The National Theater Concert Hall’s (NTCH) New Idea Dance closes out this year’s series this weekend with Lai Tsui-shuang’s (賴翠霜) Home Temperature (家‧溫 ℃). This is the second time the Germany-based dancer-turned-choreographer has been selected to take part in the New Idea program. Her Drawer (抽屜), performed in the Experimental Theater in 2011, was an imaginative and engaging multimedia exploration of the secrets and memories that are often kept stored away.
A 1995 Chinese Culture University graduate, Lai studied for a second diploma in dance at the Folkwang Academy in Essen, Germany. She then danced with the Folkwang Dance Studio from 1998 to 2000 before becoming a freelance dancer and choreographer in 2004. Lai has created several dances for Taipei-based companies in recent years, including Capital Ballet (台北首督芭蕾舞團), Dance Forum Taipei (舞蹈空間) and Assembly Dance Theatre (組合語言舞團). Her work often reflects the attributes of Germany Tanztheater or dance theater in its combination of physical movement, theatrical staging and hyper-reality.
For her latest creation Lai has taken on the additional jobs of music and stage design.
While the NTCH has translated the title of the show as Home Temperature, it could also mean “family warmth.”
The word “home” can mean many things to people. It can conjure up a variety of emotions and it is the center of growth for each person. Home can represent goodness and warmth. But it can also be ugly, a place of pain and abuse, where temperatures heat up to the boiling point. The promotional video is a dream-like sequence of a veiled man, a body floating in milky-white water and a man and a woman whose expressions slowly turn from happiness to sorrow — so the actual performance could be anything.
Lai selected five dancers for the show: Yu Yen-fang (余彥芳), who frequently performs with Ku and Dancers (古名伸舞團); Ku Chu-ying (古竺穎), who has danced with the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company in the US; Lu Chen-hsuan (廖宸萱), Uma He (何姿瑩) and Ray Yeh (葉百恂).
There will be four performances at the Experimental Theatre, starting tonight. The show runs 60 minutes.