The National Theater Concert Hall and the National Culture and Arts Foundation (國家文化藝術基金會) teamed up again this year to showcase young artists working in music, drama and dance. The result is Young Stars, New Vision 2011. This weekend is the last in the three-part series and features the dance component in the Experimental Theater, starting tonight.
To be eligible to apply, choreographers cannot have been out of school for more than five years. They and their work must then survive two rounds of judging to win a spot.
This year’s four winners are all women and, as it turns out, friends: Yu Yen-fang (余彥芳), Lin Yu-ju (林祐如) — she was also in last year’s program — Lin I-chin (林宜瑾) and Dong Yi-fen (董怡芬).
The Taipei Times caught up with Yu, a dancer with Ku & Dancers (古舞團), to find out more about her particular piece. Of the four, her work has been the least seen in Taiwan, although like Lin Yu-ju, she took part in this summer’s 2011 Next Choreography Project I (下一個編舞計畫I) at the Huashan 1914 Creative Park (華山1914). Yu has also choreographed for the American Dance Festival; she’s worked in Germany and with the Bebe Miller Company in New York.
She’ll be dancing in her piece, When I’m Not Around with a colleague from the Ku troupe, Christopher Chu (朱星朗), whom she said she envisioned in the piece as soon as she saw it in her mind. It is dedicated to her grandparents, she said.
The work stems from the summer of 2009, when a visa issue forced Yu to stay in New York, even after her mother called to let her know her grandfather was dying.
“The last thing I heard was his panting, and me calling him,” Yu said, adding that the flooding caused by Typhoon Morokot that August meant many people in Taiwan suffered the same loss of loved ones.
WHAT: New Vision 2011 — Dance (2011新人新視野－舞蹈篇)
WHEN: Tonight and tomorrow at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2:30pm
WHERE: Experimental Theater (國家戲劇院實驗劇場), 21-1 Zhongshan S Rd, Taipei City (台北市中山南路21-1號)
ADMISSION: Tickets are NT$300, available through NTCH ticketing or online at www.artsticket.com.tw. Only a few seats for tonight are left
“I was surrounded by these distant realities as I walked in New York City or stayed alone in my room. I once thought absence meant subtracting feelings and sensations, but it turned out to be like an echo in an empty room, which only gets louder without an outlet. Regret, I realized, actually adds up the power of losing,” she said.
“When I was allowed to go back home, everything was finished — the funeral, the crying. I went to the columbarium where he rests, but the whole thing confused me. I feel he could still be living just outside of my sight,” she said.
Her piece is composed of a solo dance and a solo theater piece, performed simultaneously, but without connecting, Yu said.
Yu is not the only choreographer to be performing in their own work, Dong will be dancing in her performance, titled I Didn’t Say (我沒有說).
Lin Yu-ju’s piece is titled She Said (她說), while Lin I-chin’s is Two Moons (兩個月亮).
For a second year, the NTCH has done away with the usual Saturday matinee for the series, which does a disservice to both the choreographers selected for the program and for dance fans. If the NTCH has enough confidence in the quality of these young creators’ work, it should have the confidence that the program will sell tickets and attract an audience.
Given that there are just a handful of tickets left, the appeal is obviously there. There are four winners on the program, but dance lovers who miss out on tickets because of the lack of a second matinee are the losers.