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

“He was playing in traditional dress, hair in a bun and his face was very serious,” Cheng said. “‘Who is Li Daiguo?’ I thought. He was playing a pipa while beatboxing with a microphone. His music is very now.”

Cheng e-mailed Li and asked him if he was interested in collaborating. Months later, he said he is very happy with the results.

“The flow is good for performing to,” he said.

The portion that I heard sounded like electronic or techno sounds had been mixed with strings, but Cheng assured me that all the sounds were vocalized or played by Li himself.

Dream Catcher is Cheng’s second full-length work for Cloud Gate 2 after last year’s 13 Tongues (十三聲), and his third overall counting his independent piece On the Road (在路上), which won Best Group at Premio Roma Danza’s 1st International Choreographic Competition in 2011.

Asked if it is getting easier to create long pieces, Cheng replied emphatically: “No.”


Once Dream Catcher’s two-weekend run is over, he will be taking a bit of a break, creatively speaking, with no new work, short or long, scheduled for the company next year so he can focus on another full-length piece for 2019, which will be the company’s 20th anniversary.

Cheng is thinking a lot about the future of the company. He wants to keep a balance between theater appearances and the troupe’s residency programs around Taiwan.

When Cloud Gate 2 was formed in 1999 by Cloud Gate Dance Theatre (雲門舞集) founder Lin Hwai-min (林懷民) and Lo Man-fei (羅曼菲), the idea was to provide a platform for young Taiwanese choreographers, not just be a junior company to the main troupe, and to share dance with people living in small towns and communities around the nation who might never have the chance to go to a real theater.

Cheng said the concept of bringing people closer to dance would continue to be vital for the company, but as the government and other institutions are doing more to promote young choreographers and provide platforms for their works, he is not sure if that should still be a focus for the troupe going forward.

As for international tours — the company has performed in New York City, London and Singapore — but he said he does not think about them much.

“If we get asked, then good. There is so much to do at home, he said, adding: “We are still growing together.”

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