Issued Saturday, 5 May 2007
SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE ADVENTURES:07 PRESENTS
CLOUD GATE DANCE THEATRE OF TAIWAN
WILD CURSIVE - FINAL CHAPTER OF CURSIVE: A TRILOGY
22 & 23 May, Opera Theatre
“One of the finest dance companies in the world” The Globe and Mail, Toronto
“Stunning…Striking…Poetic” New York Times
“Dancing and calligraphy merged into a single art of motion… the glory of beauty itself.” New York Times
“Lin Hwai-min has succeeded brilliantly in fusing dance techniques and theatrical concepts from the East and West.” New York Times
“On every level, Lins’s company is superb. Accomplished and striking, as rigorous as it is disciplined.” The Times, London
”Best of the best” Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Opera House is delighted to present one of the world’s renowned dance companies, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, performing their bold work, Wild Cursive,in the Opera Theatre for two performances only on 22 and 23 May.
Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan is a remarkable company that combines the classic Chinese disciplines of tai chi, martial arts and meditation with ballet and contemporary dance to create unique and spellbinding performances.
Wild Cursive is a work of stunning beauty having received rave reviews in Europe and the U.S.A. The work of celebrated choreographer and founder of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, Lin Hwai-min, this exceptional production has been inspired by the ancient art of calligraphy and draws equally on martial arts and contemporary dance.
The setting for Wild Cursive is contemporary and elegant. The dancers, dressed in black, perform against giant scrolls of white rice paper as black ink seeps slowly through the paper. Against and between the layers of rice paper, the nineteen Cloud Gate dancers’ exquisite and liquid movements echo the serpentine and meandering lines of the calligraphy. The analogy Lin Hwai-min makes between dancers' bodies and the dancing movement of the ink is wonderfully developed.
According to legend, Cloud Gate is the name of the oldest known dance in China, a ritual dance of some 5,000 years ago. In 1973, Lin Hwai-min adopted this classical name for the first contemporary dance company in any Chinese speaking community. The impact of Lin Hwai-min’s choreography on Asian dance has been aptly hailed by Dance Europe as “no less profound than the impact of Forsythe’s Ballett Frankfurt on European classical ballet.” Over thirty years, Lin Hwai-min has received numerous awards and accolades including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Department of Culture of New York City, the Joyce Award of Chicago and the Ramon Magsaysay Award – considered the ‘Nobel Prize of Asia’.
Lin Hwai-min studied Chinese opera movement in his native Taiwan, modern dance in New York and classical court dance in Japan and Korea. He often draws from traditional Asian culture for inspiration to create innovative works of contemporary relevance that are deeply spiritual and profoundly moving.
The company of 24 dancers is internationally renowned for technicality, suppleness and power, moving from elegant slow motion to martial arts-like attacks with absolute ease. The Chicago Sun Times describes the dancers of Cloud Gate possessing “a control and articulation that verges on the superhuman…these are performers who can make stillness every bit as eloquent as animation.”
Wild Cursive features a score by Jim Shum and Liang Chun-mei, which combines elements from nature such as hum of cicadas, gusts of wind, waves breaking on the pebbled beaches, dripping water, rainfall, foghorns and temple bell , enriched by dancers’ organic vocals and breath.
From the highly structured to the spontaneous and unleashed, this sublime convergence of choreography and calligraphy promises to be one of Sydney’s dance events of the year.
Venue: Opera Theatre, SOH
Dates: 22 + 23 May
Duration: 70 minutes
Tickets: $55 - $105
Bookings: 02 9250 7777 or sydneyoperahouse.com/adventures