Turning up the heat

Family relationships are often strange

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Nov 06, 2013 - Page 12

Dancer/choreographer Eddie Lin (林春輝) apparently thinks about food a lot.

He was one of the choreographers invited by Jade Hua (華碧玉) to work on Jade & Artists Dance Troupe’s (肢體音符舞團) witty Lively Night Market (七里香) at the Experimental Theater two years ago and created Corner Shop (叮咚!) for the company last year.

He and the company joined forces again this year for Barbecue At Home (萬家香), which opens at the Experimental Theater on Friday for a four-show run.

Lin is rather unusual among young choreographers in Taiwan because he majored in social work at university and only became a dancer when he was 20. Hua first gave him the chance to dance in 2005. However, given his background, it is not surprising that his work focuses both on everyday life and on ways people in a society communicate.

“This is also the objective of Jade & Artists Dance Troupe — to provide a platform for the new generation so that dance as an art form could be passed on, and to tell stories and share feelings,” Hua said. “Barbecue At Home is a mature work by Lin.”

Lin’s piece examines the family relationships that come into play during the annual Mid-Autumn Festival barbeques that have become a tradition for many Taiwanese families since the 1980s.

The craze for barbequing has often been blamed on an advertising war between two soy sauce companies, Kimlan Food and Wajashan Food shortly before the Mid-Autumn Festival in the 1980s. Kimlan ran a series of television ads for its new barbeque sauce that Wajashan countered with an ad for its sauce that included the phrase: When one household grills, 10 million households smell the fragrance [一家烤肉,萬家香].

Set on seven dancers, the 90-minute Barbecue At Home explores the relations between a woman and her mother-in-law, between sisters and brothers and between a husband and wife though both text and movement. The soundtrack for the five segments range from classical music to movie soundtracks and popular songs, including Jacques Offenbach’s Barcarolle, Rolfe Kent’s Lonely Day and Tsou Shih-lie’s (鄒世烈) Milonga.

There will be post-show discussions after the two performances on Saturday.

After this weekend’s shows, the company will travel to Chiayi for one performance on Nov. 16 at the Chiayi Municipal Cultural Center.

As an added bonus, the company will hold a drawing at each of the five shows and the winner at each show will be going home with a set of five cooking sauces.