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 (
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 (
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.