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2008-The 7th Annual Taishin Arts AwardsFinalists
Shu-i Chou[ Visible City, People Filled with Air ]
Taishin Bank Foundation for Arts and Culture

Jury's Comments
Special for its abundance of extreme music, and even the transcendence of music, this piece allows the interaction between music, dance and space to reflect the closeness and alienation of people and cities. As a whole, the dance progresses from the second to the third dimension, from the courtyard of the Taipei Artist Village to the elevator, hallway, stairs and the roof, always staying in concert with the different spaces. Through the addition and subtraction of dancers and the design of the movements, the dance demonstrates fullness on multiple levels. The movements, music, opening and closing of the elevator doors and natural lighting were all precisely calculated and cleverly designed, making the architectural lines and the very face of the city into a flowing space that merges into the dance. The choreography is faultless, creativity fully evident, the dancers technically skilled, and chemistry is good. Among those dance pieces that have played with ideas of space in recent years, this is a rare gem. Committee member: Kai-Chen HSU


Visible City, People Filled with Air
Shu-Yi CHOU'S dance titled Visible City, People Filled with Air took place on February 21, 2008 at the Taipei Artist Village. The 1 hour 6 minutes performance included twelve dancers who physically explored and measured the space, while the audience followed them from the courtyard, eventually ending up on the roof where the open sky and the city of Taipei became the backdrop to the dance.

Chou conceived the piece when he was a resident artist at the Taipei Artist Village. When all the interior spaces were unavailable to Chou to make his final presentation, he choreographed his dance to occupy the non-interior spaces, such as the courtyard, the corridors, the stairwells and the roof. His original intention was to create a 30 minute long performance, but his choice of music extended the piece. Music for 18 Musicians (1976) by minimalist Steve Reich is 56 minutes 31 seconds long. Its cycle of eleven chords played by gamelan, xylophones, and marimbas was a perfect metaphor for the rhythm and velocity of a city.

The sparse set design included dark hallways that were covered with newspaper to represent how people's behavior affects city life. By incorporating the long piece of music with the entire concrete building, Chou envisioned that the flowing of sound and movement would allow the structure to flow and move with all the bodies. The dance symbolizes how the city moves and flows because of the moving bodies within it.

About Shu-Yi CHOU
Award-winning dancer and choreographer Shu-Yi CHOU graduated from National Taiwan University of Arts. His solo work Street Lamp debuted at the International Dance Conference (2004). In 2005, he performed his Open Door at the premiere of MDANS, a dance group he co-founded. In 2006, his 1875 represented Taiwan in the Asian Young Choreographer's Project. In 2007, his 0 was invited by the 20th Anniversary of National Theater. He participated in Mixed Program of Asian Dance Artists in Hong Kong (2008). Soon after that, he returned to MDANS and co-produced Bone. In 2009, Chou was selected for the Asian Cultural Council's 3-month residency in New York.
 

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