Thu, Aug 03, 2017 - Page 13 News List

Brightness and shadows for ‘Light’ ballet

The Kaohsiung City Ballet is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year with a new production and three-city tour

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

Kaohsiung City Ballet will perform a new work by Romanian choreographer Constantin Georgescu as part of its Light program at the Kaohsiung Cultural Center’s Chihteh Hall on Saturday.

Photo: Liu Ren-haur

To celebrate the Kaohsiung City Ballet’s (KCB, 高雄城市芭蕾舞團) 25th anniversary, founder Chang Hsiu-ru (張秀如) decided to stage a production based on Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, asking two choreographers who have worked with the troupe on previous shows to create two new works.

The dances created for Light (光), which opens on Saturday at Kaohsiung Cultural Center’s Chihteh Hall, could not be more different.

Romanian choreographer/multimedia artist Constantin Georgescu’s piece is about time, space and light and makes use of red ropes and digital technology, while 27-year-old Taiwanese Lai Hung-chung (賴翃中) took a biblical passage about using light as a symbol for guidance as inspiration for his dance.

MOVING PAINTINGS

Georgescu has been working with the company on and off since 2014, helping Chang restage full-length productions of Coppelia in 2014 and The Nutcracker the following year. He has also created works for the company’s young choreographer platform, the annual “Dance Shoe” productions.

However, he first came to the Taiwan dance world’s attention five years ago when Germany-based dancer Yuan Shang-jen (袁尚仁) asked him to collaborate on a piece for the 2013 Meimage Dance Company’s New Choreographer Project. Their piece, Dialogue (對話), had great dancing and superb video projections.

Even when he is not in Taiwan, Georgescu, who is now working on a graduate degree in Austria, maintains a strong Taiwanese connection: He has spent the past year working with Landestheater Linz Ballet artistic director Lin Mei-hong (林美虹), a Taiwanese choreographer who has been based in Europe for more than three decades.

Georgescu followed Chang’s request to use Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons for his music, but he chose Max Richter’s interpretation of the composition.

Performance notes:

WHAT: Light

WHEN: Saturday at 7:30pm

WHERE:Kaohsiung Cultural Center’s Chihteh Hall (高雄市文化中心至德堂), 67 Wufu 1st Rd, Kaohsiung City (高雄市五福一路67號)

ADMISSION:NT$400, NT$600, NT$800, NT$1,000 and NT$1,200; available at the door, online at www.artsticket.com.tw or at convenience store ticketing kiosks.

ADDITIONAL PERFORMANCES: Aug. 22 at 7:30pm in the Playhouse at the National Taichung Theater (臺中國家歌劇院大劇院), 101, Huilai Rd, Sec. 2, Situn District, Taichung City (臺中市西屯區惠來路二段101號); Aug. 28 at 7:30pm at Pingtung County Art Center (屏東縣藝術館), 427, Heping Rd, Pingtung City (屏東市和平路427號). Tickets for Taichung priced as in Kaohsiung, those in Pingtung are NT$350 and NT$500; available as above.


Light is a series of moving ‘paintings’ dealing with time, space and light, each part has its own identity and can be seen as a standalone moment, but I have tried to build on the possibility of one piece made of different movements,” Georgescu says.

“It has a cyclical development that works closely with the music. The idea of time passing from this piece of music is a very good support for the choreographic and dramaturgical development.”

He says Light was also influenced by his experience of growing up and watching how people connect, disconnect and influence others.

By using live video projection, Georgescu wants to give audiences a new perspective, a chance to observe connections as they are being made — or unmade.

THE MORNING STAR

For his work, Lai turned to several dancers whom he has been working closely with for the past year, Cheng I-han (鄭伊涵), Chien Lin-yi (簡麟懿) — who were so terrific in Lai’s Raining in the Room for this year’s “Dance Shoe” and former Cloud Gate Dance Theater member Huang Lu-kai (黃律開). Chang Yu (張瑀) completes the cast.

Lai said Chang’s theme of “light” made him think of Lucifer and a passage from the Bible, Isaiah 14:12-15, that begins: “How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!”

The idea of the morning star, the brightest object in the pre-dawn sky besides the moon, being hard to see in daylight captured his imagination, Lai says. Lai likens it to life, where knowing what choices to make and finding the right direction can be hard, even when everyting seems clear.

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