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2008-The 7th Annual Taishin Arts AwardsFinalists
Capital Ballet, Taipei[ Surround ]
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Taishin Bank Foundation for Arts and Culture


Citation:Created by Tsui-Shuang LAI for Capital Ballet Taipei, "Surround" is a powerful, contemporary, high quality dance production. It explores the reality of life in today's world, the place of the individual in society, his isolation, self-doubt and need to communicate.


The choreography is dynamic and inventive, highlighting the links between personal and public space and the tensions between them; imaginative use of props facilitates a constant flow of surreal and arresting stage pictures.

The dancers' excellence and fine technique enable them to express their pursuit of both material and spiritual needs, with great beauty. Their performance thrillingly takes us to the infinite universe of "Surround". It is a work of which Taiwan can be very proud.


Final Selection Jury: Anita MATHIEU, Joseph SEELIG, Hiroko NISHIMURA, Liuyi LI, Yu-Pin LIN

Jury's Comments:
"The outpouring of the senses, logical rationalizations – a wide range of stimuli embark on a journey that always keeps its destination clear." Using time, space, the body, motion and the relationships between them to interpret the Chinese character "tong" (囲) in both its form and meaning, this piece uses the language of dance to allow people to see human existence and social reality anew. Tables, glass boxes and aquariums reveal the intangible norms and restrictions that constrain the modern soul. The relationship between dance and the stage poses humankind at the intersection of time and space, and in so doing, the paradoxical attitudes produced by the continual changes that happen at that crossroads become crystal clear. Whether this piece is looking inwards or describing external forms, the expressive development and results arrive with a high degree of creative force. Committee member: Yi-Lin LIN

Capital Ballet, Taipei performed Surround at the Experimental Theater on October 10, 2008. Surround is a new modern ballet work that explores the concept of space and time, while specifically referring to the various stages of one's life.

Surround is based on a clear theme, while a simple movement or a series of movements connects the dancer to the various locations, both to the physical site such as the stage set and to the metaphorical stages of life. These connections of theme and movement are strengthened by the use of furniture, specifically, tables in the set design. A table is a common-place object but in Surround symbolizes much more. Not only are tables used to create an architecture of the stage, they are also used to convey emotion. The dancers move, up-end and assemble the four wooden tables, transforming them into various manifestations such as a room, a bed, an island, a wall, a train and then back to the original form as table.

The simplicity of the stage design and emotional quality of the music and lighting allows for the dancers, whose fluid movements create diverse shapes, textures and directions, to allude to our passages of life, in other words, our movements through time and space. Most importantly is that the theme, expression and dance movements are easily accessible to the general audience.

About Capital Ballet, Taipei
Capital Ballet, Taipei was founded in March 1990 by Chin-Fong HSU and Shu-Hui LEE who are now the Troupe Principal and Artistic Director. The company has produced over 30 ballet works, danced close to 400 performances, and in recent years have included modern dances into their repertoire.

In Taiwan, it was the tradition of dancers to perform from the canon of western classical ballet. Therefore Capital Ballet, Taipei thought it imperative that Taiwan has its own ballet. So in order to create a unique Taiwanese ballet, the company choreographs their own dances; some of their outstanding works combine traditional ballet with Taiwanese Aboriginal dance.


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