Sat, Sep 19, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Budding choreographer pursues global exposure

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

The young Taiwanese choreographer and dancer Chou Shu-yi’s (周書毅) choreographic work [1875] Ravel and Bolero has been selected as one of 10 finalists in the Sadler’s Wells Theater Global Dance Contest for this year.

As part of a talent search program, the theater in London’s Islington borough invited choreographers from around the world to submit videos of original dance pieces. A panel of judges chose 10 finalists from more than 100 entries, and the finalists have been posted on the theater’s Web site so that viewers can vote for their favorite clips.

If the piece finishes with the most votes when the public poll closes on Nov. 13, Chou will be given the opportunity to perform in January in front of a live audience at the theater.

Bolero is a one-movement orchestral piece by French composer Maurice Ravel.

The 26-year-old Chou, who is attending a six-month resident artist program at the Asian Cultural Council in New York, used the piece as a basis to choreograph a 25-minute work in 2006 when he was chosen to represent Taiwan in the Asian Young Choreographer’s Project sponsored by the Taiwan National University of the Arts.

The entry he submitted to the Sadler’s Wells Theatre talent search is a revised version that was shortened to meet the rules of the contest, he said.

“The famous melody, which is repeated numerous times without change, brings to mind the fleeting nature of time and all the wonderful moments in life,” Chou said. “I was moved by the sparking moments and, at the same time, extremely conscious of the passage of time.”

Chou’s works have twice been selected for the National Chiang Kai-shek Cultural Center’s “Young Stars, New Vision” program, an annual showcase of new ideas.

In 2005, Chou and several young choreographers founded Taiwan’s first all-male dance company “HORSE.”

During a residency at the Taipei Artist Village in 2006, Chou met French sound artist Yannick Dauby and they joined forces to create a performance that used environmental sounds as part of the Digital Art Critic Prize program.

Chou plans to go to France next month to attend a three-month residency program at the Cite des Arts in Paris.

“The overseas residency programs allow me to experience different environments and to look at the relationship between my own existence and dance, and to understand how art is related to society,” he said.

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