The Cloud Gate Dance Theatre (雲門舞集) has embarked on tours across China and Europe, performing three shows in 10 cities to wrap up its 50th-anniversary year, the troupe said in a statement on Thursday last week.
The overseas tours began after the premiere run of Cloud Gate artistic director Cheng Tsung-lung’s (鄭宗龍) new artificial intelligence (AI)-infused piece Waves (波), which ended in Kaohsiung on Nov. 5, the troupe said.
A group of 13 dancers arrived in Shanghai on Tuesday last week, preparing for the first three shows of Cheng’s work Send in a Cloud (霞), which debuted in the city on Friday last week at the Shanghai International Dance Center, the statement said.
Photo courtesy of Cloud Gate Culture and Arts Foundation
It is Cheng’s first China tour after he took over the artistic director post from Cloud Gate founder Lin Hwai-min (林懷民) in 2020, and the statement said the “colorful piece that brings strong visual impact” is unlike any of its past works.
After performing at the 22nd China Shanghai International Arts Festival, Cloud Gate is to perform in Nanjing tomorrow and on Saturday and in Guangzhou on Friday and Saturday next week before the final four shows in China are held from Dec. 7 to 10 at China’s National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing during the NCPA Dance Festival, the troupe said.
Meanwhile, another group of 13 Cloud Gate dancers departed for Europe on Sunday to perform 13 Tongues (十三聲) at Mercat de les Flors in Barcelona, Spain, from today to Sunday, it said.
Cloud Gate dancers then would travel to Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London and perform Cheng’s 2019 piece Lunar Halo (毛月亮), which is inspired by his observation of the phenomenon of a ring of light around the moon in Iceland, from Thursday next week to Sunday, it said.
The performance is also to feature the original soundtrack 22° Lunar Halo (毛月亮22°), first released in 2019 and written specifically for the show by the Icelandic Band Sigur Ros.
“In their own country, they [Cloud Gate] are much more than a dance company,” Sadler’s Wells Theatre artistic director and co-chief executive Alistair Spalding told the Financial Times while the troupe was performing 13 Tongues at the London venue in February 2020, just as COVID-19 was beginning to spread worldwide.
Cloud Gate dancers are to perform 13 Tongues at Teatros del Canal in Madrid on Dec. 6 and 7, and then perform it for the 100th time during the Festival de Danse Cannes in France, it said.
Didier Deschamps, artistic director of the French dance festival said he is looking forward to seeing Cloud Gate’s 13 Tongues being performed in Cannes and for the audience to experience the strong yet subtle emotions of the 2016 piece that is inspired by Cheng’s childhood memories of the bustling streets and religious rituals in Bangka (艋舺, also known as Monga), a part of the old town in Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華), the statement said.
Cloud Gate would also stage Lunar Halo at the Theater im Pfalzbau in Ludwigshafen, Germany, on Dec. 15 and 16 and 13 Tongues at the Auditorio de Tenerife Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain on Dec. 20 and 21 to conclude the tour, the troupe said.
The Cloud Gate Dance Theatre began this year’s celebrations by staging Lin’s 1978 classic Legacy in a six-city tour in Taiwan from April to June, followed by its annual free open-air 13 Tongues shows in July, which attracted about 20,000 people in Taipei alone, it said.
Cheng worked with Japanese new media artist Daito Manabe, who used generative AI to create the music and images for Waves, which helped spark ideas for the choreography of the piece which premiered in Taipei on Oct. 12.
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