Thu, Oct 12, 2017 - Page 14 News List

Time, space and viewpoint prisms

In a world beset by questions of ‘real’ versus ‘fake’ news, real versus unreal, Shiro Takatani’s “ST/LL’ makes audiences question what they are seeing and how they view the world

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

Japanese artist Shiro Takatani’s "ST/LL" is set to music by award-winning composer Ryuichi Sakamoto and opens on Saturday at the National Theater as part of the Dancing in Autumn series.

Photo: Courtesy of Yoshikazu Inoue

"ST/LL" (靜/止), a joint production by Shiro Takatani and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, opens at the National Theater on Saturday afternoon, launching the National Theater Concert Hall’s “Dancing in Autumn” series.

The 2015 production by Takatani, the Kyoto-based cofounder of the multi-media performance group Dumb Type, and Academy Award-winning Sakamoto continues a collaboration between the two men that began in 1999, when the composer asked Takatani to provide the visual direction for his opera"LIFE."

"ST/LL" is the first show of Takatani’s to be performed in Taiwan.

The production is a meditation on time and space. It combines dance with 3D film projections and live performance, plus a massive shallow pool that fills the stage floor under and around a long table.

The set is designed so that all the action on stage and film are mirrored by their reflections in the pool, which means that a large number of seats in the theater will have restricted views, as the best seats to see the whole show are those in the back of the first floor’s middle section and in middle seating on the second floor.

It is no surprise that those were the first to sell out, and most of the remaining seats for the three shows are the first few rows closest to the stage.

The idea behind much of Takatani’s work in recent years is to provide audiences and museum goers with a viewpoint on a macro, high-resolution level, reversing the usual order of the universe as to what is incredibly small and what is infinitely great — making the invisible visible and vice versa.

With "ST/LL," what he shows the audience is something they would not be able to see for themselves unaided. However, that means that one can never be sure that things are what they seem to be as the four performers — Yuko Hirai, Mayu Tsuruta, Misako Yabuuchi and Olivier Balzarini — move about the stage.

Performance Notes

WHAT: ST/LL

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

WHERE: National Theater (國家戲劇院), 21-1 Zhongshan S Rd, Taipei City (台北市中山南路21-1號)

ADMISSION: The only seats left are in the NT$800 to NT$1,600 range, available at NTCH box offices, online at www.artsticket.com.tw and at convenience store ticketing kiosks


The soundscape created by Sakamoto, along with Marihiko Hara and Takuya Minami, is a mix of piano and electronic, with high frequency pulses that create a web-like effect as well as setting off vibrations in the water, adding to the feel of endless dimensions.

"ST/LL" runs about 75 minutes without intermission and comes with an audience advisory that strobe lighting is used.

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