Led by internationally acclaimed choreographer Lin Hwai-min, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan will revisit Hong Kong in August with two great works - the Hong Kong premiere of "Whisper of Flowers" and a re-run of "Songs of the Wanderers".
Inspired by Anton Chekhov's "Cherry Orchard", "Whisper of Flowers" forsakes the characters and plot of the original play, and instead explores the enduring theme of exuberance giving way to precarious darkness. Set to selected music from Bach's Suites for Solo Cello, "Whisper of Flowers" opens with a landscape of red petals on the stage. As dancers leap and whirl with abandonment, petals are splashed into different "geographies". The wind blows, the petals tremble and scatter, and bring more petals until the whole stage is carpeted with red petals.
In the second part of the work, night falls, and the wind continues to blow. Black human hair sneaks in, roams the white stage. Dancers keep spinning and jumping until they find hair sticking to their sweaty bodies. As they look for their exit, dancers are shocked to see their images reflected and distorted on the two walls of shimmering mirrors.
"Songs of the Wanderers" was inspired by a novel on a Buddhist theme titled "Siddhartha" by Hermann Hesse. It depicts the journey of pilgrim wanderers fervently in search of inner peace. With 3.5 tones of golden rice grain on stage and music based on Georgian folk songs, the production has reached out to the audience of many lands and is acclaimed as "a dance of gold" by Lin. Since its premiere in Taipei (1994), more than 160 performances have been given all over the world, including its debut in Hong Kong in 1995.
In 1973, Lin borrowed the name of the oldest-known dance in China and founded the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan. It was the first contemporary dance company in any Chinese-speaking community. Its rich repertoire has roots in Asian myths, folklore and aesthetics but it brings a contemporary and universal perspective to these age-old beliefs and stories.
Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, "Whisper of Flowers" will be staged at 8pm, August 4 and 5 (Wednesday and Thursday) and "Songs of the Wanderers" will be at 8pm, August 7 and 8 (Saturday and Sunday) at the Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre.
Tickets priced at $150, $250, $350 and $450 are now available at URBTIX outlets. Senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients may have 50% off (limited quotas for students and CSSA recipients on a first-come, first-served basis). A maximum discount of 20% is offered for group booking schemes. Please refer to the programme leaflet or LCSD's website for details.
For enquiries about the programme and the associated events - post-performance dialogues with Lin Hwai-min (August 4 and 7) and a master class - please call 2268 7323 or visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/cp. Ticketing enquiries and reservations can be made on 2734 9009 and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Tickets can also be booked online on www.urbtix.hk .
Ends/Wednesday, June 9, 2010