CHICAGOThe Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago presents the return of Asia's leading contemporary dance company, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, March 2 and 3 at the Harris Theatre for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph Drive, Chicago. This presentation is supported by Alphawood Foundation Chicago.
Artistic Director/Choreographer Lin Hwai-min's newest evening-length work, Formosa, takes the homeland as inspiration for a work of abstract beauty born from land and lore. In the 16th century, gazing out from ships off the coast of China, Portuguese sailors saw a great green mass, thick with mountains and trees, rising from the sea. "Formosa!" they exclaimed"beautiful!"anointing the verdant place that would come to be known as Taiwan. Using gesture, script, song and other elements from the island as raw material, Lin and dancers create a lustrous, transfigured spherea playground of love and life, mediated by tragedy, hope and rebirth. Music by award-winning indigenous singer Sangpuy serves as the soundtrack as the dancers mingle in intimations of community, making tribal ritual and urban bustle seem as one.
Formosa premiered November 24 in Taiwan. The Chicago performances are among the first in the United States, following a February 25 performance at the University of Iowa's Hancher Auditorium.
"Chicago has a well-deserved reputation as a center for contemporary dance," said Jim McDonough, executive director of Alphawood Foundation Chicago. "Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan is Asia's leading contemporary dance company. We have been proud to support Cloud Gate's previous Chicago appearances, and we are thrilled to partner with the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago to present them here again."
Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan
According to legend, Cloud Gate is the name of the oldest known dance in China, a ritual dance of some 5,000 years ago. In 1973, internationally renowned choreographer Lin Hwai-min adopted this classical name for the first contemporary dance company in any Chinese-speaking community: Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan. Cloud Gate's rich repertoire has its roots in Asian myths, folklore and aesthetics, but it brings to these age-old beliefs and stories a contemporary and universal perspective. The dancers of the company receive training from the West and the East, including Qi Gong, meditation, internal martial arts, modern dance and ballet. With frequent appearances at international arts festivals, including the Next Wave Festival, Cloud Gate has received high acclaim throughout the world.
"Cloud Gate is making its seventh tour to Chicago, the fourth presented by the Dance Center," said Lin Hwai-min, who recently announced his plan to retire at the end of 2019. "Among many cities we have visited around the world, Chicago is remembered as one of the friends we love to revisit, for the beauty of its architecture and the warmth audiences have bestowed on Cloud Gate."
The Dance Center presents Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan Friday and Saturday, March 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph Drive, Chicago.
Single tickets are $2265, $10 for students with ID at the door; subscribers to three or more performances during the season and groups of 10 or more receive a 25 percent discount.
Tickets are available at 312-369-8330 and colum.edu/dancecenterpresents.
All programming is subject to change.
The theatre is accessible to people with disabilities.
Pre-performance talks with Lin Hwai-min led by Ashley Wheater, artistic director, The Joffrey Ballet on March 2 and Bonnie Brooks, director, Third Way Projects on March 3 take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Harris Theater, free to ticket holders. Additional residency activities with community partners and Columbia College Chicago students take place throughout the week leading up to the performance weekend.
The Dance Center's presentation of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan is supported by Alphawood Foundation Chicago. This tour is made possible by grants from the Ministry of Culture, Republic of China ( Taiwan ) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China ( Taiwan ). Co-producers are the National Performing Arts Center - National Theater & Concert Hall, Taiwan, R.O.C.; National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts ( Weiwuying ), Taiwan, R.O.C.; Sadler's Wells, London, UK; Theatre de la Ville, Paris, France; Carolina Performing Arts, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA; and Movements Festwochen der Autostadt in Wolfsburg, Germany.
The Dance Center
The Dance Center's 201718 season continues with the Process v. Product Festival featuring Chicago's Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak March 2931 and Bebe Miller Company April 57. In addition, the B-Series, a free mini-festival of hip-hop and street dance forms, takes place April 1314.
The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago is the city's leading presenter of contemporary dance, showcasing artists of regional, national and international significance. The Dance Center has been named "Chicago's Best Dance Theatre" by Chicago magazine, "Best Dance Venue" by the Chicago Reader and Chicago's top dance venue by Newcity, and Time Out Chicago cited it as "…consistently offering one of Chicago's strongest lineups of contemporary and experimental touring dance companies." Programs at the Dance Center are supported, in part, by the Alphawood Foundation, the MacArthur Fund for the Arts and Culture at Prince, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the Martha Struthers Farley and Donald C. Farley Jr. Family Foundation, the Irving Harris Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as well as the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Illinois Arts Council and the Crane Group. Special thanks to Friends of the Dance Center for their generous contributions to the Dance Center's work.