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Qi Zhi


Dancer Wang Qi Zhi is an opinion leader on China’s Red and Weibo social media platforms. Over the years, her revered performances at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Beijing, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre (HKCC) and the Xie Xin Dance Theatre, China, have showcased her precision and power. At a recent shoot for Johnstons of Elgin, we asked  Qi Zhi about her career, challenges and personal style.

Discover Johnstons of Elgin
Discover Johnstons of Elgin

Tell us about your unique dance style.

As a dancer, many different properties need to be present in your body at the same time. Looseness and power sound contradictory, but together, they produce a beautiful chemical reaction in the body. I hope that my dance language is unconventional and that people will not be able to guess my next move or at what moment I will stop. 


What makes you a leader in your field?

As a child, I was an average dancer, and I wanted to find a form that suited me better than Chinese dance. In my last year of middle school, my performance class was working on choreography, and the teacher said I had a unique sense of dance. She opened my eyes to different possibilities, and later on when I went to college, I chose choreography. 

I think a great dancer is unobtrusively fascinating. They command your attention without seeking it. That's what I want to achieve. 

I have practiced dance since I was a child and joined the Xie Xin Dance Theatre when I was 20. Our industry is pretty brutal. Getting on stage takes months of practice, and it's not easy to qualify for it. 

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What is the biggest challenge you have experienced in your career, and how did you overcome it?

Patience is important. Dancing a piece starts with understanding the choreographer's ideas and putting that understanding into my body. It's a long process, and I sometimes wonder why I can't just get on stage and enjoy the spotlight. But it's only by taking my time that I get the chance to show the audience something different about myself.

I also have to deal with the pull between the brain and the body. A dancer's mind has to be open, but the body is stubborn. It takes time. I have to practice for 8 hours a day. If you don't practice enough today, you may not notice the difference tomorrow, but the day after that, you will be noticeably less agile. 

Discover Johnstons of Elgin
Discover Johnstons of Elgin

Can you describe your personal style?

I'm a fan of comfort and simplicity. I also like to wear something that looks like a complete set and enjoy unity in an outfit. For example, if I wear Cashmere knitwear, I will find a soft-textured bottom item to match.


What appeals to you about Johnstons of Elgin? Do you have a favourite piece from the shoot?

When I was a kid, I always heard my parents say that Cashmere is very precious, so after I became financially independent, the first sweater I bought for myself was a pure Cashmere one. When I was introduced to Johnstons of Elgin, my Cashmere obsession was immediately awakened. The fact that the brand has been around for over two centuries and still adheres to the same Scottish manufacturing process is amazing in such a fast-paced era.

My favourites from the shoot were the coordinating Cashmere pieces - loose, with a warm and uniform texture, gently slung over my body so my skin felt at ease.