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Program

26 to 29 April - 18:00 h (Local Time)
Kraftwerk

Photo: Matthias Leitzke

CLOUD GATE DANCE THEATRE OF TAIWAN

26 - 28 April 2018, 20:00h, and 29 April 2018, 18:00h KraftWerk
Introduction with Bernd Kaufmann und Jürgen Wilcke on 26 April at 19:15h in the KraftWerk

PROGRAMME

Bild

About the Island
Formosa (coproduction | European premiere)

Concept and choreography: Lin Hwai-min Recitation: Chiang Hsun Music: Kaija Saariaho, Gérard Grisey, Liang Chun-mei and Sangpuy Katatepan Mavaliyw Lighting design: Lulu W. L. Lee Costume design: Apu Jan Projection design: Chou Tung-Yen and Very Mainstream Studio Videography: Chang Hao-jan (Howell)

A coproduction with the Movimentos Festival at the Autostadt in Wolfsburg; National Performing Arts Center – National Theater & Concert Hall, Taiwan; National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Wei-Wu-Ying), Taiwan; Sadler's Wells, London, Théâtre de la Ville, Paris; Carolina Performing Arts, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The guest performance in Wolfsburg is supported in part by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Duration: approx. 65 minutes, without intermission
World premiere: 24 November 2017, Taipei

In the 16th century, Portuguese sailors landed on an island off the Chinese mainland: "Formosa", the beautiful, charming one. The beauty of the island of Taiwan provided the inspiration for Lin Hwai-min's choreography Formosa. Lin has drawn on the landscape as well as the historical records for his latest piece for the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan. A vibrant universe of full of love, tragedies, hope and rebirth is conveyed through dance, calligraphy and song.

The choreography traces the human community in its shifting social permutations, where tribal rituals and urban bustle ultimately seem to merge into one. This takes place against a backdrop onto which interweaving and overlapping Chinese characters are projected. Lacking specific meanings, they merge into teeming thickets evoking myriad images: mountains and rivers, earthquakes and tsunamis, ancient inscriptions and a black sun. They seem to imply that the written word is a precarious vehicle for memories, constantly shifting its meaning over the course of history.

The choreography is accompanied by the Taiwanese singer Sangpuy, who won "Best Album of the Year" at the 2017 Golden Melody Awards, Taiwan's most important music prize.

COMPANY
The dancers of the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan represent moments of stasis with as much eloquence and panache as those of movement. The result is a danced universe combining different styles, from traditional Asian dance – spanning ritual Taiwanese dances, Japanese court dances and Peking opera – to classical and modern, Western forms of contemporary dance.

Through holistic training incorporating classical ballet, modern dance, qigong, internal martial arts and calligraphy, the dancers attain the concentration and perfection for which the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre is renowned the world over. Equally impressive are the highly concentrated choreographies of its Artistic Director.

The Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan was founded in 1973 by Lin Hwai-min. It was the first contemporary dance company in the Chinese-speaking world. Cloud Gate takes its name from China's most ancient dance. Today, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan with its artistic director is one of the world's leading dance companies.

The Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan captivated audiences at the second Movimentos dance festival at Wolfburg's KraftWerk, with further performances following in 2009 and 2012. Most recently the company presented White Water, Dust and Rice at the Movimentos Festival in 2015.

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND CHOREOGRAPHER
Lin Hwai-min has had a fundamental impact on contemporary Far Eastern dance and is considered one of the most significant choreographers working anywhere in the world. Born in 1947, he studied literature and journalism in Taiwan and Iowa. He started writing at the age of 14, and in 1969 he published his novel Cicada, which went on to become a bestseller. But he chose to dedicate himself to dance, a passion that had been with him since childhood, and he perfected his dance training in New York with Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham. And yet language and literature continued to play a role in Lin Hwai-min's choreographies in interpretations of QU YUAN's cycle of poems dating back 2,300 years (Nine Songs, 1993) and Hermann Hesse's novel Siddhartha (Songs of the Wanderers, 1994). Here the spiral movements so typical of Lin's choreographies are already apparent. They are reminiscent of the energetic circling of calligraphy, as pieces like Rice clearly show.

In dialogue with the historical and social background of his homeland Taiwan, the artist's works increasingly also transport a political message.

Lin Hwai-min has received numerous awards and honorary doctorates for his achievements. He received the Movimentos Dance Award in 2009 for his life's work, followed by the prestigious Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award in 2013. Former recipients of the award include Merce Cunningham and Pina Bausch, with whom Lin Hwai-min shared a close artistic affinity.

Working to promote the teaching and development of dance, the choreographer founded the Department of Dance at the Taipei National University of the Arts in 1983. He created the company Cloud Gate 2 in 1999 as a forum for talented young dancers to present works by promising and innovative choreographers.

In November last year, he announced his retirement as Artistic Director of the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre at the end of 2019.