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2003- 2nd Annual  Taishin Arts Awards Finalists
Dance Forum Taipei[ Eastern Current ]
Taishin Bank Foundation for Arts and Culture

Title of the Project: Eastern Current
Date of Premier: Oct. 31, 2003
Venue of Premier: Novel Hall, Taipei
Production Company: Dance Forum Taipei

Dance Forum Taipei (DFT) has explored the ideas of Asia for years. In 2002, the choreographer of DFT, Ming-Lung Yang was inspired by the Chinese traditional hand puppetry, began the series works of “Eastern Winds”.

In 2003, the second work of Eastern Winds series, Eastern Current is starting form the idea of “manipulation” in Chinese hand puppet theatre and collaborates with many artists. For exploring Asian ideas, ” Eastern Current ” collaborates with National Guoguang Opera Company ( NGOC ). It brings together a most exciting team of collaborating artists, Xiao-Ping Li ( the director of NGOC ), Ming-Lung Yang( the choreographer of DFT ) and the renown composer Yang Chen to create what promises to be a thrilling evening of sound and movement.

The goal of Eastern Current is to bridge the differences of Chinese opera and modern dance, to discover the newfound potential between East and West.

The Dance Forum Taipei’s experiment spirit has always been a model for the theatrical world. While having devoted to avant-gardism in the past, recently they surprisingly confronted themselves with the challenge posed by tradition.

Instead of revivalism, this show was about some uncertain pleasures created in the process of merging actors who were trained in traditional martial arts and body gestures and dancers who received western body training; such a fusion produced surprisingly special effects. This performance was no longer a narrative story; the refined chang ( singing ), nian ( dialogue ), zuo ( acting ) and da ( martial arts ) created the feeling, mood, and situation that accommodated a great amount of imagination as well as established a new model of Chinese performing arts. In its pluralist and cross-cutting attempts, this show looked quite natural, balanced, and well-rounded. The whole performance was markedly bright, vivid, sophisticated, and refined rather than obscure, abstract. Applying simple media, Chen Yang’s music surprisingly built up an acoustic space that’s broad, three-dimensional, and full of varieties, enabling the dance and dancers to give out the voice of traditional music as well as cruise, wander and evolve freely.

Some people describe modern theater as a desert which is always in need of more water, whereas traditional Chinese theater is just like a cup which can be filled up easily. Therefore, to intensively and extensively expand the topics and aesthetics so as to cross the boundary between the classic and the avant-garde has been a lingering problem.

"Eastern Current"  has at least indicated the direction for us, though it does not provide us the solution. Under the so-called eastern influence, we have trodden a new path. Although it is an arduous process, we would like to thank you for your encouragement and support.


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