Taiwan’s Cloud Gate to present new work ‘Send in a Cloud’

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan will present a new introspective piece "Send in a Cloud," a work that is being developed to reflect the wide range of human emotions, in April, the renowned troupe said at a press conference Tuesday.

At the press event in Taipei, Artistic Director Cheng Tsung-lung (???) expressed hope that the audience will find the new work touching.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted Cloud Gate's plans over the past two years, it also pushed the group to try new approaches to developing productions and promoting the art form of dance, said Cheng, as he detailed the troupe's plans for 2022.

Cheng, who took up the post at the beginning of 2020, said the disruptions Cloud Gate faced, such as being forced to postpone overseas tours and cancel most of a tour around Taiwan amid an outbreak of COVID-19 in May 2021, gave him time to work more closely with the group's 25 dancers and learn more about them.

The dance troupe also closed its Cloud Gate 2 group led by Cheng in 2019 after he was announced as successor to group founder Lin Hwai-min (???), with the dancers and operations merged into one group.

To create "Send in a Cloud," Cheng tapped into each dancer's personal life experience, personality and stories to present different emotions, which the choreographer said yielded unexpected results.

Because two groups of dancers will perform on the tour around Taiwan in April and May, the development of the new piece has led to the creation of two versions that will be slightly different depending on which group is on stage.

However, the two versions will be similar in overall presentation, Cloud Gate said.

Meanwhile, dancers were asked to draw whatever comes into their minds by Chou Tung-yen (???), so he can incorporate the sketches into the images projected onto the stage, Cheng said.

In a video shown during the news conference, dancers were seen performing in costume against a backdrop of bright colors.

The two versions share the use of Johann Sebastian Bach's Six Solo Cello Suites arranged and performed by Japanese musician Yasuaki Shimizu with saxophonettes, for one, according to Cloud Gate.

Cloud Gate is also working with Grammy Award winning sound designer Marcelo Anez, who arrived in Taiwan over the weekend to work on the new piece with sounds already recorded by dancers from their daily lives, such as playing mahjong, the group said.

"Send in a Cloud" will premiere at the National Theater in Taipei with four performances from April 15-17, then one team of dancers will give two performances at the National Taichung Theater April 30-May 1, followed by two performances by the other group at the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts May 7-8.

Tickets are available through the OpenTix ticketing service.

Including the eight shows of "Send in a Cloud," Cloud Gate currently plans a total of 107 performances in 2022, including local and American tours of Cheng's 2016 work "13 Tongues" in June and later in the year, the group said.

The 2016 piece was on a seven-venue tour around Taiwan from April to June last year before Cloud Gate was forced to cancel the tour after two stops in mid-May, when Taiwan reported over 100 daily locally transmitted COVID-19 cases for the first time since the pandemic began in early 2020.

Among Cloud Gate's planned project for this year, one is the release of a specially recorded DVD of "13 Tongues," the group said.

Meanwhile, the 107 performances also include much anticipated free outdoor shows, which were last held in July 2019 to mark Lin's retirement, Cloud Gate said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel