Water courses through a work of contemporary dance, flooding it with ideas about our increasingly troubled relationship with nature and the fluidity of the life cycle.
Created by Lin Lee-Chen, the highly regarded Taiwanese choreographer known for incorporating religious symbols and rites into her poetic dance pieces, The Eternal Tides visualizes its environmental theme with white silk rain clouds whose droplets form rivers that surge into oceans, feeding storms.
The stunning imagery saturates the senses, making the dance—a metaphorical journey—feel more ceremonial than kinetic. Augmenting that feeling is the slow, methodical pace of the movement as performed by the remarkable Legend Lin Dance Theatre dancers. Their meditative movement style is rooted in Taiwanese dance tradition. In the new year, they will make their Canadian debut with performances of The Eternal Tides in Ottawa, Montreal, and Vancouver.
Lee-Chen, 67, has devoted her life to preserving the cultural practices of her island country through dance, an art she first learned as a student at the Chinese Culture University. She founded Legend Lin Dance Theatre in Taipei in 1995 as a way of reinvigorating those practices by harnessing them to contemporary dance expression. Her work borrows from not only religious ritual but also traditional Taiwanese music and song. The Eternal Tides ebbs and flows to the sonorous sound of a gong, among other percussive instruments used in religious ceremonies. Prepare to be swept away.
The Eternal Tides will be at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, January 20, 2018; Places des Arts in Montreal, January 24-28; and the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver on February 3 (as presented by PuSh International Performing Arts Festival and TAIWANfest with the support of Ministry of Culture Taiwan and Taiwan Academy).
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