Sat, Mar 25, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Acclaimed dancer Lo Man-fei dies of cancer at 51

GRACEFUL FIGURE The artist, who was famed for her passionate dedication and work with the Cloud Gate troupe, succumbed to cancer after a five-year struggle

STAFF WRITER

Lo Man-fei performs a dance created for her by Cloud Gate Dance Theater founder Lin Hwai-min in this undated photo.

PHOTO: CNA

After a five-year battle with lung cancer, renowned dancer Lo Man-fei (羅曼菲) died early yesterday morning at the age of 51.

The Cloud Gate Dance Theater (雲門舞集), with whom Lo had a long relationship, announced it will set up a fund to create an award in her name, and the Dance Department of the Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA) is to hold a special retrospective of her work from next Tuesday through April 20.

Lo discovered that she had lung cancer in 2001, but remained passionately committed to her dance performances, choreography and teaching.

She was known as a graceful figure, often represented as the epitome of health and beauty in the press, and as an example of success in fulfilling one's dreams.

The dancer will be cremated and her ashes scattered around a tree next to her father's grave in a simple ceremony, according to her wishes.

Born in Taipei, Lo's family moved to Ilan when she was three months old. In November last year the Ilan County Cultural Bureau commissioned artist Lin Chien-cheng (林建成) to make a life-size sculpture of her.

Lo graduated from National Taiwan University's Department of Foreign Language and Literatures and gained her Masters from New York University.

In her early career she performed for the Neo-Classic Dance Company of Taiwan and was also in the cast of The King and I during the time she spent in New York. In 1979, she joined Cloud Gate, and was appointed the artistic director of Cloud Gate 2 in 1999.

In 1985 she began teaching in TNUA's dance department, and established the Taipei Crossover Dance Company in 1994, together with other first generation Cloud Gate dancers including Wu Su-chun (吳素君), Cheng Shu-gi (鄭淑姬), and Yeh Tai-chu (葉台竹), who wanted to continue performing past 40, the age when dancers usually retire. At the time, Lo joked that she wanted to keep dancing until she dropped.

Lo received the Wu San-lien Award of Literature and the Arts in 1999 and the National Culture and Arts Foundation's National Award for the Arts in 2000.

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