Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, one of Taiwan’s most illustrious dance companies, will tour Mexico City this February and then travel to the US states of Iowa, Illinois, North Carolina, Virginia, California, and Washington for March in a celebration of the troupe’s 45th anniversary.
For the Mexican leg of the tour, Cloud Gate has prepared “Rice,” a classic production created in celebration of Cloud Gate’s 40th anniversary.
Choreographed by founder Lin Hwai-min, the piece takes inspiration from Chihshang, 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 US leg of the tour, Cloud Gate plans to debut “Formosa,” Lin’s latest work that uses gesture, script, song, and other elements from the landscape of Taiwan to paint a lustrous, transfigured realm of beauty and lore.
The dance production takes its name from a legend narrating how 16th-century Portuguese sailors exclaimed “formosa!” – meaning “beautiful island” – when they first set eye on the verdant island now known as Taiwan.
Audience members are invited to re-experience that awe as distinct Cloud Gate choreographic language swells against an astounding soundtrack recorded by indigenous Beinan singer Sangpuy.
Cloud Gate 2018 Tour of Mexico, US