Thu, Nov 30, 2017 - Page 13 News List

A world between reality and fiction

Choreographer Chang Ting-ting is interested in exploring the boundaries between technology and dance, reality and virtual reality. The third part of her Cabinet trilogy opens tomorrow night in Taipei

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

Cabinet 3: Boundaries of Reality, Chang Ting-ting’s latest work for her T.T.C. Dance troupe, opens at the National Theater’s Experimental Theater at the in Taipei tomorrow night.

Photo Courtesy of T.T.C. Dance

Choreographer Chang Ting-ting (張婷婷) is wrapping up her exploration of surrealist imagery, memories and movement this weekend with Cabinet 3: Boundaries of Reality (抽屜三) at the Experimental Theater in the National Theater.

Five years ago this month, inspired by the surrealist paintings of Salvador Dali and his use of clocks, drawers and cabinets to symbolize relations between women and men, Chang created the first part of what has become a trilogy, Cabinet Anthropomorphique (肢‧色:系列-抽屜人), following it up with Persistence of Memory (時空抽屜), which explored movement and imagery, two years ago.

Both were powerful and visually exciting works.

Chang and her team have spent the past two weeks rehearsing their latest production at Huashan 1914 Creative Park (華山1914), nailing down the technical part of the program.

In a telephone interview on Sunday, she said there was still a lot to do, but she was feeling confident about the show, even though she was still waiting to get the last 10 minutes of music.

Chang said she used the same creative brain trust who worked on part two of the trilogy: musician Lee Shih-yang (李世揚) for the score, stage designer Chen Wei-kuang (陳威光), France-based multimedia artist Lin Jin-yao (林經堯) and lighting designer Goh Boon Ann (吳文安).

However, Lee has been so busy recently that he was concerned about being able to provide enough music for this show, so he drafted electronica artist Lin Yu-te (林育德) to help with the score.

Persistence of Memory had amazing 3D visuals, but Chang said a lot of people did not want to wear the paper 3D glasses, especially male audience members.

That led to questions about why she wanted to work in 3D in the first place, questions about whether audiences would get so caught up with the images that they would forget the dancers.

Performance notes

WHAT: Cabinet 3: Boundaries of Reality

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$800, available at NTCH box offices, online at and convenience story ticket kiosks. Tomorrow night and Sunday are sold out

Chang said we live in a time of virtual auditory (VA) environments and virtual reality (VR) games, and that has made her interested in how this impacts dance and dance performances.

“I am trying to connect technology and dance,” she said, noting that several other Taiwanese choreographers have also been exploring the boundaries between the two, most notably Huang Yi (黃翊).

She said she feels the dance vocabulary has become more emotional and the dancing body more about pure movement, which is one of the reasons she started working on this latest piece with movement, rather than a piece of music.

“You never find a piece of music that is 60 minutes long,” she said.

For Boundaries of Reality Chang has also been working with a team from National Taiwan University’s multimedia lab to use motion capture and heat sensor technology.

Chang said they used four motion capture sensors, three on the heads of dancers and one on top of a cabinet, while for some of the imagery, the team created images from the dancers’ body heat as they move, she said.

“We see shapes, painting with images, we don’t see the real dancers,” she said, drawing a connection between how she has moved from the use of a real cabinet to an imaginary one over the course of the three productions.

Dali’s cabinets were portrayed through the use of boxes and drawers in the first show, became the line of the 3D screen that divided the audience from the performers in the second and now it is the VR platform for part three.

She said exploring the imaginary world between reality and fiction is also part of the creative process of developing movement.

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