Fri, Jun 13, 2008 - Page 15 News List

The maligned milepost

By Diane Baker  /  STAFF REPORTER

Turning 30 used to be no laughing matter.


Turning 30 is a key point for many people. At 30 you are presumably well embarked on a career and may have started a family of your own or are at least considering it. For many, the feelings that youth is now in the past and the heavy burdens of adult life are full upon you are the hallmarks of their 30th birthday.

All of which is grist for the creative mill and the theme upon which founder and director Yau Shi-fen’s (姚淑芬) Century Contemporary Dance Company (世紀當代舞團) has built the troupe’s latest production at the Experimental Theater around.

The over-30 Yau stayed in the background for Taste of the Thirty, however, turning the choreographic duties over to three young dancer/choreographers: Sun Yue-tan (孫梲泰), Lee Kuo-chih (李國治) and Yan Shu-hao (燕樹豪). The three were provocatively photographed as the nude ingredients in a triple-decker sandwich for the promotional flyers, with two of them wedged in among the lettuce and tomatoes and the third skewered under a slice of dill pickle on the top.

The imagery is appropriate, given that the first piece on the program is Sun’s Sandwich (三明治). Sun said that at 30 reality intrudes on life and you have to discover the “real you,” as you deal with the pressures of work, family and life in general. At 30, he said, you are just like a mattress being pulled to the ground by the pressures of gravity.

Lee’s piece is titled Dream Emissions (夢.遺) although it is really a play on words that could be more accurately translated as wet dreams.

Dreams and mattresses crop up again in Yan’s Reflected Shadows (被剪下的倒影). Yan says his piece is like a dream in that it has no set beginning, middle or end and is a place where anything can happen.

Thirty-ish angst has apparently hit a nerve, since the company added a sixth performance to its original five-show schedule and all six are now sold out.

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