Liu Hong Wei and Lang Xin Long are two young, aspiring dancers who have moved to Beijing with dreams of stardom. On weekend evenings, they can be often be spotted dancing at a busy intersection in the heart of the city’s entertainment district. You can see videos of them performing here:
Lang Xin Long practices Michael Jackson-style moves, while Liu Hong Wei prefers Korean-style breakdancing. They are best friends, their relationship forged out of unity of purpose and plight. Their struggles are many and their goal is singular. Their stories are as follows:
Lang Xin Long (age 22):
Can you tell me about your early life? Where did you grow up?
I grew up on a wheat farm in Gansu (a remote province in northwest China). As a child, I helped out on the farm.
What schooling did you receive?
I attended primary school and junior high school. I dropped out when I was fourteen.
What happened after that point?
I ran away from home from home at age fourteen, due to suffering beatings at the hands of my father. I wanted to get as far away from home as possible, so I snuck onto a train bound for Urumqi in Xinjiang (the westernmost province in China). I haven’t been back since.
What did you have with you when you ran away?