While there won’t be firecrackers – they’re not allowed inside – there will be an equally compelling display of dazzle at New York Live Arts when four of Taiwan’s most talented, award-winning choreographers – Fang-Yi Sheu, Huang Yi, Chou Shu-Yi and Cheng Tsung-Lung – take over the stage as part of DANCE TAIPEI, an evening of four premieres celebrating the launch of the 50th anniversary of Asian Cultural Council (ACC), May 5-7, 2013.
Energetic in their individuality and originality, the dances selected for Dance Taipei vividly express the global influence that has resulted from each choreographer’s international travels. “The artists’ residencies outside of their home country, made possible in part by ACC funding, stimulated their imaginations, opened new frontiers, gave greater depth to their creative thinking, and helped them realize their potential in new and unexpected ways,” said ACC Deputy Director Stanford Makishi. The results will be front and center at their New York Live Arts debuts.
The performances mark the New York choreographic debut of Fang-Yi Sheu, a former principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, who has collaborated with Cloud Gate Dance Theatre and Shen Wei Dance Art, and is critically celebrated as one of the world’s greatest contemporary dancers. Fang-Yi’s work, “WAY OUT,” is an energetic and exuberant expression of dance as a means to overcome difficulties. Performed by 10 members of Fang-Yi Sheu & Artists, “WAY OUT” premiered at The National Theater of Taiwan in October 2012.
Huang Yi, who has been awarded many international honors including “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine in 2011, will present the premiere of “FUEL,” an integration of aspects of martial arts and sanda, a form of Chinese boxing, with contemporary modern dance that explores and extends new possibilities for each. The dance is a duet between Huang Yi and Chen Wei-An.
A former member of the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, resident choreographer for Cloud Gate 2, and presently Associate Artistic Director of Cloud Gate 2, Cheng Tsung-Lung says his work is influenced by the dynamics of street life that he observed as a child hawking slippers on the sidewalks of Taipei, where his parents owned a slipper factory. “Present” is a solo especially created to celebrate ACC’s 50th anniversary, according to Cheng who will perform the work.
Chou Shu-Yi, who was honored with the first Sadler’s Wells Global Dance Contest in 2009, creates dances that embody many of the questions that he asked as he traveled the world from Taiwan to New York, Paris, Denmark, Tokyo, Dusseldorf, Singapore and Hong Kong. His realization of the cross-influences presently affecting dancers throughout the world is reflected in his dances including “About Living,” which he is presenting at New York Live Arts.