2018 Dancing In Autumn

NTCH Season Highlight

Artists’ sharp eyes and knacks for expression allow them to discover all kinds of anomalies in our daily lives that is itself the treasury of art. This year, the biennial Dancing in Autumn organised by the National Theater & Concert Hall (NTCH) will present eight works under the theme of “the extraordinary in the ordinary”, so as to reflect the spirit of our time with dance.

Everything changes too fast in our time. The all-pervading technology constantly redefines information, space and time. The consumerism also keeps asking us to redefine ourselves. The meaning of our lives thus seemed less certain and somewhat replaceable. Such sense of uncertainty is like an extraordinary beast that hides silently in our ordinary lives, leaving traces here and there. Contemporary dance explores such zeitgeist with various elements, mediums and body languages to deploy, and with various methods to transform the space. The Dancing in Autumn in 2018 thus features interactions of the body with space, materials and installations.

The Great Tamer by Dimitris Papaioannou. Photo credit: Julian Mommert.

Dimitris Papaioannou, the master theatre illusionist and the Athens Olympic Games ceremony director, will present The Great Tamer. Inspired by the Homeric epic, Papaioannou sees life as an inner archaeological excavation for meanings, and time as the ultimate tamer of life. With raw materials, this piece teasingly juggles with art-historical references and collages strange body gestures, dazzling us with its peculiar interpretation of time.

ST/LL by Shiro Takatani

Another unusual interpretation of time is ST/LL by Shiro Takatani, the co-founder of renowned Japanese artist-collective Dumb Type. The stage made of projection screen and water screen is like a mirror, exhibiting daily movements and dreams: imagined shadows cast on real space; real shadows cast on imagined time. Time seems to be endless on this stage, defying all dimension-bound notions of micro-measure.

Unconditional Love and Fact by Su Wen-Chi

Floating in the infinite universe, life is like a miniscule stardust. How do we then face the great unknown with limited understanding? Unconditional Love and Fact by Su Wen-Chi, the NTCH artist in residence of 2017, is inspired by scientists’ unconditional dedication for the research of the infinite universe. Creating a spectrum installation that displays from monochrome to rainbow, Su attempts to question: how can we free ourselves from everyday conditions? Maybe fact lies beyond truth or false? Maybe the ultimate definition of love is the genuine acceptance that prevails any desire and sentiment?

OCD Love. Photo credit: Ron Kedmi.

Inspired by American poet Neil Hilborn’s “OCD”, Israeli choreographers Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar create OCD Love, a heart-breaking doomsday confession told through the exceptionally poetic body language, and pulsated by the techno beats by renowned DJ Ori Lichtik. It’s about love that always misses, or lovers who keep missing each other. In a doomsday world that is falling apart, nothing can be hidden away.

Exit by Gu Jiani

In her latest creation, Exit, Chinese choreographer Gu Jiani explores the human desire to exit the mundane. We all seek liberty in a perpetual cycle of creation and destruction, yet our desires simultaneously hinder us. Inspired by the principle that all acting forces create opposite reacting forces, the piece explores the tension between conflict and acceptance, using Gu Jiani’s interlocking movement system to pass the energy flow among dancers.

Inspired by the beauty born from the land and lore of Taiwan, Lin Hwai-Min’s new creation FORMOSA for Cloud Gate uses gestures, scripts and songs to create a lustrous universe–a playground of love and life, mediated by tragedy and rebirth. The backdrop of projected Chinese characters come together and break down like waves, implying that the writing as a precarious vehicle for memories.

Spur. Collaboration between Sun Shang-Chi and Ensemble KNM Berlin.

Berlin-based Taiwanese choreographer Sun Shang-Chi collaborates with Ensemble KNM Berlin, presenting Spur. Inspired by the music works of Beat Furrer, the dancers respond to the music with their physical intuitive responses and reflexes. Spur is like a complicated cell that is continuously reborn, symbolising multiple lives and searching for the lost memories.

Give Me a Reason to Live

Last but not least; UK’s most acclaimed disabled artists Claire Cunningham will present Give Me a Reason to Live, inspired by the artworks of Hieronymus Bosch, and aiming to explore religion’s judgment of souls and its extended meaning of life. With music and lighting which reminds us of the ambience in a church, Cunningham tries to question and criticise faith with the limits of her disabled body.

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