Washington, Oct. 19 (CNA) Cloud Gate Dance Theatre’s ongoing “13 Tongues” tour in the United States has sparked interest in Taiwan among local audience, the dance troupe’s artistic director said ahead of three performances in the U.S. capital.
“It has been really exciting,” Cloud Gate Artistic Director Cheng Tsung-lung (鄭宗龍) told CNA Wednesday, adding that he has received interesting feedback on the tour of the 2016 piece he created based on childhood memories.
Cheng said he is very happy about sharing through the piece what he saw and experienced of the vibrant life and local religious rituals in Taipei’s Bangka area, growing up in the 1980s.
The feedback received from U.S. audience has been intriguing, Cheng said, as some told him the piece reminded them about past trips to Taiwan, while others said they wanted to visit the country after the show.
Compared to past works presented by the dance troupe before he took over as leader in 2020, Cheng said “13 Tongues” has been enriched by the dancers singing and chanting mysterious mantras.
The piece also showcases a different dancing style that is perhaps not aesthetically elegant but demonstrates a raw energy, the choreographer said.
The U.S. tour is Cloud Gate’s first overseas tour in more than two years, after the troupe wrapped up a European tour of “13 Tongues” in February 2020 amid the spread of COVID-19 around the world.
Cloud Gate began the tour in Houston on Oct. 1, and has since given a performance in Stanford, California and two in Chicago, before the upcoming performances at the Eisenhower Theater of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington from Thursday to Saturday.
The dance troupe is set to conclude its month-long U.S. tour in California, with one performance scheduled at the Segerstorm Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa on Oct. 26, and two at the University of California at Berkeley Oct. 29-30.
In 2023, Cloud Gate will celebrate its 50th anniversary by re-staging founder Lin Hwai-min’s (林懷民) 1978 work “Legacy,” said Cheng, who plans to present a new piece and take it on tour to Europe next year.
(By Chiang Chin-yeh and Kay Liu)

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