Three very different modern dance troupes are performing their latest productions in Taipei this weekend.
Century Contemporary Dance Company (CCDC, 世紀當代舞團) founder Yao Shu-fen (姚淑芬), whose company will be at the Wellspring Theater in Gongguan District (公館), invited Lu Po-hsun (呂柏勳) to collaborate on her latest project, Far-Near (首演).
Lu won the best director award at last year’s Taipei Film Festival for his film Wild Tides (野潮), which was praised for his breath-taking imagery and juxtaposition of the past and present.
Photo courtesy of Lin Sheng-fa
To create the visuals for Far-Near, which explores memory, language and the pursuit of happiness in an urban backdrop, Lu joined forces with Howell Chang Hao-jan (張皓然), who worked with the company on 2015’s Wild Butterflies (狂放的野蝶) as well as Cloud Gate Dance Theatre (雲門舞集) on last year’s Formosa (關於島嶼) and other productions.
The pair created stunningly realistic, yet magical projections that envelop and overlap the four CCDC dancers as they move through time and space in a landscape that alternates between watery shadows to desert-like dust.
TJIMUR DANCE THEATER
Photo courtesy of Huang Jhao-lun, Tjimur Dance Theatre
Visiting Taipei from their southern bases are the Tjimur Dance Theatre (蒂摩爾古薪舞集) from Pingtung County’s Sandimen Township (三地門) and Tainan-based Scarecrow Contemporary Dance Company (稻草人現代舞蹈團).
Tjimur, which was founded by artistic director Ljuzem Madiljin and her younger brother, Baru Madiljin, the company’s choreographer, are still enjoying the buzz they received from very successful runs this summer at the Festival Off d’Avignon in France and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, where they toured their 2017 production Varhung — Heart to Heart (Varhung — 心事誰人知).
Their new production, Calisi (斜坡上的婚禮), which premiered last weekend in Pingtung and is at the National Experimental Theater for three shows this weekend, explores Paiwan wedding customs.
Photo courtesy of Liu Ren-hao
Baru said during a preview at the company’s studio earlier this month that marriage in Paiwan society is complex, as it is seen as a union of two families, not just the couple.
Families can discuss a proposed marriage for several years, especially if they are from different traditional classes, such as chieftain, warrior or something else, he said.
However, even arguments during this period are seen as valuable, he said, adding: “If the two families argue, then the marriage will be a good one.”
Baru said he tried to convey the back-and-forth of such discussions with pulling and tugging movements, as well as incorporating the carrying of the bride in the wedding procession and the erection of a swing for the ceremony.
Scarecrow’s The Fool (愚人), which will be performed this weekend at Huashan 1914 Creative Park’s Umay Theater, was choreographed by Kao Hsin-yu (高辛毓).
Taipei is the final stop on the production’s three-city tour following its premiered in Tainan last month and a stop in Taichung earlier this month.
Kao was inspired by the Fool or the Jester card in a Tarot deck. It is considered a special card, as it can represent new beginnings or having faith in the future. As its number is zero, it can also be seen as both the beginning and the end.
A fool’s behavior is often weird and strange, but a fool is not afraid to take the unknown road, the company said.
Fools are very clear about their actions, even if others see them as disorganized or absurd.
Hsu Chia-yu (許家瑜) created the soundscape for the show, while the set design is by Hsueh Kai-han (薛楷瀚).
WHEN: Tomorrow at 7:30pm, Saturday at 2:30pm and 7:30pm
WHERE: Wellspring Theater (水源劇場), 92 Roosevelt Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市羅斯福路四段92號)
ADMISSION: NT$900, NT$1,200 and $2,500 (sponsor level); available at NTCH box offices, online at www.artsticket.com and convenience store ticket kiosks
WHEN: Tomorrow and Saturday at 7:30pm, Sunday at 2:30pm
WHERE: 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)
ADMISSION: Tickets are NT$600, NT$2,500 for sponsorship level; available at NTCH box offices, online at www.artsticket.com and convenience store ticket kiosks. There are a few seats left for Friday and Saturday night’s shows
WHAT: The Fool
WHEN: Tomorrow and Saturday at 7:30pm, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:30pm
WHERE: Huashan 1914 Creative Park (華山1914文化創意產業園區), Umay Theater (烏梅劇院), 1, Bade Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市八德路一段1號)
ADMISSION: Tickets are NT$600; available at NTCH box offices, online at www.artsticket.com and convenience store ticket kiosks.
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