Two dance programs in Taipei this weekend focus on questions of identity, experimentation and creation.
Taiwan Made (台灣製造) by dancer/choreographer Lin Juju’s (林祐如) is at the National Experimental Theater as the third installment in the National Theater Concert Hall’s (NTCH) Ideas Lab series, while at a performance space off Linsen N Road will be the site of White Dance Theater’s (白蹈場) NEWID Vol. 2.
Lin, a Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA, 國立臺北藝術大學) alumnus and a great dancer herself, has over the past few years been building a portfolio of interesting, often quirky works as a freelance choreographer, both in Taiwan and abroad.
Photo courtesy of Chou Jia-hui
Her latest, which evolved during her stint as an NTCH artist-in-residence last year that included a trip to France to perform at the Rencontres choregraphiques internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis, looks to be just as intriguing.
Lin’s travels and experiences abroad as a performer, a creator and just an ordinary tourist led her to ponder the perceptions of identity, culture and connections: just what is meant by the name “Taiwan.”
Is it the name of an island, a nation, an identity of a people? Is it a collection of different ethnic groups, cultures and memories? What has enabled it to transform and to integrate different elements over the centuries?
Lin recruited five friends, who come from different backgrounds and work in different styles of dance, for the project: Huang Huai-te (黃懷德), Su Ping-wen (蘇品文), Hsiao Dong-yi (蕭東意), Lee Lu (李律) and Wang Chu-hua (王筑樺).
Given that they all have their own choreographic experience, she wanted the five to be more collaborators than just hired performers, mirroring how different elements have come together over the years to interact and influence the shape of Taiwan today, just as it has shaped their bodies and minds.
Lin drew on their ideas about life to create a show that seeks to explain “Taiwan in their eyes.”
RECREATING AN IDENTITY
The other program, the second installment of White Dance Theater’s NEWID sees four artists from different disciplines come together, each presenting a 15-minute solo work designed to challenge themselves and their audiences, who are to be included in the piece.
The question it poses is how does an artist recreate a new identity for themselves?
The idea behind the program was a quote attributed to US Pop art pioneer Andy Warhol that “in the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” It appeared in a brochure for a 1968 exhibition of his work at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden, but in the decades since others have claimed to have coined it and Warhol reportedly said in 1980 that he had never actually said it.
Regardless, it is firmly attached to the Warhol brand, and fits neatly into today’s selfie and Instagram-obsessed culture.
The four artists are Chen Chiu-yen (陳秋燁), Shi Yu-che (施豫澤), Lu Yi-chieh (陸伊潔) and Palmer Mathews.
Audience members who purchase the NT$1,000 sponsor ticket will be able to participate in a physical introduction workshop with the artists before the show and also help lead the audience portions of each performance during the show.
WHAT: Taiwan Made
WHEN: Tomorrow and Saturday at 7:30pm, Saturday and 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$700, available at NTCH box offices, online at www.artsticket.com and convenience store ticket kiosks. Tomorrow night’s show is sold out.
WHAT: NEWID Vol. 2
WHEN: Tomorrow and Saturday at 6pm, Saturday and Sunday at 1pm
WHERE: 濕地 venue B1, No. 10, Lane 107, Linsen N Rd, B1 (台北市中山區林森北路107巷10號 B1)
ADMISSION: Tickets are NT$600, sponsor level (see story) NT$1,000; available at NTCH box offices, online at www.artsticket.com and convenience store ticket kiosks
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