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2010 - The 9th Taishin Arts AwardFinalists
Century Contemporary Dance Company[ Les Noces / La Sacre Du Printemps ]
Taishin Bank Foundation for Arts and Culture

Jury's comments
In her surreal dance piece full of withered and cracked poetic imagery, choreographer Yao, Shu-Fen projects paintings by National Award for Arts winner Wang, Pan-Yuan on a screen, borrows a composition by Igor Stravinsky and choreographs twisted postures and jerking and stretching movements. The name for the dance is also borrowed from the same Stravinsky composition. The choreography, costumes, makeup and sets all compliment Yao's creative theme, which centers on sexual desire hidden deep within the weak body and repressed by societal restrictions. Commanding and of high professional caliber, the dancers perform their roles as lonely men and women who are obsessively searching for love. The dance vocabulary and composition are strikingly creative, and overall, the production is bold and inspiring in its freshness. Committee member: Chao, Yu-Ling
 

“Igor Stravinsky”Les Noces/ Le Sacre du Printemps is a grand production of significant depth. The dancers of Century Contemporary Dance Company had to overcome the challenges inherent in the representation of desire and lust, and all artists needed to create new performance and technical language in response to the demanding complexity of Stravinsky’s music, which they accomplished brilliantly.“Igor Stravinsky”Les Noces/ Le Sacre du Printemps marks an important breakthrough for Yao, Shu-fen and Century Contemporary Dance Company. This production for Taiwan culture and the choreographer parallels beautifully the shattering and the groundbreaking moment this music created for Stravinsky and his audience. This work also significantly challenges social issues around gender and representation of female sexuality in the Taiwanese context. Committee members: Chao, Yu-Ling / Hsu, Shu-Ya / Keng, Yi-Wei / Paul King / Leisa Shelton.


About Century Contemporary Dance Company
The Century Contemporary Dance Company was established in 2000 by Yao, Shu-Fen who is the company’s main choreographer and artistic director.
Yao graduated from New York University with a Masters of Art degree in performing arts and choreography, and currently teaches at the National Taiwan University of Arts where she mainly focuses on improvisation, composition and contemporary technique.During her time in the US, she received scholarships from the Merce Cunningham School and the American Asian Cultural Foundation.
Her choreographed works have a dream-like quality and are characterized by her style of realism. In her works, she uses dance movement to convey theatrical tension.

“Les Noces” and “Le Sacre Du Printemps”
To celebrate its tenth anniversary, the Century Contemporary Dance Company performed Russian composer Igor Stravinsky’s “Les Noces” and “Le Sacre Du Printemps”in December 2010 at the National Theater.
“Le Sacre Du Printemps” scandalized audiences when it debuted in 1913, with its complex rhythmic structures and dissonance. The modern ballet was based on a pagan ritual in which a young girl dances herself to death as a sacrifice to Spring. The original script was lost, with only the symphony scores remaining. The piece is divided into two parts and fourteen scenes, and the melodies of both parts range from a mild adagio to a wild and climatic ending.
Yao, Shu-Fen, the Century Contemporary Dance Company’s artistic director adapted this famous work of irregular tempos and wild expressionistic color and tone to celebrate her dance company’s anniversary. Her desire to create a relevant and contemporary ballet from a century-old work took a year to develop. In her choreography, the movements conveyed the urgency of life and death, love and hate, while also expressing the sensual emotions of desire. The intertwined movements of the 12 professional dancers and the two dozen amateur performers created an intricate weaving like vines in the jungle. The dancers’ exploration of love and desire was communicated via repetitive contacts and exchanges to reveal sensual contemplation and frustrated attempts at satisfaction.
In “Les Noces,” each dancer used distinct body language to convey the emotions from the music. Chinese landscape ink paintings by renowned artist Wang, Pan-Yuan provided the evocative backdrop. Yao was able to embody Stravinsky’s music and to tell the story of the challenging struggle and difficulties of human life via her choreographed emotive dancing. With the dynamic combination of dance, body language, music, painting, lighting, and set design, the tenth anniversary performance became a tapestry of rich human experience.

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