Thu, Nov 08, 2018 - Page 14 News List

Taiwan Dance Platform

Taiwanese and other Asian dancer/choreographers are in the spotlight in Kaohsiung this weekend, as well as some from further abroad

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

Dancer/choreographer Rianto’s solo work, Medium, will be performed on Sunday at the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts as part of a double bill.

Photo courtesy of Wannas Cre

The National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts’ (衛武營國家藝術文化中心, also known as Weiwuying) second Taiwan Dance Platform, which opens tonight, is a four-day series that features seven programs with works by artists from Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, France, Hungary and Spain.

The program is designed not only to highlight the works of up-and-coming Taiwanese dancers and choreographers working at home or abroad, as well as their foreign counterparts, but also Kaohsiung’s newest performing arts venue itself, with the shows being presented in Weiwuying’s Playhouse, the Bayan Plaza, Concert Hall, Lecture Hall and Paint Shop.

In putting together the platform, Weiwuying’s programmers asked what it means to be “made in Asia. They were concerned about what they see as a gap between how Asian artists perceive themselves and how Asia is viewed by the West.

Several of the programs are double, or even triple bills, to allow shorter works to be seen.

Opening night honors were given to Chien Ching-ying (簡晶瀅), who in February last year won an Outstanding Performance in Modern Dance prize at the British National Dance Awards for her performance in Until the Lions with the Akram Khan Company, and Hugo Cho (曹德寶) and the TS Studio Company from Hong Kong.

Chin’s piece, Vulture (禿鷹), was her try at choreographing, and premiered in June at Sadler’s Wells in London. Her inspiration was a combination of the folklore that a vulture that knows it is close to death flies toward the sun before melting into nothingness and the tale of Icarus. She worked with another Khan alumnus, composer and musician Joseph Ashwin, on the work.

Cho’s piece, Along (順), mixes martial arts and contemporary dance in an exploration of breaking boundaries.

Tomorrow night there are two programs, the first by three Asian choreographers who have been traveling the world, Benson Tsai (蔡博丞), Ruri Mito of Japan and Goblin Party from South Korea, and the second, Lin I-chin’s (林宜瑾) The End of the Rainbow (彩虹的盡頭), which has already sold out.

Tsai’s B.DANCE (丞舞製作團隊) will perform SPLIT, inspired by Billy Milligan, a US man with multiple personalities, who was acquitted of a major crime on the grounds it was committed by two of his alternate personalities. Mito’s work, Matou is a solo piece, while Goblin Party’s Once Upon a Time explores themes that have shaped Korean culture.

Saturday brings the first of two performances of Hydra, created by French choreographer Yuval Pick and dancers from the National Choreographic Center of Rillieux-la-Pape, as well a program with two works by Japanese Ryuichi Fujimura, How I Practice My Religion and How Did I Get Here?, and a double bill program of En Chinoisries (浮光掠影) by Lin I-fang (林怡芳) and singer/songwriter Francois Marry, and LIKES by Catalan dancer/choreographer Nuria Guiu.

On Sunday, there is a double bill of Together Alone (孤單在一起) by Lee Chen-wei (李貞葳) and Vakulya Zoltan, which premiered in Taipei in 2016, and Medium, by Indonesian dancer Rianto, which was co-commissioned by Weiwuying, a second program, Fighters (五虎將), by Taipei-based Le Petites Choses (小事製作), which is sold out.

I caught up with Rianto via Skype late last month while he was on trip back to Jakarta, “caught up” being the operative word for the Javanese-born artist who divides his time between his Tokyo-based Indonesian company, Dewandaru Dance Company, residencies around Asia and working with the Akram Khan Company in London.

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