Renowned Taiwanese choreographer Lin Hwai-min (林懷民) will be this year’s recipient of the Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement, the festival said on Wednesday.
Lin, founder of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre (雲門舞集), will be the first award recipient who is based outside the US or Europe.
Founded in 1981, the Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement’s first award recipient was renowned US choreographer Martha Graham.
In its award announcement, the festival’s organizers described Lin as a choreographer who “often draw[s] inspiration from traditional elements of Asian culture and aesthetics” and said that “his choreographic brilliance continues to push boundaries and redefine the art form.”
This is not the first time that Lin has garnered praise from abroad.
Lin was listed as one of “Asia’s Heroes” by Time magazine in 2005 and honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Movimentos Dance Prize in Germany in 2009.
He was also the recipient of the 2006 John D. Rockefeller 3rd Award.
In addition, he received the Chevalier de l’ Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture in 2011.
Lin said it was an honor to be the first non-American, non-European recipient of the award.
“The award is not only for me; it is for the whole of Taiwanese society. We are thankful that Taiwanese society has supported Cloud Gate with accolades and practical means over the past 40 years,” he said, adding that it was with the endorsement and support of Taiwanese society that Cloud Gate could create dance works incessantly and was able to perform abroad.
Lin is scheduled to travel to the US in July to receive the award and US$50,000.