Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan – 13 Tongues & Dust – London

Dance Tabs
Date: March 8, 2020
By: Siobhan Murphy

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan – 13 Tongues & Dust – London
Dust by Lin Hwai-min.
© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Cloud Gate, Taiwan’s pioneering, much-loved contemporary dance company, is in a moment of transition; its founder Lin Hwai-Min has handed over the reins to Cheng Tsung-Lung, and this double bill provided a chance to see work by both men. Although starkly different in theme and intention, both 13 Tongues and Dust showcased the company’s unique blend of movement, drawn from classical and modern traditions, from Chinese folk and Chinese opera, and from martial arts and meditation.

Cheng’s 13 Tongues was inspired, we’re told, by memories of the temples and religious rites that fill the oldest district of Taipei, and the storytelling skills of a renowned street artist. It was an often bewildering hour of swirling motion as 11 black-clad dancers bustled, scuttled, staggered, stomped, laughed, shouted, screamed and chanted, to a score that mixed folk tunes, rhythmic electronica, minor chord piano and warped strings.

Waves of movement caught up the dancers, who travelled around the stage with fluid grace, sometimes galvanised into synchronicity – huddling together, or forming a snake-like line – sometimes all caught up in individual preoccupations. Solo interludes punctuated the maelstrom, with the other dancers forming a curious crowd of onlookers.    [FULL  STORY]

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