Thu, Jun 22, 2017 - Page 13 News List

Cherishing roots and connections

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

Tu Li-yuan and Jan Spotak, members of the GoteborgsOperans Danskompani, will perform this weekend at the Huashan 1914 Creative Park in Taipei as part of the MeimageDance 2017 New Choreographer Project.

Photo courtesy of Terry Lin

Ho Hsiao-mei (何曉玫) has built up an enviable reputation for her Meimage Dance Company’s New Choreographer Project (鈕扣*New Choreographer計畫) as a platform for Taiwanese professionals working abroad and a crucible for engaging works.

The seventh edition of the program New Choreographer Project promises to live up to the standards set by previous shows.

That is a pretty high bar, considering that one of the works on last year’s program, The Man by Germany-based Tien Tsai-wei (田采薇) and Jan Moellmer, was nominated earlier this year for the 15th Taishin Arts Performing Arts Award — alongside a two-time New Choreographer Project alumni Lee Chen-wei (李貞葳), for the piece she created for the National Theater Concert Hall’s Innovation Series last year, Together Alone (孤單在一起) with Vakulya Zoltan.

This year’s edition, which opens tomorrow night at the Huashan Creative Park’s Umay Theater, features three dancer/choreographers: Liu I-ling (劉奕伶), a dancer with the New York City-based Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, who is making her second appearance in the series; Tung Po-lin (董柏霖), a dancer with London-based Company Wayne McGregor and Tu Lee-yuan, a member of the GoteborgsOperans Danskompani in Sweden.

Liu, a 2005 graduate of Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA, 國立台北藝術大學), danced with several local troupes before joining the Jones/Zane company in 2008.

Tu, another TNUA graduate, joined the Goteborgs company in 2013 after working with companies in London and Ho’s Meimage Dance. His After the End won the Taiwan Golden Dance Award in 2010.

Tung studied at the TNUA’s high school division, but not at the university itself, Ho said.

He joined McGregor’s company last year after working with Fang Yi Sheu and Artists, the Gelsey Kirkland Ballet and the Tania Perez-Salas Compania de Danza in Mexico City.

Performance Notes

WHAT: MeimageDance 2017 New Choreographer Project

WHEN: Tomorrow and Saturday at 7:30pm, Saturday and Sunday at 2:30pm

WHERE: Huashan 1914 Creative Park (華山1914文化創意產業園區), East Hall 3 (Umay Theater (東3館 烏梅 劇院), 1, Bade Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市八德路一段1號)

ADMISSION: NT$600; available at NTCH box offices, online at www.artsticket.com.tw, at convenience store kiosks or at the door. Tomorrow night show and Sunday’s matinee are sold out.

WHAT: Terrace on the Hill

WHEN: Tomorrow and Saturday at 7:30pm, Saturday 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$600, available at NTCH box offices, online at www.artsticket.com and convenience story ticket kiosks.


Liu and Tung have created solos, while Tu will be dancing with one of his Goteborg colleagues, Slovakian Jan Spotak.

BACK TO THEIR ROOTS

The goal of the New Choreographer Project has always been to give Taiwan’s expatriate dancers a chance to return to their roots to show how much they have grown as professionals and share with young dancers what they have learned.

Ho said coming up with a list of candidates each year is always a challenge because it is dependent upon the dancers’ schedules, or more accurately, their companies’ schedules.

“The program is always up to God and me. It’s all down to chance,” she said on Sunday, adding “the first one to say yes, then I will book the theater.”

This year the first one was Tung, who said he could come in June, which is why the program is being staged earlier than in previous years.

With Tung in hand, Ho said she knew her second choice had to be a woman.

“I-ling was in the 2015 New Choreographer Project, she’s doing good, so these two alone were strong enough for a program,” Ho said.

Since Tu wanted to do a piece that is a little longer than normal, that also helped Ho commit to just three choreographers, compared to the four or five seen in previous years.

“I want to be more focused on the dances; not too many pieces, too many distractions,” she said.

She also arranged for the three returnees to offer workshops this week for local professionals on the techniques used in their respective companies. Each day’s workshop focused on one company and all three quickly sold out.

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