Fri, Sep 20, 2019 - Page 14 News List

Highlight - Dance: Motherhood keeps you on your toes

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

Grace Peng, left, and Cheng Yi-wen, right, collaborated on Mothership, a work about motherhood and identity that opens at the National Experimental Theater on Friday next week.

Photo courtesy of Dancecology

New Taipei City-based Dancecology (舞蹈生態系創意團隊), founded by Grace Peng (彭筱茵), is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

Peng made the transition from a career as a dancer with the Neo-Classical Dance Company (新古典舞團) to running her own troupe, picking up a master’s degree from Taipei National University of the Arts’ (TNUA, 國立臺北藝術大學) Graduate Institute of Choreography along the way.

Peng added a new title to her resume when she became a mother three years ago. But she has not let that slow her down. Her daughter has already racked up a substantial number of air miles accompanying Peng on visits to mentor and dance icon Elizabeth Cameron Dalman in Australia, as well as elsewhere in Asia.

This year, Peng decided to launch a new series of creative projects, entitled Mothership (媽的,噓), inspired by her experiences of being a dancer and a mother.

For the first project she decided to make a theater piece, also titled Mothership, in collaboration with Cheng Yi-wen (鄭伊雯), whose career has followed a similar trajectory.

Cheng danced with Dance Forum Taipei (遇見巨人) before earning her master’s degree from TNUA, becoming a freelance dancer-choreographer and founding the Zen Yi Production cooperative (人尹合作社) — as well as becoming a mother.

Peng said she has known Cheng for years, but they did not become close until three years ago, when they worked together on a piece for iDance 2017 that involved several dancer moms and their children.

Mothership is a multimedia piece combining dance, dramatic text and an installation that examines the image of motherhood against social expectations and self-exploration — or, as Peng said yesterday, “It’s about two mothers, about who we are.”

The three performers are Cheng, Chen Yi-ching (陳怡靜) and Chen Fu-jung (陳福榮). The show premieres on Friday next week.

Peng said the second piece in the Mothership series will be an interactive work for parents and children next year. She envisions the third piece, slated to premiere in 2021, as being about mothers’ mothers.

Friday and Saturday next week at 7:30pm, and Saturday and Sunday next week at 2:30pm, at the National Experimental Theater (國家戲劇院實驗劇場), 21-1 Zhongshan S Rd, Taipei City (台北市中山南路21-1號)

Tickets are NT$800, with a limited number of sponsorship seats at NT$2,000, available at NTCH box offices, online at artsticket.com.tw and at convenience store ticketing kiosks

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