Fri, Dec 12, 2008 - Page 13 News List

Volte-face

Last year, Lin Wen-chung swore he wouldn’t start his own company. So what happened?

By Diane Baker  /  STAFF REPORTER

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Fourteen months ago I interviewed Lin Wen-chung (林文中), who was in Taipei with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Lin was at a crossroads, beginning his final appearances with the company he had danced with for six years and preparing to move back to Taiwan to begin a new career as a freelance choreographer.

He had one job lined up. Dance Forum Taipei was going to perform his Evil Boy in December last year. But other than that, Lin knew two things for sure: he wanted to create a full-length work, and he had no interest in starting his own company.

Fast-forward to a coffee shop in Tianmu on Monday, where Lin was enthusiastically describing the set for his new work, Small, which his company WCdance will premiere next Thursday at the Crown Theater. So, what happened?

“Once I finished Evil Boy, I found that most companies want to hire choreographers. You have to be passive, wait for opportunities. Meanwhile, I’m thinking I want to be more involved in the production than the choreography. I want to have more say, so when an audience leaves the theater, they are taking away what I wanted them to see ... so I have to do it all,” he said.

He admitted that in some ways it would have been better to stay a freelancer.

“All the different things [a company director has to do] drove me crazy. You spend more time outside than inside the studio,” he said, adding later that “if you have your own company there is no money as a choreographer.”

So now he’s a little more than a week away from opening night. He’s really happy about the set, which is basically a 3m-by-3m plastic box made up of two three-sided plastic panels.

“The visual effects are more powerful than I though