WTIC members visit Cloud Gate Theater
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.
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!
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.