Critically acclaimed Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company will present its celebrated “Dynasties and Beyond” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th St.

The Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company melds ancient Chinese forms with modern dance in an artistic and inventive marriage of styles. The company bridges the continuum from past to contemporary -- from spectacular court dances of Chinese dynasties to contemporary works fusing classical Chinese movement, modern dance and ballet, complemented by dazzling costumes, original music and innovative staging. With vivid choreography and style, Lily Cai reveals the strength, beauty and complexity of the Chinese woman from the distant past to today.

Signature works include “Candelas,” a work performed with lit candles; the “Strings Calligraphy” suite for dance, string quartet and erhu, with sets of traditional and contemporary calligraphy; and “Silk Cascade,” a vibrant tour of traditional and contemporary ribbon dance.

In spring 2007, the company premiered the powerful "Red Typhoon," an evening-length dance exploration of the impact of the Cultural Revolution on the women of China. New works include "Shifting," a suite based on Lily Cai’s impressions of the fan dances of her own Han ancestors; the “Connections,” an abstract work of pure movement and focused energy; and “Dynasty Revisited,” a modern interpretation of ancient Tang dynasty dances.

In addition to its stage performance, the Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company will collaborate with the Lied Center to offer a variety of residency activities for Nebraska students of all ages surrounding its performance. For instance, several members of the company will travel to area schools to lead “ribbon dance” exercises with Nebraska youth.

Founder Lily Cai also will give a pre-performance talk 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Lied’s Steinhart Room. She will discuss her style, dance philosophy and how her experiences as a Chinese woman helped shape “Dynasties and Beyond.”

Tickets are $36 and $28. Student tickets are half price. For reservations, call 402-472-4747 or visit