Spring is in the air, or at least in the titles of two contemporary dance programs in Taipei this weekend.
The Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA, 國立臺北藝術大學) School of Dance’s annual summer concert opened last night with the first of five performances, the highlight of which is Czech choreographer Jiri Kylian’s 1980 masterpiece for the Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT), Soldier’s Mass.
It is the first time that a university dance department anywhere in the world has been given permission to stage Kylian’s work, which is a testament to the high quality of the school’s dance program and the caliber of the technique of its students and graduates, as well as its professional connections.
Photo courtesy of Zhang Xiaoxiong
That Australian choreographer Leigh Warren, who is a visiting professor at the school, was one of the original NDT dancers in the piece, was a crucial factor. Warren has helped the students with the work, along with two reconstruction specialists from Kylian Productions.
The school launched the Kylian Project to mark the 35th anniversary of its dance department and the 20th anniversary of the establishment of its seven-year program.
The other works on the Muted Spring program were choreographed by Ho Hsiao-mei (何曉玫), renaissance of its ashes (極相林): Lee Jeoung-yun, From Inside and Su Shu (蘇淑), Chasm (出).
Photo courtesy National Theater Concert Hall
In addition to being a professor at the school, Ho has her own company, MeimageDance (何曉玫MeimageDance), Lee was a principal dancer of the National Dance Company of Korea and Su was a principal with the Hong Kong Dance Company (香港舞蹈團).
Over at the National Experimental Theater, the Dick Wong — Dance Theatre (黃大徽 舞蹈劇場) gives the first of three performances of Wang’s 2016 work, The Rite of Spring (春之祭), tomorrow afternoon as part of this year’s “Innovation Series Dance.”
The Hong Kong journalist-turned-choreographer was intrigued by the idea of religious worship as the origin of music and dance.
In this piece he explores the purpose of creative works and the idea of creativity as a ritual.
■ Muted Spring: Tonight and tomorrow at 7:30pm and tomorrow and Sunday at 2:30pm at the Taipei National University of the Arts Dance Theater (國立臺北藝術大學展演藝術中心戲劇廳), 1 Xueyuan Rd, Taipei City (台北市學園路1號). Tickets are NT$400, available online at www.artsticket.com.tw, at convenience store ticketing kiosks and at the door.
■ Rite of Spring: Tomorrow at 2:30pm and 7:30pm and Sunday at 2:30pm; National 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). Tickets are NT$800, available at NTCH box offices, online at www.artsticket.com and convenience store ticket kiosks
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