Thu, Oct 12, 2017 - Page 13 News List

Dreams and visions

Cheng Tsung-lung’s latest work for Cloud Gate 2 explores the upside-down world of dreams and snippets of time

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

Dream Catcher, Cloud Gate 2 artistic director Cheng Tsung-lung’s newest work, premieres at the Cloud Gate Theater tomorrow night.

Credit: Courtesy of Yo Yang

“I dream of painting and then I paint my dreams,” Vincent van Gogh was quoted as saying.

Cheng Tsung-lung (鄭宗龍) dreams of dancing and movement, and in his newest work for Cloud Gate 2 (雲門 2), Dream Catcher (捕夢), 10 dancers dance their dreams — and his.

Asked about the inspiration for his latest project, which premieres tomorrow night at the Cloud Gate Theater in New Taipei City’s Tamsui District (淡水), Cheng said: “Suddenly one day, I felt that life is like a dream. I had the desire to hold onto something. Could there be a way to hold onto time and stop it? Just like a dream-catcher, I wanted to capture it.”

Interviewed at the theater on Friday last week, during what should have been his dinner break during a long day of rehearsals, Cheng said it was the fleetingness of dreams, the way we try and hold on to fragments of them when we are awake, that intrigued him.

Working on Dream Catcher brought him closer to his dancers, he said.

“The dancers shared their dreams with everyone. Dreams are so personal. When we look at dreams, we learn secrets from them,” he said.

Trying to unlock the secrets of dreams, however, is a whole other story.

Cheng said he had been fascinated to discover that today so many people turn to the Internet to share their dreams and try to decipher their meanings — especially in China and Taiwan.

“In dreams everything is upside down,” he said, adding that traditionally Chinese have turned to a book written about 1,000 years ago: The Interpretation of Dreams by the Duke of Zhou (周公解夢).

Through sharing their dreams, he said he felt that he and his dancers now have a better understanding of each other.


Performance Notes

WHAT: Dream Catcher

WHEN: Tomorrow and Saturday at 8pm, Saturday and Sunday at 3pm, Oct. 20 and Oct. 21 at 8pm, Oct. 21 and Oct. 22 at 3pm

WHERE: Cloud Gate Theater (淡水雲門劇場), 36, Ln 6, Zhongzheng Rd Sec 1, Tamsui District, New Taipei City (新北市淡水區中正路一段6巷36號)

ADMISSION: NT$600 to NT$1,400 are left for the two Friday night shows, NT$500 to NT$1,600 for the rest; available at NTCH box offices, online at or and at convenience store kiosks nationwide.

One person’s dream could be another’s

nightmare, something that was certainly reflected in the snippet of Dream Catcher that Cheng and his cast were working on on Friday afternoon last week.

The 10 dancers were clad in a wide variety of costumes that ranged from casual athletic wear to a lacy couture gown to a partial gorilla suit. Some had their faces obscured, faceless creatures being a stock character in dreams.

The costumes are the work of Taipei-born, London and Milan-trained designer and stylist Fan Huai-chih (范懷之).

Cheng said he has known Fan for nine years, but they had never worked together until she did the costumes for the piece he choreographed for the Sydney Dance Company earlier this year, Full Moon.

He was so impressed by her creations for that show, all of which were hand-sewn, that he wanted to work with her again.

Just as Fan’s designs help populate Cheng’s dream world, the score, by Chinese-American avant-garde musician and composer Li Daiguo, is much slower than the soundtracks he usually works with, which helps give the show a dreamlike feel.

The 36-year-old Oklahoma-born Li has established himself as a prominent proponent of experimental and traditional Chinese music since moving to China 13 years ago. He plays more than a dozen instruments ranging from the violin, cello, bass to the erhu and pipa, and often incorporates throat-singing and beatboxing into his work.

In addition to his own work, which includes concerts, recordings and street busking in China, Li has also worked with several famous Chinese musicians and composed for dance companies.

Cheng said a friend sent him a link to one of Li’s videos and told him that he had to listen to the musician’s works.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top