Taiwan's Cloud Gate Dance Theatre (雲門舞集) will unveil its latest dance production in New York on Sept. 16. The U.S. premiere of "Rice (稻禾)” will also serve as the opening act for the 2015 Next Wave Festival in Brooklyn.
"Rice” was created in celebration of Cloud Gate's 40th anniversary. Choreographed by founder Lin Hwai-min (林懷民), the piece takes inspiration from Chihshang (池上), a rural township famous for rice production in eastern Taiwan. Lin asked his dancers to participate in the rice harvest and brought the experience on stage.
Combining Qi Gong, Tai Chi, and contemporary dance, the production opens with dancers weaving against a projected video footage of rice fields. Through the dynamic movement of its dancers, "Rice” presents the full scope of humanity and nature, as well as death and rebirth. It is Lin's tribute to the universal cycle of life and death.
For the images and footage of grains, farms, and rice fields, lighting artist Ethan Wang (王奕盛) received the Knights of Illumination Award for the theater category in 2014 with the projection design of "Rice” at Sadler's Wells.
Since the Taipei premiere of "Rice” in 2013, Cloud Gate has performed in London, Dresden, Hong Kong, Singapore, Moscow, and Innsbruck, Austria. The performance has received wide acclamation, and will be made available to New York from Sept. 16 through 19.
Organized by the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Next Wave Festival offers the most comprehensive performances spanning theatre, music, opera, and dance in New York. This year, a total of 32 shows will be explored from September through December.
A master class will also be held a day ahead of the "Rice” premiere at the Mark Morris Dance Center. Experienced dancers with dance or body movement training can register with the Brooklyn Academy of Music at BAM.org/master-classes for a taste of the training rituals embraced by contemporary Asia's top dance company.
"Rice” @ 2015 Next Wave Festival
Master Class on Cloud Gate