Local choreographer makes history with launch of new show in Sydney

Taiwan's Cheng Tsung-lung, artistic director of Cloud Gate 2�the development arm of the nation's leading modern dance troupe Cloud Gate�became the first Asian choreographer to launch a new show in collaboration with Sydney Dance Company following the world premiere of Full Moon May 1 at Roslyn Packer Theater in the Australian city.

Cheng said during a preshow news conference that the new contemporary dance production, part of Orb, a double bill also comprising the SDC work Ocho, was inspired by the symbolic beauty of the moon as well as various myths about the heavenly body from diverse cultures.

In Taiwan, families get together with friends to watch the full moon on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. It's a very peaceful time, and I wish to bring that sense of happiness to the stage, he said, referring to the Mid-Autumn Festival, an annual holiday in Taiwan also known as Moon Festival.

Dancing is a form of communication and expression without the use of language or words. Through this piece, I want to convey the emotions common to all people irrespective of their cultural background, he added.

A native of Taipei City, Cheng started out with Cloud Gate as a dancer from 2002 to 2004 before moving into choreography and rising to the position of artistic director of Cloud Gate 2 in 2014. He has received significant international recognition, winning the No Ballet International Choreography Competition in Germany in 2006, Premio Roma Danza International Choreography Competition in Italy in 2011 and the Masdanza Choreography Competition in Spain the same year.

In a news release issued in March, the SDC praised Full Moon as an innovative and striking new work that harnesses the power of the moon as well as the mythology and poetry of mankind to thrill audiences. It was created specifically for Orb, which runs until May 27 at venues in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.

Some of Taiwan's leading creative talents worked with Cheng to create Full Moon. The music was written by composer Lim Giong, who won the Cannes Soundtrack Award in 2015 for The Assassin, a film by renowned Taiwan director Hou Hsiao-hsien.

Equally impressive are the costumes by Taiwan fashion designer Fan Huai-chih, who created unique outfits for each of the show's eight dancers. Featuring flowing pleats, the costumes are inspired by elements of Zen philosophy and images of moon gods and goddesses from different mythologies, according to Cloud Gate.

Full Moon will run in Sydney until May 13 before moving to the Art Center Melbourne May 17-20 and Canberra Theatre Center May 25-27. SDC plans to launch a world tour of Orb in 2018.

Source: Taiwan Today