The 16-year-old Sun-Shier Dance Theatre (三十舞蹈劇場), co-founded by former Cloud Gate Dance Theatre (雲門舞集) member Wu Bi-rong (吳碧容) and Chang Hsiu-ping (張秀萍), has carved out a solid niche for itself in Taipei’s modern dance world with small, well-crafted works that examine the ups and downs of modern society and by making a point of seeking out young choreographers to work with it.
This weekend the company returns to the Experimental Theater in Taipei with its new two-piece show, Take Off and Have a Nice Trip (逃亡Ｘ祝你一路順風).
Take Off was choreographed by Chang, while Have a Nice Trip is by guest choreographer Lin Yi Jie (林依潔), who has worked with the troupe before as a dancer and as a choreographer.
Both pieces were inspired by common events in everyday life, such as a funeral in Lin’s case and the need to escape from a claustrophobic situation for Chang, be it a family get-together or a partnership.
Lin’s piece questions whether the hubbub of a traditional Taiwanese funeral is really a chance to bid a quiet farewell to the dead or whether it is more about the relations between those who are still alive. It is pure black comedy.
A body is born aloft by three men before being passed back and forth and posed among the “mourners.” There is a rather elaborate interchange with chairs and ubiquitous white towels are waved with vigor by black-dress clad women. Lin’s kinetically-charged movements may verge on the edge of slapstick, but never quite cross the line.
Chang’s piece begins with four women in a tight circle around a square table, battling for position, before the other five dancers in the cast join in for a tightly paced combination of ensemble work, solos and duets, where the status quo is constantly shifting. The dancers often look as if they are about to break free, but never quite manage to do so.
What: Take Off and Have a Nice Trip
When: Today at 2:30pm and 7:30pm and tomorrow at 2:30pm
Where: Experimental Theater (國家實驗劇場), 21-1 Zhongshan S Rd, Taipei City (台北市中山南路21-1號)
Admission: NT$500; available at NTCH box office and online at www.artsticket.com. The only tickets left are for this afternoon’s performance
The show runs about 70 minutes.