Fri, Nov 28, 2003 - Page 18 News List

Longing for our lost innocence

By Vico Lee  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwanese opera fuses with modern dance in Cheng Tzung-long's Similarity.

PHOTO COURTESY OF CKS CULTURAL CENTER

With "New Idea Dance" (新點子舞展) as its new name, the National CKS Cultural Center's annual experimental dance festival showcases fresh choreographic talents in a new setup and with a novel emphasis. Instead of having theee or four dance groups perform in the evening, New Idea presents mini-galas in which individual choreographers stage their 20-minute works, one after another, in two hours, at the Experimental Theater (國家戲劇院實驗劇場).

This year's selection process took a record time, from mid-last year to this September partly because, for the first time, the performers had to join three rounds of auditions. Nine choreographers stood out from over 30 submissions.

"Choreographers who are very talented but have not set up their own groups were the ones we most wanted to help and they have seized this opportunity eagerly," said Ku Ming-sheng (古名伸), choreographer of Ku and Dancers and curator of the festival.

The nine chosen will stage their works this weekend and next, in groups of males and females. "We did not set up male and female categories but it turned out that the numbers of male and female winners were quite balanced. Therefore, we arranged the works by choreographers of the same sex into an one-evening show, but it's also because these works have a tonal harmony," Ku said.

With no other criteria for selection except quality, the nine pieces show a great variety, especially in the their use of new media.

"There is the old-school modern dance as well as the innovative kind. What is special about this year's

selection is that the choreographers have brought new elements onto the dance stage. Some turn lighting from a supporting technology to a main role, others incorporate video, installation or live music. Many are mixing new elements into the previously pure performance genre," Ku said.

The first episode in the male choreographers' series, which will go on stage tonight, is Wang Wei-min's (王維銘) A Solo Dance. Wang has been a Cloud Gate Dance Theater dancer for nearly 20 years.

Sun Yuei-tai's (孫梲泰) 8 may be the least dance-like piece in the series. Despite being born to a family of Chinese opera singers, Sun, currently at Dance Forum, emphasizes conceptualization. Sun's flair for expressing young people's desire to break free from the norm won him his "generation E choreographer" monikor. 8, the shape of a person and a basketball, makes the interaction between a person and a ball a metaphor for communication between people.

Apart from the pieces by Wang, Sun and Cheng, the male choreographer series includes the works of Chu Shu-yi (周書毅) and Lin Chi-bin (林志斌).

Performance Notes

The shows will be performed at 7:30pm tonight and tomorrow and at 2:30pm tomorrow and Sunday. The female choreographers' series include works by Chen Yi-ching (陳怡靜), Lin Hsiang Hsiou (林向秀), Yan Feng-hsi (顏鳳曦) and Chuo Ting-chu (卓庭竹). The shows are at 7:30pm Dec. 5 and Dec. 6 and at 2:30pm Dec. 6 and Dec. 7. All tickets are NT$400 and available at CKS Cultural Center.

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