WTIC mem­bers visit Cloud Gate Theater

The China Post - - LOCAL -

The Art & Cul­ture In­ter­est Group of Wel­come to Taipei In­ter­na­tional Club (WTIC) or­ga­nized a trip to the newly opened Cloud Gate Dance Theater ( ) in Tam­sui re­cently, ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease from the WTIC.

Au­di­ence turnout ex­ceeded ex­pec­ta­tions, with more than 130 at­ten­dees tak­ing this op­por­tu­nity to in­ter­act with Mas­ter Lin Hwai Min ( ), the founder and artis­tic direc­tor of the in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed dance group. Those in at­ten­dance, in­clud­ing mem­bers and guests from the diplo­matic cir­cle, were treated to a thought­pro­vok­ing sen­sory ex­pe­ri­ence — a dance re­hearsal of “Smoke,” said the WTIC.

The theater sits on a hill, look­ing out onto the Tam­sui River. It finds it­self be­tween the an­cient Huwei Fort and a 98-year-old golf course. This new home re­placed the group’s makeshift stu­dio in Ba-Li ( ), which was de­stroyed in a blaze in 2008. The group was able to then sign a B.O.T. con­tract with the New Taipei City Gov­ern­ment and was granted a 40-year lease, giv­ing them the right to use public land on the con­di­tion that they re­main in­de­pen­dent in their op­er­a­tions. “This con­struc­tion was only made pos­si­ble thanks to 4,155 dona­tions big and small, in­clud­ing US$5 mil­lion from the Al­pha­wood Foun­da­tion in Chicago.” said Lin.

Be­fore the “Smoke” was for­mally pre­sented, the au­di­ence was shown a 20-minute video in­tro­duc­tion of Cloud Gate — de­tail­ing 42 years of its col­or­ful his­tory. Through vi­su­als and nar­ra­tives, the au­di­ence was taken back to the found­ing of Cloud Gate in 1973. Its reper­toire then was rooted in Asian mythol­ogy, Folk­lore and clas­sic aes­thetics — pre­sent­ing age-old art forms with a con­tem­po­rary per­spec­tive, the WTIC stated.

The dance

re­hearsal be­gan when all the au­di­ence was seated, fac­ing panoramic views through floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows. Through­out the prac­tice, Lin took great care in in­struct­ing each dancer to at­tend to ev­ery move­ment, down to the small­est de­tails, said the WTIC.

The dancers moved with grace and power, each in­ter­pre­ta­tion filled with ten­sion and af­fec­tion. The au­di­ence was left awestruck and pen­sive, with a deep ap­pre­ci­a­tion of this in­no­va­tive art form.

Dur­ing the Q & A ses­sion, Lin was asked where he wanted to lead this theater. His re­sponse was to “give back to Tai­wan, the coun­try that raised him. Cloud Gate is com­mit­ted to serv­ing as a cul­tural hub for the Tai­wanese com­mu­nity, the ‘cra­dle of the theater scene’ so to speak.” A sen­ti­ment that touched ev­ery at­tendee, said the WTIC.

Af­ter the pro­gram, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the diplo­matic com­mu­nity con­grat­u­lated and greeted Mas­ter Lin. Jozsef Szekely, the rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Hun­gary, pre­sented a gift to Mas­ter Lin. Fur­ther­more, Ann Keke, spouse of the am­bas­sador of Nauru, at­tended this event even with an in­jured an­kle, which she said that she would not have missed for the world!

Cour­tesy of the Wel­come to Taipei In­ter­na­tional Club

Mem­bers of the Art & Cul­ture In­ter­est Group of the Wel­come to Taipei In­ter­na­tional Club and the Cloud Gate Dance Theater pose for a photo at the Cloud Gate’s new head­quar­ters in Tam­sui, New Taipei, on May 26.

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