Thu, Nov 22, 2018 - Page 13 News List

Up from the south and crossing genres

Two dance companies from southern Taiwan will perform in Taipei this weekend, as will a Taipei-based troupe that worked with film director Lu Po-hsun on his latest production

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

The Century Contemporary Dance Company’s Near-Far will be performed at the Wellspring Theater in Taipei this weekend.

Photo courtesy of Lin Sheng-fa

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.

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.


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.

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.

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