Fri, Jul 11, 2003 - Page 19 News List

The telling lie exposed

By Vico Lee  /  STAFF REPORTER

Members of the San Shih Dance Theater troupe take a pose.

PHOTO COURTESY OF SAN SHIH DANCE THEATER

"Is it possible for people to hide themselves?" was the question Wu Bi-rong (吳碧容) had in mind when she set out to make How Can People Hide Their Thoughts (人焉廋哉), her latest piece for San Shih Dance Theater (三十舞蹈劇場), of which Wu is both the leader and a co-founder.

The title comes from the same rhetorical question posed in the Chinese Classic, The Analects, (論語) by Confucius, meaning "how can other people conceal their thoughts and intentions if we observe their words and conducts closely enough?"

Our small gestures, Wu said, are often habitual and unintentional, so that they sometimes betray the feelings we want to hide. "Hands. They are our assistants in communication and our eyes in darkness," Wu said.

Gestures and Behavior and Her Shadows, the two parts of the show, deal with the connection between thought and behavior when people are awake, asleep and dreaming.

The various scenarios in which the slightest movements of our hands, shoulders or head lead to changes in our relationships with others are explored through their expression.

As in San Shih's many previous performances, the dancers don exquisite and stylish costumes to perform with impressive vigor. Their bodily expressions are drawn from daily life as much as modern dance.

"Today's dancers not only have to dance with great skill and precision, but they need to be good actors, too," Wu said. The dance will be accompanied by subtitles, to help the audience better understand the performance.

Wu set up San Shih, which means "30" in Chinese with choreographer Chang Hsiou-ping (張秀萍) in 1997, when both of them were 30 years old. Wu's extensive performing experience with acclaimed groups such as the Cloud Gate Dance Theater, the Tai Gu Tales Dance Theater, the Contemporary Legend Theater and the Han Tang Yuefu Ensemble has made San Shih's repertoire an interesting variety of theater and dance genres.

From 1999's Collecting Tears, 2001's Dancing to the National Anthem and Mirrors, to last year's Princess, in Preparation, the group has proved to be highly innovative in a wide range of themes, while presenting a quintessentially urban female perspective.

San Shih Dance Theater will perform How Can People Hide Their Thoughts: Wu Bi-rong Postures and Attitudes Show (人焉廋哉悝d碧容姿與態創作展) today and tomorrow at Crown Arts and Culture Center (台北皇冠藝文中心), B1, 50, Ln 120, Tunhua N Rd, Taipei (台北市敦化北路12050B1).

Performances begin 7:30pm today and tomorrow, with 2:30pm matinees tomorrow. Tickets cost N$350 and are available at the venue or at San Shih Dance Theater, 4F, 102, Chunghsin Rd, Sec 1, Sanchung, Taipei County. Call (02) 2973 6786 for more information.

This story has been viewed 2468 times.
TOP top