Thu, Oct 18, 2018 - Page 14 News List

Collaborative dance

International cooperation links three productions in Taipei this weekend, which feature works by Taiwanese choreographers in partnership with foreign artists and musicians

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

Under The Horizon, a collaboration between Taiwanese choreographer Huang Yi, Japanese multimedia artist Ryoichi Kurokawa and the Nederlands Kamerkoor, opens tonight at the Metropolitan Hall as part of the Taipei Arts Festival.

Photo courtesy of Huang Yi Studio

Works by three of Taiwan’s younger generation of notable choreographers will be performed this weekend, two that wrap up the Taipei Arts Festival and one under the auspices of the Kuandu Arts Festival.

All three Taiwanese have developed substantial international contacts, two by touring their works and/or winning choreographic competitions abroad, and one who has been based in Essen, Germany for 14 years.


Going strictly in chronological order, first up is Huang Yi Studio’s (黃翊工作室) Under The Horizon (地平面以下), which opens tonight at the Metropolitan Hall, and is considered one of the highlights of the Taipei Arts Festival.

Described as a “hybrid opera,” the show created by Huang Yi (地平), the Utrecht-based Nederlands Kamerkoor (Netherlands Chamber Choir) and Berlin-based Japanese multimedia and audiovisual artist Ryoichi Kurokawa, premiered on Sept. 21 in Utrecht, Netherlands.

Huang Yi gave a preview of the piece almost a year ago this month at the Cloud Gate Theatre and it was tantalizing.

Considered one of his generation’s most exciting talents, he has built a reputation for working with technology and Under The Horizon is likely to cement that reputation further.

Inspired by both the plight of refugees fleeing war, persecution or famine, as well as Chinese folklore that says the horizon is the dividing line between life and the netherworld (where souls exist as shadows), Huang Yi and Kurokawa have created a world where humans and shadows cross paths.

It is a show about the universal desire for hope, home, love and belonging. It is also about loss and longing.

The site has split the program into two listings: one is for tonight and tomorrow’s shows, which feature the choir; the second is for the three other shows, which will be performed to a recorded soundtrack.

For all five performances, there is an advisory that latecomers will not be admitted.


The search for home is also one of the themes of the second production, the 70-minute dance-video installation by Polymer DMT (聚合舞), Unsolved (未解,懸), which opens tomorrow night at Huashan 1914 Creative Park’s Umay Theater.

Choreographer Luo Fang-yun (羅芳芸) founded the Essen-based Polymer DMT seven years ago, seeking to bring together artists and performers from different fields or cultural backgrounds to create dance-based works.

Unsolved was a collaboration with Hamburg-based video artist Hanna Linn Ernst, Swiss musician Patrik Zosso and Germany-based Taiwanese stage designer Cheng Ting-chen (陳成婷), and features Taiwanese hip-hop dancer Chung Chih-wen (鍾志文), along with Cheng and Anna Westphal.

Coproduced with PACT Zollverein Essen and the Taipei Arts Festival, the show premiered in Essen on Sept. 28, and its Taiwan premiere has been funded by the Goethe-Institut, Taipei.

Unsolved is partially autobiographical, inspired by Luo’s questions about her family’s history in Taiwan and conflicting identities in different worlds, set in an old family home, long abandoned.

Luo examines how personal identity and cultural identity are formed within families and the impact on both the individuals and the family as a whole. Unsolved is the first in a planned trilogy on the concepts of identity, home, heritage and tradition from an individual as well as political experience.


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