Thu, Mar 28, 2019 - Page 14 News List

Finding a home in dance and in the world

Frenchman Christian Rizzo and Taiwanese choreographer Su Wei-chia will show their latest works as part of the Taiwan International Festival of Arts in Taipei this weekend

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

French choreographer Christian Rizzo’s une maison will be performed at the National Theater in Taipei tomorrow and Saturday night as part of the Taiwan International Festival of Arts.

Photo courtesy of Lin I-chu / National Theater Concert Hall

Two programs in Taipei this weekend as part of the Taiwan International Festival of Arts aim to explore the world of dance in an evolving landscape, one that seeks to bring the universe inside the National Theater, while the other will draw inspiration from its outdoors settings.

The creators are two men well known to dance audiences in Taiwan: Frenchman Christian Rizzo, artistic director of ICI-CCN Montpellier and a frequent visitor to this nation, and Taiwanese choreographer Su Wei-chia (蘇威嘉), one of the cofounders of the Horse (驫舞劇場) dance collective.

Rizzo, who was last year awarded the Taiwan-France Cultural Award by the Ministry of Culture, can date his affair with Taiwan to his residencies at the Taipei Artist Village (台北國際藝術村) in 2006 and 2007, which were followed by a collaboration with Dance Forum Taipei (舞蹈空間) in 2008 at the Experimental Theater, How to say “Here”? and in 2012, b.c, janvier 1545, Fontainebleau for National Theater Concert Hall’s (NTCH) Dancing into Autumn series.

His TIFA track record includes Based on a True Story (d’apres une histoire vraie) at the National Theater in 2016, and AD NOCTUM at the National Taichung Theater in April last year.

The 54-year-old started off by studying visual art, and was a rock musician and a clothing designer before turning to dance, and his productions reflect the multiplicity of his interests.

He is credited with the choreography, stage and costume design and the light “objects” for his latest production, une maison, which will have its Taiwan premiere tomorrow night.

The show remains something of a mystery as of press time. Coproduced by the NTCH and more than a dozen theaters and cultural centers in Europe, rehearsals began in September last year and have continued right up until this week, despite the show’s French premiere on March 5 at the Bonlieu Scene nationale in Annecy.

Performance Notes

What: une maison (特)

Where: National Theater (國家戲劇院), 21-1 Zhongshan S Rd, Taipei City (台北市中山南路21-1號)

When: Tomorrow and Saturday at 7:30pm

Admission: NT$500 to NT$1,500, available at NTCH box offices, online at www.artsticket.com.tw and at convenience store ticketing kiosks

What: Free Steps — NiNi

Where and When: Tomorrow at 6pm, main plaza between National Theater and Concert Hall, 21-1 Zhongshan S Rd, Taipei City (台北市中山南路21-1號); Saturday at 6pm, Plaza at the Exit 5 of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall MRT Station; Friday next week at 6pm, Concert Hall terrace and Saturday next week at 6pm, Forest Playland near the Concert Hall

Admission: Free


No press conference was scheduled for this week, and photographic evidence has been scant, according to NTCH staffers. However, the show is already is scheduled for performances in France, Portugal, Spain and Belgium that will keep it on tour through April next year.

In his initial media interviews, Rizzo said he wanted to draw the profile of “a house” with dance from a place we call “house,” reflecting that the place humans call home, Earth, is but one small part of a universe with billions of galaxies and that our homes are not only concrete entities, but contain the mental and physical memories of our existence and connections.

Fourteen dancers carry the outlines or tracks of 14 houses as they meet, connect, part and meet again.

“There are multiple length lives. Each time there is the re-taming of silence in order to see the calm within signs of storm,” Rizzo wrote in the production notes.

While Rizzo’s cast is building their universe inside, Su’s team will be outside with the latest installation of his Free Steps (自由步) series, which will be performed for free.

Su is now in the sixth year of the 10-year project that focuses on variations in physical shapes, steps, rhythms and shadows to create an evolving physical sculpture and a celebration of the body in motion.

It grew out of his participation in the 2013 ArtsCross program in London, an exchange project that brought together dancers and choreographers from Middlesex University Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA, 國立臺北藝術大學) and the Beijing Dance Academy, although its origins date back to his master’s degree graduation project and thesis, Exploring Dance from Tracing and Discovering (FREE STEPS).

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