Sun-Shier Dance Theatre (三十舞蹈劇場), co-founded by choreographers Wu Bi-rong (吳碧容) and Chang Hsiu-ping (張秀萍) in December 1997, is firmly growing into middle age (for a dance troupe) with its eyes this year, understandably, turning to the stages of life.
Hence the name of the company’s latest production, The Stage (舞│台), which opened at the Experimental Theater in Taipei last night.
The company has built a reputation for inviting up-and-coming young choreographers to work with it, but this year’s production is by Wu. However, she has invited two guest artists to work with the troupe, Wu Yi-fang (吳義芳), a former Cloud Gate Dance Theatre dancer, and Su An-li (蘇安莉), who usually dances with Ku & Dancers (古舞團).
Wu has dedicated this show to the famed German choreographer Pina Bausch, who died just over three years ago and is credited with revolutionizing the language of modern dance and popularizing dance theater. Bausch, the artistic director of the Wuppertal Dance Theater, gained fame for avant-garde performances that combine dance, sound and narrative fragments.
The Stage incorporates multi-media and video with dance, and takes everyday life and everyday movement as its starting point, along with the idea that anywhere and everywhere can be a stage. Like Bauch’s work, Sun-Shier’s productions often combine grace with absurdity, the prosaic with the kooky, the mundane with the divine — often challenging viewers to examine their own perspectives.
Wu even says in a press release that there is not a place in life that is not a stage, while the production’s program notes that “because of the stage, work is there, because of work, life is not dead.” After all, what is life if not a series of performances?
WHAT: The Stage
WHEN: Today at 2:30pm and 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: NT$500; available through NTCH ticketing or online at http://www.artsticket.com.tw/ or 7-Eleven ibon kiosks. Tomorrow afternoon’s show is sold out.
Sept. 21 at 7:30pm and Sept. 22 at 2:30pm at Tsoying Boy’s High School dance theater (高雄左營高中舞蹈班劇場), 55 Haikung Rd, Greater Kaohsiung (高雄市左營區海公路55號); Tickets NT$300, available online at http://www.artsticket.com.tw/ or 7-Eleven ibon kiosks
Sept 29 at 7:30pm at Performing Arts Hall of the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Taoyuan County Government (桃園縣政府文化局演藝廳), 21 Sianfu Rd, Taoyuan County (桃園市縣府路21號); Admission is free
Following this weekend’s shows, the company will take The Stage on the road later this month for two performances in Greater Kaohsiung at the Tsoying Boy’s High School and one at the Taoyuan County Cultural Affairs Bureau.