The Tainan-based Scarecrow Contemporary Dance Company (稻草人現代舞蹈團) is back in Taipei this week to perform choreographer Luo Wen-jinn’s (羅文瑾) newest work, Dripping (詭‧跡).
Luo’s last work at the Experimental, Singular(單‧身), in June last year, was well-designed and engaging, though given its depressing outlook on life it could hardly be called enjoyable. Her Unbreakable City (攣‧城) at the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park the following November was an interesting piece of theater in terms of set and sound installation, though it suffered from a lack of dance.
Luo, who has been the 26-year-old troupe’s artistic director for more than half its existence (17 years), has a reputation for thoughtful, quirky pieces and she’s usually worth betting on, especially given the challenging literary works she cites as inspiration — it is fun to compare the worlds she portrays to the authors’ own writings. For example, Paul Auster’s The Invention of Solitude is key to Singular, while Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities led to Unbreakable City.
Photo Courtesy of Jou Bogi
This time it was rereading Jean-Paul Sartre’s Nausea that inspired Luo.
She said that she recognized her own estrangement, anxiety, unease and confusion as she read the novel, and the absurdity of situations that she has been in.
“Like Antoine Roquentin from the novel, I keep questioning what is the meaning of my existence, how I would choose to create my own freedom,” Luo said in an e-mail. “Existence is not just philosophical thinking; it’s the action we choose to do motivating by our own consciousness every day. Existence is a true and strange being.”
Luo has drastically downsized for this weekend’s show, going from the eight dancers of Singular and seven for Unbreakable City to just two: herself and company member Li Pei-shan (李佩珊), who is also listed as co-creator of the work.
In Dripping, Luo and Li exist their own parallel time and space, sensing and experiencing the same absurd situations and actions, which are influenced by water dripping from the ceiling and hundreds of buckets.
For the score, Luo turned to Misa Wen (米莎), bassist Monlieng Lee (孟濂) and percussionist Tsai Yi-cheng Tsai (蔡易成), who will be performing live during the show.
Luo originally called the work Wind Scar in English, and that is what appears on the posters and ticketing sites, although the Chinese title (詭‧跡) remains the same.
“Dripping is the key element and plays a very important role in this dance so I decided to change original title to Dripping, which is more appropriate,” she said.
WHEN: Tonight and tomorrow at 7:30pm, tomorrow and Sunday 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: Tickets are NT$500, available at NTCH box offices, online at www.artsticket.com and at convenience store kiosks
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