Cloud Gate Dance Theatre
The virtuosity of Cloud Gate dancers has made critics ask, “When has one ever seen a company with such magical and beautiful bodies?” and confess that they “possess a control and articulation that verge on the superhuman. These are performers who can make stillness every bit as eloquent as animation. In fact, they have the power to change your metabolism.”
Cloud Gate is the name of the oldest known dance in China. In 1973, choreographer Lin Hwai-min adopted this classical name for the first contemporary dance company in any Chinese speaking community.
Its 24 dancers have all received training in meditation, Qi Gong, an ancient form of breathing exercise, internal martial arts, modern dance, ballet, and calligraphy. Through Lin Hwai-min’s choreographies the company transforms ancient aesthetics into a thrilling modern celebration of motion.
Cloud Gate has toured with frequent engagements at the Next Wave Festival in New York, the Sadler’s Wells Theatre and Barbican Centre in London, the Movimentos International Dance Festival in Germany, the Moscow Chekhov International Theatre Festival, and the Internationales Tanzfest NRW directed by Pina Bausch, winning acclaims from major critics:
Chosen by the Critics’ Circle, U.K., Cloud Gate won “Stef Stefanou Award for Outstanding Company” in the 2018 National Dance Award.
At home, Cloud Gate enjoys high acclaim and popularity. In addition to regular seasons in theatres, the company stages annual free outdoor performances in various cities in Taiwan, drawing audiences up to 30,000 per performance.
To perform for grass-roots communities, and to foster the development of young choreographers in Taiwan, Cloud Gate 2 was founded in 1999. In 1998, Cloud Gate Dance School was founded to bring the joy of dance to students, aged four to 84.
In 2003, in recognition of Cloud Gate’s contribution to the cultural life of Taipei, the Taipei City Government named Fu-Hsing North Road Lane 231, home of Cloud Gate’s office, as “Cloud Gate Lane.” In 2010, a new asteroid, discovered by Central University, Taiwan, was named after Cloud Gate. In 2014, celebrated by China Airlines, Cloud Gate’s dance images were featured on the Airlines aircraft livery.
Most of Cloud Gate’s productions have been made into videos. Among them, Songs of the Wanderers, Moon Water, Bamboo Dream, and Cursive II (now known as Pine Smoke) were filmed in Europe and distributed worldwide.
TAO Dance Theater
TAO Dance Theater was founded by TAO Ye, DUAN Ni and WANG Hao in 2008. Over the last nine years, TAO Dance Theater has toured in more than 40 countries and 80 arts festivals, attracting the attention and receiving high acclaim from all over the world. It has become one of the most eye-catching contemporary dance companies in the world.
TAO were published by The New York Times for four times, The New York Times critic Alastair Macaulay has praised the company’s “theatrical force and authority. (The dancers’) athletic control is remarkable. Powerful drive…physicality and momentum… extraordinary and appealing.”
TAO was the first contemporary dance company from China invited to perform in Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (US), Edinburgh International Festival (UK), Sydney Opera House (AU) and the Theatre de la Ville in Paris (France); the first Chinese company invited to be artists-in-residence for ADF’s six week festival. Sadler’s Wells (UK) has commissioned the company with four consecutive years and invited the company to perform in London for four times.
The company has already performed in many countries on five continents, including tours in the USA, UK, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Israel, Spain, Austria, Korea, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Belgium, Finland, Switzerland, France, Indonesia, etc. Festivals include Sydney Opera House “Spring Dance”, Theatre de la Ville in Paris , Dance Umbrella in London, Julidans in Amsterdam, New York Fall For Dance, Canada’s National Arts Centre, Suzanne Dellal Tel Aviv Dance Days, Singapore Arts Festival, Madrid en Danza, Wiener Festwochen, Taipei Novel Dance Series, Hong Kong New Vision Arts Festival, China National Centre for the Performing Arts, India Attakkalari Biennale, Arts Centre Melbourne, Helsinki Festival, Budapest Trafó House of Contemporary Arts, Barcelona Mercat de les Flors, National Taichung Theater, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, Maison de la Danse in Lyon, Cloud Gate Theater, etc., among the world’s major festivals and venues.
TAO Dance Theater has stirred the attention of China’s fashion industry, leading to cooperation with various fashion brands, magazines and photographers. VOGUE China has featured the company for three times and invited them to collaborate with renowned photographers and videographers. During the Paris Fashion Week 2015, TAO was invited to collaborate at the performance with Y3, the brand established by Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto.
In 2014, Time Out New York named TAO Dance Theater’s performances one of the “10 Best Dance Shows of 2014,” the only company on the list from Asia.
In 2015, Asia Culture Center (Gwangju, Korea), Sadler’s Wells, Shanghai International Arts Festival and National Taichung Theater co-commissioned the company’s work 8.
In 2017, Asia TOPA & Arts Centre Melbourne, Sadler’s Wells, Théâtre de la Ville – Paris/La Villette-Paris and National Taichung Theater have confirmed to co-commission the company’s new work 9.