Fri, Dec 09, 2011 - Page 13 News List

Looking through a nation’s family album

Lin Hwai-min and Cloud Gate Theatre are reviving ‘Portrait of the Families’ for a five-show run next week

By Diane Baker  /  Staff Reporter

“It’s a beautiful coincidence though,” he said. “Especially this time, people aren’t talking about the past. If you don’t review the past, the future is kind of dangerous.”

“When we presented it for a second time in 2003, people kept asking ‘Did you change anything, it’s so beautiful.’ It was just that the first time [1997] people didn’t like it because it was so overwhelming. There were too many messages,” Lin said. “But no, we didn’t change anything, it’s society that has changed.”

“Especially for foreigners, if you want to learn more about Taiwan, then this show will help,” he said, noting that the English-language program includes a transcription of the oral histories that are played during the show.

As he did for Nine Songs, Lin turned to Shanghai-born, US-based designer Ming Cho Lee (李名覺) for the set design for Portraits. However, technology has changed since the first production, and even the 2003 revival.

“In the first production we used 36 slide projectors, now it is all done by computers,” Lin said. “We also rearranged the photos so they flow better to me ... You have to make people see the dancers and see the photos, but then sometimes you have to let the photos speak.”

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