Cloud Gate Dance Theatre’s ongoing 13 Tongues tour in the US has sparked interest in Taiwan, the dance troupe’s artistic director said ahead of three performances in the US capital.
“It has been really exciting,” Cloud Gate artistic director Cheng Tsung-lung (鄭宗龍) said on Wednesday last week, adding that he has received interesting feedback on the tour of the 2016 piece he created based on childhood memories.
Cheng said he was very happy about sharing through the piece what he saw and experienced of the vibrant life and local religious rituals in Taipei’s Bangka (艋舺) area, growing up in the 1980s.
Photo: CNA
The feedback received from US audience has been intriguing, with some telling him the piece reminded them about past trips to Taiwan, while others said they wanted to visit the country after the show, he said.
Compared with 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, he said.
The US 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, Texas, on Oct. 1, and has since given a performance in Stanford, California, two in Chicago, and at the Eisenhower Theater of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington from Thursday to Saturday last week.
The dance troupe is set to conclude its month-long US tour in California, with one performance scheduled at the Segerstorm Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa today and two at the University of California, Berkeley on Saturday and Sunday.
Next year, Cloud Gate is to celebrate its 50th anniversary by restaging founder Lin Hwai-min’s (林懷民) 1978 work Legacy (渡海), said Cheng, who plans to present a new piece and take it on tour to Europe next year.
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