Director


Featuring Guest Artists

Tara Lee and Tamila, Atlanta Ballet

Hangdong Xu, Dance China NY


Saturday, April 1, 2006 at 7:30pm
Sunday, April 2, 2006 at 3:00pm

$20 General Admission, $10 Students

Performing Arts Center at Gwinnett Center




Sunday, September 18, 2005 at 3:00pm

Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU)

Joe Mack Wilson Theater (at Student Center)
Directions to SPSU
SPSU Campus Map

Click here for photos from the Works in Progress Performance.



ACDC’s Back to the Roots is the story of a tender mother-daughter relationship between an immigrant Chinese mother and her Chinese-American daughter.  When this mother emigrated from China to America, she left everything behind—everything except her toy drum, her newborn daughter, and memories of her childhood, China’s diverse population, its long history, and the anticipation in her heart as she expected her first child.  Lost in a new country amongst predominantly non-Chinese residents, she hoped to pass on her roots—her Chinese heritage—to her American bred daughter with a Chinese face.  In ACDC’s Back to the Roots, we explore this deep mother-daughter relationship through three main developmental stages of the daughter—childhood, adolescence, and adulthood—as she listens to her mother’s colorful stories of her homeland.  Through the daughter’s joys and sorrows, we take you back to the roots of a Chinese American girl, beginning in her mind with joyous Han celebrations, minority ethnicities, and the history of the Chinese lady, and ultimately concluding with her personal visit to her motherland, where she finally appreciates her late mother’s gift to her as a young child—her toy drum from China.

As a child, the daughter is intrigued about China.  She happily plays with her new toy, her mother’s drum from China, as her mother tells her stories about her homeland.  As a teenager, she longs to fit in with her American counterparts, trading her Chinese outfit for the latest fashions and her mother’s Chinese drum dance lessons for American hip hop dance.  Denying that she has anything to do with Chinese culture, she angrily kicks her mother’s precious drum.  After her mother’s sudden death, the daughter, now more mature, is left pondering everything her mother tried to teach her about China.  She goes back to her mother’s drum, the symbol of her mother’s love and only remaining connection to her homeland.  Determined to seek answers to all of the questions she never bothered to ask and to fully understand everything the drum embodies, she travels to China alone to see firsthand what her mother spent a lifetime trying to teach her.  Seeing a variety of drum dances, she is overcome with emotion, belatedly cherishing the precious memories her mother passed on to her.  With her mother’s drum, she rediscovers her heritage as she joins local Chinese girls in welcoming the Chinese New Year, finally coming to terms with where she came from—where her roots were planted more than 5,000 years ago.

About the Atlanta Chinese Dance Company

Throughout its fifteen year history, ACDC has been dedicated to promoting the development, advancement, and appreciation of Chinese culture to both Chinese and non-Chinese communities in metro Atlanta and surrounding areas.  Founded by Hwee-Eng Y. Lee in 1991, the company currently trains over eighty dancers.  ACDC appeared in the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games and has been featured in the “Chinese variation” of John McFall’s The Nutcracker with the Atlanta Ballet at the Fabulous Fox Theater since 1998 In addition to the Ming, Gu, Xian, In Search of the Imperial Palace, A Journey with the Phoenix, and Bamboo Forest of Yunnan, which were held at the Performing Arts Center at Gwinnett Center, the company has performed in such theaters as the Robert Ferst Center for the Arts and the Rialto Center for the Performing Arts. 

Pictured Above (from left): *HOYI CHAN in "Chinese Opera Girls"; *KERRY LEE with ACDC in "Yellow Earth"; *SOPHIE ARCHER and EUGENIE OOI in "A Glimpse of Mother's Past"; **KATERI GOODWIN in "A Glimpse of Mother's Past"



This program is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts,  the Georgia Council for the Arts (a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts)through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly,, as well as the Woodruff Arts Center's Celebrate Diversity Through the Arts.


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