Fri, Jan 07, 2005 - Page 14 News List

Get up close for some demanding choreography

By David Momphard  /  STAFF REPORTER

Zhang Xiao-Xiong's choreography pushes his dancers to the limit.


Australian choreographer Zhang Xiao-Xiong (張曉雄) returns to Taipei from Singapore for this weekend's production of Asunder (支離破碎). While the show's production company, Taipei Crossover (台北越界舞團), has been cryptic regarding the program's content, a bit of background on Zhang's previous shows can give an inkling of what to expect.

Though highly regarded in his field, Zhang is also know as a physically demanding choreographer whose work can often defy explanation.

In a review of his Fu Cao, which ran at last year's Singapore Arts Festival, Real Time Arts deemed his show "demandingly and sometimes tediously intense." An all-male performance, the piece dealt with the limits of masculine freedom.

Similarly, an earlier show, Unexpected Wind was an exposition of muscular strength and "sinewy aesthetics" that was a challenge on the limits of the dancers' bodies and, according to at least one review, a challenge on the limit's of the audiences' attention span.

For this weekend's show, expect a Spartan stage on which "refracted projections, mirrors and pure white light" -- something about it being a metaphor for modern life -- play as equal a role as the dancers.

Zhang choreographs as much for a photographic appreciation of the human body as still-life as for the range of movement of which it is capable. That Asunder will be

playing in the much smaller Experimental Hall of the National Theater is a boon for audiences who share Zhang's taste, as the closer proximity is sure to heighten the sense of intimacy.

If you have different tastes, well, The Nutcracker is playing at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.

Performance notes:

What: Asunder

When: Tonight and tomorrow night at 7:30 and tomorrow and Sunday at 2:30pm

Where: The Experimental Theater of the National Theater, 21-1 Chungshan S Rd,Taipei (台北市中山南路21-1號國家戲劇院3號入口). Enter at door no. 3.

Tickets: NT$400, available at the door or by calling the box office at 02 3393 9888.

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