Contemporary Dance Showcase @ The Japan Society

I went to see the Contemporary Dance Showcase from Taiwan last night, and I have to say it was really visually stunning. As with any contemporary art medium, sometimes the presentation and narrative takes itself so seriously that it borders on humorous, but in this case it was intentional.

The first piece was an attempt to modernize traditional Chinese opera - dancers used props found in traditional opera, were made up with the pale face and pink eyeshadow, and the dance incorporated jerking movements in a routine that channel military discipline. The sound accompaniment had electronic elements, which I had mixed feelings about.

The second piece was a commentary on the monotony of urban life and its routines. It started and ended with a tea social in which individuals exchanged pleasantries and exaggerated reactions, and it's repeated for emphasis. There was an interlude of two dancers dressed in white paper/bag? which I didn't understand (perhaps it was a dialogue of the angels we have in our heads, or dust bunnies floating about, who knows), and another a testimony of the choreographer's growth in ballet and modern dance.

The highlight was the last showcase from the Taipei Dance Circle fromthe Baby Oil Series. The costume for the dancers is form fitting and minimal, as part of its effort to celebrate the human form in thecontext of nature. It was really fun to watch the dancers prepare for the piece, watching them slide around on stage on their bellies and buttocks to get every part of their body coated with baby oil.

From their website:

  • "Slick moves in this tide -- bathed in baby oil, the glistening dancers engaged the audience with a flow of shapes and images, which evoked ocean life and rhythm." - Deng Fuquan, Singapore Straits Times.
  • "The mysterious, repetitive, frictionless ambience is .....enthralling." - Deborah Jowitt, Village Voice

All in all, I recommend it. If you are able to catch the show tonight at the Japan Society, try :) It's free, but RSVP required.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

OIled up dancers?? Hawt!

3:29 PM  
Blogger aingeal is said...

i forgot to mention that the whole auditorium smelled like baby o-yo.

3:37 PM  

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