Taipei Dance Forum (TDF, 舞蹈空間) first began working with Netherlands-based Spanish choreographer Marina Mascarell in 2010, and over the past decade and four productions, they have proven to be a formidable pairing.
Their latest collaboration, Second Landscape (媒體入侵), was designed to be the culmination of the TDF’s 30th anniversary program, making its Taiwan premiere on Oct. 31.
However, as with so many other things in this COVID-19 pandemic year, things did not go exactly as planned.
Photo courtesy of Taipei Dance Forum
The Oct. 31 performance turned out to be the show’s world premiere, as the Skanes Dansteater, which had been scheduled to premiere the work in March, postponed the show until January next year due to COVID-19-triggered shutdowns.
Mascarell came to Taipei this summer to spend several weeks rehearsing with TDF’s dancers, which not only required going through the 14-day quarantine period, but led to her marrying her long-time partner so that he and their young daughter would be able to travel to Taiwan with her.
Now it turns out that not only are audiences in Taiwan the first to see Second Landscape, they might be the only ones to see it, at least for several years as Skanes Dansteater have decided to cancel its portion of the production due the continuing uncertainties of the pandemic situation.
Second Landscape, like all of Mascarell’s work, is an exploration of a crucial social issue, one that has only grown in importance in this shutdown, locked-down year: the digital media invasion of our lives, our minds and our senses.
She is concerned that the focus on short-term gratification via social media and an overdependence on the Internet for news and information are robbing humans of their capacity for deep thinking and, for the younger generation, the ability to develop critical thinking skills.
Second Landscape asks why are so many people willing to sacrifice their self-awareness and their privacy in the face of a never-ending digital media onslaught?
■ The Taipei Dance Forum, “Second Landscape,” tomorrow at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2:30pm
■ Metropolitan Hall (城市舞台), 25 Bade Rd, Sec 3, Taipei (台北市八德路三段25號).
■ Tickets are NT$500 to NT$1,500; available at NTCH box offices, Eslite ticket desks, online at www.artsticket.com.tw and convenience store ticket kiosks
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