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Cloud Gate Dance Theatre to present behind-the-scenes of acclaimed performance online

  • Date:2020-11-13~2020-11-23
©Cloud Gate Culture and Arts Foundation

The critically-acclaimed modern dance troupe Cloud Gate Dance Theatre will be presenting a four-part video series "Behind-the-Scenes: Creation of 13 Tongues (十三聲)" at online platforms UMS Digital Presentation and Auditorium Theatre Chicago from Nov. 13 through the spring of 2021.

"Beckoning (來)" – a 40-minute performance inspired by movements from the religious street-dancing ritual of Ba Jia Jiang (八家將) – will kick off the screening of the series that brings light to the production by Cheng Tsung-lung (鄭宗龍), the troupe's new artistic director and choreographer.

"Beckoning" is considered a prologue to "13 Tongues" as it contains some of the images, especially the movement styles and colors from the 2016 production. The first episode also includes a 10-minute segment that introduces a behind-the-scenes exploration of the creation of "13 Tongues."

Growing up in Wanhua District selling slippers on the roadside with his family, Cheng explained that childhood memories of Taipei's oldest district have been inspiration for his choreographic works. "13 Tongues" – a story about a legendary street artist in the district, who could play diverse roles by singing in thirteen different styles, is no exception.

Through the performance, the successor of the prestigious theater's founder Lin Hwai-min (林懷民) seeks to paint a portrait of ordinary people's everyday lives in this once prosperous district, where temples, religious rites, and festive parades are part of the urban landscape.

As the first contemporary dance company in Mandarin-speaking community, "Cloud Gate" was launched in 1973 and named after a legendary ritual dance from the Yellow Emperor era some 5,000 years ago.

Led by founder and choreographer Lin Hwai-min, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre has transformed ancient aesthetics into a thrilling modern celebration of motion.

In 2019, Lin handed the torch to Cheng, after 46 years of leading the globally prestigious troupe.

The digital presentation is made possible by the Ministry of Culture, the University Musical Society of University of Michigan, the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, and Taipei Cultural Center in New York.

Episode 1: Behind the Scenes | The Making of 13 Tongues
Date: Nov. 13 – 23, 2020
Site: UMS Digital Presentation and Auditorium Theatre Chicago