The white stuff

Ho Hsiao-mei and two TNUA graduates offer a triple shot in Taoyuan tonight

By Diane Baker  /  Staff Reporter

Fri, Aug 12, 2011 - Page 13

Dance professor and choreographer Ho Hsiao-mei (何曉玫) left audiences hungering for more after last fall’s debut of her new troupe Meimage Dance (玫舞擊) in Woo! Barbie (Woo! 芭比).

Tonight she’s offering a preview of her latest work, Realm of Paper (紙境), which will have its world premier in late October. The black-and-white work uses large quantities of paper to create a simple white stage, one that moves with the dancer as Ho’s choreography explores what she calls the intersection of repetitious accidents and coincidence. The stark contrast between the whiteness of the paper and the dancer as she brushes and paints with her body is guaranteed to produce some startling imagery.

Ho recruited Yang Hsiao-hsuan (楊孝萱), an alumna of her school, Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA, 國立臺北藝術大學), to perform in the piece. Yang was a founding member of Cloud Gate 2 (雲門2) before joining the Australian Dance Theatre in 2004. She worked with Ho again after returning home and joining the Taipei Crossover Dance Company (台北越界舞團) in 2009, making a big impression in that troupe’s Time Hotel (越界15︰時光旅社) in January last year.

Ho’s recent works have explored cultural images in modern Taiwanese society, and she has become known for creating movements and imagery that linger in the mind long after her shows are over.

To round out tonight’s program, Ho recruited two other TNUA graduates who have gained fame as dancers abroad, but are also developing their choreographic talent: Lee Chen-wei (李貞葳) and Chen Yun-ru (陳韻如).

Lee is a member of Israel’s famed Batsheva Dance Company, but has also begun to try her hand at choreographing with colleagues in Israel (see “From Taiwan to Israel, in just a few steps,” Oct. 14, page 13). Her piece is titled The Bright Side.

Chen, who was so stunning as the “Barbie” in Woo! Barbie, has been choreographing in Dessau, Germany, where she danced with the Anhaltisches Theater Dessau. Her piece is titled Playback.

Given the difficulty in reaching tonight’s venue — Quanta Hall in Taoyuan County’s Hwa Ya Science Park — audience members are strongly encouraged to take advantage of a free shuttle bus service that is being offered from downtown Taipei.