Fri, Oct 26, 2018 - Page 14 News List

Highlight: An Aboriginal ode to mothers

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

The Neo-Classic Dance Company opens its new show, Glory of Mother at the Metropolitan Hall in Taipei tonight for three shows and will perform the show in Hualien next weekend.

Photo courtesy of Neo-Classic Dance Company

The Neo-Classic Dance Company (新古典舞團) returns to Taipei’s Metropolitan Hall tonight with its new production Glory of Mother (伊娜的光芒).

The company’s founder and artistic director, Liu Feng-shueh (劉鳳學), the doyenne of modern dance in Taiwan, spent decades creating contemporary abstract works the fused Western and Asian elements.

She also gained fame for her research into and reconstruction of Chinese court and ceremonial dances from the Tang, Sung and Ming dynasties, as well as her works inspired by the dances of Taiwan’s Aboriginal communities that focused on social and cultural issues facing these communities.

While Liu, now in her early 90s, created the majority of works her company has performed, in the past few years she has encouraged former and current dancers with the troupe to choreograph dances for it.

Glory of Mother was choreographed by Wei Kuang-ching (魏光慶), who joined the company in the early 1990s, when he was still a student at the Taipei Physical Education College and later at what is now the Taipei National University of Arts, and continued to work for Liu even after founding his own troupe, the Hualien-based Kumud Dance Theatre (谷慕特舞蹈劇場).

Wei, who is an Ami, uses modern dance forms to present the culture and traditions of Taiwan’s indigenous communities.

For Glory of Mother, Wei brought in 17 Aboriginal performers familiar with Ami songs and dances to join the Neo-Classic crew.

The 70-minute dance tells the story of a mother’s selfless dedication to her children, but also draws upon Ami mythology that tells of the goddess of the earth, as well as viewing the sun as female.

Wei said the show is a tribute to his own mother, whom he often quarreled with when he was young, but missed terribly when he left his home to move to Taipei for university.

■ Tonight and tomorrow at 7:30pm, Sunday at 2:30pm at Metropolitan Hall (城市舞台), 25 Bade Rd, Sec 3, Taipei (台北市八德路三段25號).

■ Tickets are NT$500 to NT$1,200, available at NTCH box offices, Eslite ticket desks, online at www.artsticket.com.tw and at convenience store ticketing kiosks

■ Additional performances on Friday, Saturday and Sunday next week at 7:30pm at Hualien Tian Yuan Theater (花蓮田園舞蹈劇場), 239-1 Zhongyang Rd, Sec 4, Hualien City (花蓮市中央路四段239之1號).

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