In the 16th century, gazing out from the decks of ships off the coast of China, Portuguese sailors saw it: a great green mass, thick with mountains and trees, rising from the sea. “Formosa!" they exclaimed, “beautiful!" anointing the verdant place that would come to be known as Taiwan. In this new work, choreographer Lin Hwai-min and his Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan take that appraisal as inspiration for their own work of abstract beauty born from land and lore.
Recorded music by award-winning indigenous singer Sangpuy serves as the soundtrack as the dancers mingle in intimations of community, making tribal ritual and urban bustle seem as one. Using gesture, script, song, and other elements from the island as raw material, Lin and dancers create a lustrous, transfigured sphere—a playground of love and life, mediated by tragedy, hope, and rebirth.
“When you’re talking about Cloud Gate, magic is not too strong a word.” Time Out