LIN Hwai-min Founder
LIN Hwai-min was first known to the public as a fiction writer. He started his modern dance training at the age of 23 while working on his MFA degree at the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. He founded Cloud Gate Dance Theatre in Taipei in 1973.
A self-taught choreographer, LIN often draws from Asian cultures and aesthetics to create works with contemporary resonance. Under his direction, Cloud Gate tours extensively to international acclaim and prominence.
In 2013, he received the prestigious Samuel H. Scripps / American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement. Previous awardees include Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, Pina Bausch, and William Forsythe. LIN is the first recipient based in Asia.
Among other honours LIN Hwai-min has received are the John D. Rockefeller 3rd Award, the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters from the Ministry of Culture of France, the Honourary Fellow Trinity Laban, London, and honourary doctorates from six universities in Taiwan and Hong Kong. He was also celebrated by the Time Magazine as one of “Asia’s Heroes.”
At the end of 2019, LIN retired from the position of the artistic director of Cloud Gate. CHENG Tsung-lung succeeded him in taking the reins of the company.
CHENG Tsung-lung Artistic Director / Choreographer
From street hawker selling slippers to internationally recognized choreographer, CHENG Tsung-lung succeeded LIN Hwai-min as Artistic Director of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre starting in 2020.
CHENG took his first dance class at the age of eight. Upon graduation from the Dance Department at Taipei University of the Arts, he joined Cloud Gate in 2002 and became the Artistic Director of Cloud Gate 2 in 2014.
CHENG has been awarded prestigious prizes for his choreography internationally as well as at home, such as the No Ballet International Choreography Competition (Germany), the Premio Roma Danza International Choreography Competition (Italy), the MASDANZA Choreography Competition (Spain) and the Taishin Arts Award (Taiwan). He has also worked with companies worldwide, including Sydney Dance Company, the Transitions Dance Company at the Laban Centre, London, Expressions Dance Company, Brisbane, and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.
CHENG’s work is deeply rooted in both ancient and modern Taiwanese culture and he is a strong supporter of Cloud Gate’s extensive engagement with grassroots audiences across Taiwan, yet it also embraces global influences. His 13 Tongues (2016) integrates folk dance, religious rites, and Taoist chant to conjure the streets where he worked as a child. Lunar Halo (2019) is performed to an ethereally haunting soundtrack by Icelandic musician Sigur Rós and explores the complex area of human connection and technology. Sounding Light (2020) was written in response to COVID-19 pandemic-induced isolation and reflects on the precariousness of both the human and the natural world. Visually stunning, Send In A Cloud (2022) displays in shifting colors a panorama of dancers’ life journeys. The most choreography WAVES (2023), a collaboration with Japanese media artist Daito MANABE, explores societal and individual facets affected by the rapid progress of technological advancements.
CHENG has been a fixture of Routledge’s respected annual survey of dance practitioners, Fifty Contemporary Choreographers (2020), alongside the likes of William Forsythe, Akram Khan, Hofesh Shechter, and leaders in the form.
Yasuaki Shimizu Composer
Throughout his forty-year career spanning a broad range of genres, Japanese composer Yasuaki Shimizu has been recognized for his crossover albums, film soundtracks, and high-profile installations and collaborations. He views physical space as an extension of his instrument, and often “plays the space,” making use of unique acoustic environments in which to record and perform.
In the mid-1990s, Shimizu’s passion for the music of J.S. Bach resulted in two groundbreaking recordings of the entire Cello Suites—the first-ever tenor saxophone interpretations of these pieces. In 2006 he relaunched his hitherto solo Yasuaki Shimizu & Saxophonettes project as a saxophone quintet, and in 2015 released his “recomposition”—for five saxophones and four contrabasses of the Goldberg Variations.
A prolific composer for film and TV, Shimizu scored the soundtrack for, among many others, the Oscar-nominated documentary Cutie and the Boxer (2013), for which he won Outstanding Achievement for Original Music Score at the Cinema Eye Honours.
CHOU Tung-yen Projection Designer
CHOU Tung-yen is the Artistic Director of Very Theatre and Very Mainstream Studio. Centering around the theatre and moving image, he makes interdisciplinary works of performance, installation art and music video, which were presented in international festivals, including Ars Electronica (Linz), Noorderzon Festival (Groningen) and Asia TOPA (Melbourne). His VR film In the Mist was selected for the 78th Venice International Film Festival and won the PANORAMA VR PRIZE of Montreal’s Festival du nouveau cinéma. CHOU’s documentary Looking for? was nominated by Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards, and screened in Seattle International Film Festival, OutFest LA and NewFest (New York).
Marcelo Añez Sound Designer
Based in New York City, Marcelo Añez has experience of sound design over three decades and has won four Grammy Awards in the music industry. His sound credits include work with artists like Ricky Martin, Shakira, and Gloria Estefan. He has collaborated for sound designing on installations with The Met Museum, MoMA PS1 in New York City and Tate Modern in London. Earlier in his career he also worked with the Venezuelan National Ballet and the venezuelan modern dance company Danzahoy. He recently participated in Kamala Sankaram’s outdoors sound installation, The Last Stand, a CreativeTime public art project in Prospect Park of New York City, USA.
SHEN Po-hung Lighting Designer
Graduating from Graduate Institute of Drama and Theatre at Taiwan University, SHEN Po-hung has created his personal marks on lighting design through in-depth reading into interdisciplinary fields. SHEN currently works as a freelance designer and his designs encompass works in dance, drama, concert, and special event. He has collaborated with CHENG Tsung-lung for many years, with designing credits including Lunar Halo (2019), Dream Catcher (2017), 13 Tongues (2016), Beckoning (2015), Dorian Gray (2014), Blue Hour (2013), and On the Road (2011).
FAN Huai-chih Costume Designer
FAN Huai-chih holds a Master’s Degree from Istituto Marangoni in Milan and has since frequently collaborated with Swarovski and Harry Winston in designing and integrating their ceremonial gowns. Undertaking as brand counselor and creative designer for various fashion brands in China, Italy, and Taiwan, she has also participated in corporate styling training with luxury brands including LVMH Group and Richemond Group.
In the recent years, FAN started to collaborate with theaters in costume design, such as Full Moon (2017) for Sydney Dance Company, Dream Catcher (2017), Multiplication (2019) for the collaboration between Cloud Gate Dance Theatre and Beijing-based TAO Theater, and PIAZZOLLA: María de Buenos Aires (2021) for Weiwuying Kaohsiung Center for the Arts.
WEI Ho-ting Animation Designer
A Taiwanese freelance artist, WEI Ho-ting holds a MFA in Animation and Film Art from Tainan National University of the Arts. Her work includes illustration, animation, multimedia, and theatre. WEI tends to draw inspiration from culture and society and strives to explore and examine life around her in creative ways. Continuing to evolve and explore fresh areas of artistic and conscientious engagement, she once held a concert with a singer in her father's auto workshop and led outdoor theatre performances by rural youth. She collaborated with Puli PM2.5 Reduction Association with an award-winning animated film.
CHEN Pin-hsiu Dramaturgy
Current dramaturg at Cloud Gate and a veteran dance critic in Taiwan, CEHN Pin-hsiu graduated from Dance Department of the Taipei University of the Arts. She had curated programs and exhibitions as the Programming Manager of Cloud Gate Theater since its opening in 2015 to 2020. Joining Cloud Gate since 2002, she has committed to establishing the Archive Division for digitalizing, licensing, publishing, and exhibiting of the company’s archives. She is also the head of the various projects organized by Cloud Gate Foundation to support young talents in arts and social fields.