Tai Gu Tales was created by Hsiu Wei Lin, formerly a principal dancer with the iconic Taiwanese Cloud Gate company.
A dream-ritual, where Chinese philosophy meets western dance technique.
The ritual begins unusually with Death as shrouded figures unwind to reveal male dancers with magnificent torsos (trained in Peking opera kung fu) and females in close-fitting costumes skin-coloured as if they are nude. The choreography is at times slow-moving and at other times frenetic. A female lying in foetal position unfolds as she observes her wriggling fingers and toes, suggesting a baby’s first explorations. Gyrating males, their faces stretched in grimaces suggest pain and struggle. Swaying females, arms seem to float as if they are underwater, deep-sea creatures. A beautiful sequence with candles, carried on the heads of slow-walking dancers, or placed around the stage are a symbol of life. Other imagery, abstract groupings, or solos, are more opaque and it is left to the audience to discover their own meanings in the hallucinatory and trance-like mood created by a sinister soundtrack of electronic music, occasionally the sound of metal bars being beaten or the surges of the sea.
This show will divide the audience.Those who prefer more of a linear narrative or dramatic structure will be disappointed.Others who are willing to enter a trance-like state might experience at the end the peace that results from meditation - maybe not possible through a film. I hope when normal times return, this show can be experienced live again soon.