Besides the traditional, state-approved theatre, China is home to a steadily growing number of new and independent companies that do not shy away from experimentation and social criticism. One of the most prominent companies is Paper Tiger Studio in Beijing. With their dynamic and often humorous theatre shows they break open traditional conventions and connect to contemporary life in China. In Reading (‘proclaiming’), director and co-founder Tian Gebing combines mime, dance and oration. The five dancers/actors read texts not even remotely intended for the stage — extracts from the birth register, legal acts, a guide for pregnant women — and that have no relationship at all to the dancers’ movements. This results in highly peculiar and sometimes comical collisions between body and language.