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Moon Water

November 26-27, 2004
Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts

Presented jointly with
Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal


“Never before has Berlin seen such a harmonious dance performance. The dancer's movements were of such peaceful and serene beauty that one could even doubt that they have bodies.”Berliner Zeitung am Sonntag

“On every level, Lin’s company is superb. Accomplished and striking, as rigorous as it is disciplined, his choreography possesses great beauty.”– The London Times

To the delight of dance lovers of all persuasions, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan is coming to Montreal at last. Its twenty-four dancers, whose grace is nothing short of phenomenal, will be dancing Moon Water, a finely drawn choreography set to selections from J. S. Bach’s Suites for unaccompanied cello. In a universe of blue and white, where reality and illusion seem to intermingle in a skillful interplay of mirrors, “Cloud Gate Dance Theatre invites us to ‘see’ Bach’s music as no one has ever seen it before. Through dance, East and West meet and mingle; the two halves of the world open to each other, draw strength from each other. In many ways the performance functions to purify body and spirit.” – Dagbladet, Oslo

In legend, Cloud Gate is the name of a Chinese ritual dance dating back at least five thousand years. At first glance, it might seem surprising that a dance of another age would lend its name to Taiwan’s premier contemporary dance company. But the works that make up its repertoire are deeply rooted in the myths, folklore and esthetic unique to the long Asiatic tradition, and lend them a universal, timely perspective. The company’s dancer training program testifies to its commitment to tradition: the troupe’s twenty-four dancers not only master ballet and modern dance, but also the movements unique to Chinese opera, tai chi and meditation, which undoubtedly explains why “No company in the world dances like Cloud Gate”. — Dance Europe

Taiwan’s Cloud Gate Dance Theatre has danced on every continent, including New York’s BAM Next Wave Festival, the Lyon Biennale de danse, and the Melbourne Festival, in Australia. In 2003, the Taipei government proclaimed August 21 “first day of the 30th anniversary of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre,” and officially renamed the narrow alley where the company’s studios are located Cloud Gate Lane, in recognition of its contribution to Taipei’s cultural life, an honor given for the first time to a living artist.

Described as an ‘unchallenged giant’ of Asian dance by the Hong Kong South China Morning Post, Lin Hwai-min is founder and artistic director of the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan. Originally trained in the precepts of movement, techniques and spirit of Chinese opera in Taiwan, he pursued his studies in classical ballet in Japan and Korea, and in modern dance in New York. His innovative pieces are recognized as significant contributions to the contemporary dance idiom. He has had the same impact on Asian dance as William Forsythe and his Franckfurt Ballett in Europe, writes the authoritative Dance Europe.

Lin Hwai-min is more than a choreographer; he founded and chaired the dance department at Taiwan’s National Taipei University for the Arts in 1983. Since 2000, he has served as artistic director of the Novel Hall Dance Series, a platform designed to introduce internationally renowned contemporary and avant-garde companies to Taiwan’s dance lovers.

Winner of many prestigious awards, and holder of several honorary doctorates, Lin Hwai-min in 1999 received the Ramon Magsaysay Prize, also known as the Nobel of Asia. The following year, along with Pina Bausch, Jiri Kylian, Merce Cunningham and William Forsythe, he was ranked among Dance Europe magazine’s “Choreographers of the 20th Century.”

Lin Hwai-min is also a well-known author. Several of his novels, including the Taiwan best-seller Cicada have been translated into English and published in the United States. Branching out into opera, he directed the Graz Opera (Austria) production of Rashomon to rave reviews, and in 2002, a visually stunning Tosca, with the Taiwan Symphony Orchestra.

April 2004

Web Site: www.cloudgate.org.tw

Photo: Gert Weigelt