Twenty: A major milestone for most humans; no longer a teenager and on the cusp of maturity. In dance years, however, it is even more meaningful.
Century Contemporary Dance Company (世紀當代舞團) founder Yao Shu-fen (姚淑芬) wanted to something special to mark her troupe’s anniversary, and in the best birthday party tradition, she invited several old friends to help.
The icing on the cake is that the Hong Gah Museum (鳳甲美術館), also known as the Fengjia Art Museum, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, invited Yao to stage her party there.
Photo courtesy of Liu Yueh-te
The museum was founded to encourage the integration of music and the visual arts, so adding dance to the mix is a natural evolution.
This is not the first time that Yao and her dancers have worked with a museum.
In December 2014 they had a three-week residency at the Museum of National Taipei University of Education (MoNTUE) with Eternal Fading Words (誓‧逝), with the dancers performing around the work of eight artists. It proved a hit with audiences as well as the company and museum.
For the birthday project, The chronicle of silence (噤聲·近身), Yao both choreographed a performance piece and acted as curator for a three-week show at the Hong Gah Museum.
She asked one of the artists from MoNTUE show, James Ming-hsueh Lee (李明學), to collaborate on the new one by giving visual guidance as well as contributing a work.
She also invited film director Lu Po-hsun (呂柏勳), who won best director award at the 2017 Taipei Film Festival for Wild Tides (野潮) and collaborated with CCDC on Far-Near (首演) at Taipei’s Wellspring Theater in November last year, to create an installation for the show.
The other artists, who work in a variety of mediums, are videographer Chu Chun-teng (朱駿騰); frequent Riverbed Theatre (河床劇團) collaborator Joyce Ho (何采柔); Tainan-based Lee Li-Chung (李立中), best known for his photographic installations; Kao Chang-yong (高昌湧) and Lu Kun-yu (呂坤彧).
Unlike visual art or even theater and music, dance is primarily about a specific moment in time.
Time, memories, sacrifices and the pursuit of beauty were some of the issues that Yao wanted to focus on with this project, creating both “spontaneous” on the spot action and more choreographed movements.
There will be five performances of The chronicle of silence, starting tonight.
Word of warning for those who might be shy: The seven dancers will be inviting audience members to interact with them, which Yao said would add a different layer of personal experience to the creative process.
Over the course of the daytime exhibition, the company’s dancers will take turns providing live accompaniment to the static artworks, giving viewers the chance to have the kind of close-up perspective that is common in the art world, but not in dance.
WHAT: The chronicle of silence
WHEN: Tonight, tomorrow, Saturday and Thursday and Friday next week at 7pm
WHERE: Hong Gah Museum (鳳甲美術館), 11F, 166 Daye Rd, Beitou District, Taipei City (台北市北投區大業路 166號11樓)
ADMISSION: NT$1,000, available at NTCH box offices, Eslite ticket desks, online at www.artsticket.com.tw and at convenience store ticketing kiosks. Tonight’s and Saturday’s shows are sold out.
EXHIBITION HOURS: From 10:30am to 5:30pm daily until Nov. 23, except Mondays and Nov. 16. Admission is free
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