Photo by LEE Chia-yeh
Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan
Thursday, October 6, 2022 | 7:30 PM
Choreography CHENG Tsung-lung
Music LIM Giong
Art Design HO Chia-hsing
Lighting Design SHEN Po-hung
Projection Design Ethan WANG
Costume Design LIN Bing-hao
Voice Coach TSAI Pao-chang
Premiere March 11, 2016
Taiwan International Festival of Arts
at National Theater, Taipei, Taiwan
Commission National Theater & Concert Hall (Taipei)
(In alphabetical order)
CHEN Lien-wei CHEN Mu-han CHEN Tsung-chiao
CHENG Hsi-ling CHOU Chen-yeh FAN Chia-hsuan
HUANG Li-chieh HUANG Lu-kai HUANG Yen-cheng
HUANG Yu-ling LAI Wei-chun SHAO Hsing-wen YEN Hsueh-hsin
Exclusive North American Tour Representation
Rena Shagan Associates, Inc.
180 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10024
This tour is made possible in part by the grants from the Ministry of Culture, R.O.C. (Taiwan)
PROGRAM SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Please be considerate of others and turn off all phones, pagers, and watch alarms. Photography and recording of any kind are not permitted. Thank you.
About 13 Tongues
As a child in the 1980s, Cloud Gate Artistic Director CHENG Tsung-lung would contribute to the family business by helping his father sell slippers on the streets of Bangka/Wanhua, the oldest district of Taipei. Bangka/Wanhua was known for its vibrantly diverse and bustling street scene that embraced religious and secular life, rich and poor, work and play, legal and illegal activities. The young CHENG was transfixed by his mother’s accounts of the legendary 1960s street artist and storyteller known as “Thirteen Tongues” who had adopted Bangka/Wanhua for his informal stage. It was said that “Thirteen Tongues'' could conjure up all the Bangka/Wanhua characters—high and low born, sacred and profane, men and women—in the most vivid, dramatic, and fluently imaginative narratives. Thirty years on CHENG’s fascination for “Thirteen Tongues” became his inspiration as he transformed his childhood memories into dance.
Beginning and ending with the sound of a single hand bell, the music accompanying 13 Tongues ranges from Taiwanese folk songs to Taoist chant to electronica. The stage is awash with projections of brilliant colors, shapes, and images and the dancers gather, interact, separate and re-gather in a thrilling representation of the clamor of street life. As the religious heritage of ancient Bangka/Wanhua fuses with the secular space it is today so time appears to dissolve. The spirit realm and the human realm also coalesce as the audience is taken on an immersive journey—via imagination and storytelling that recalls the art of “Thirteen Tongues” - through centuries of human endeavor, behaviour, and belief.
What Has Been Said About 13 Tongues
13 Tongues is a sensationally big, indulgent, and visually arresting expression of cultural memory.
13 Tongues brilliantly combines the simplicity of tradition with technological innovations.
13 Tongues demonstrates beautifully the extraordinary, elemental quality of the Cloud Gate dancers, energy coursing through their butter-soft, titanium-strength bodies, limbs curling like tendrils of smoke.
Cheng’s movement language is remarkable, showing exceptional range and masterful structure, . . . Each dancer is of soloist standard and when given their spotlight opportunity they leap into action with lithe, flexible, and powerful bodies. It’s magic.
The choreutic structure of 13 Tongues reveals a skillful use of historical forms which does not aim at a negation of the past or the present, but at the developing of a form that is both ancestral and original.
Visually, it's all striking, it's like watching a moving work of art emerge in the hands of an invisible calligrapher.
Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan
Cloud Gate is the name of the oldest known dance in China. In 1973, choreographer LIN Hwai-min adopted this classical name and founded the first contemporary dance company in the greater Chinese-speaking community: Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, also known worldwide as Cloud Gate. In 2020, CHENG Tsung-lung succeeded LIN as the company’s Artistic Director.
Cloud Gate has set out to engage with local history, culture and subject matter and draws on classical, folk and modern dance from both the western and Asian traditions. Its dancers trained in meditation, Qi Gong, an ancient breathing exercise; internal martial arts, modern dance and ballet. Under the leadership of CHENG, their training has further expanded to include trainings from various styles of dance, such as street dance. Manifesting in choreographies, the company transforms ancient aesthetics into a thrilling and modern celebration of motion.
Cloud Gate has received international acclaim as “Asia’s leading contemporary dance theater” (The Times), and “One of the best dance companies in the world” (FAZ). Cloud Gate is also honored as the “Outstanding Company” for the 2018 National Dance Awards, UK.
The company has toured worldwide with frequent engagements at the Next Wave Festival in New York, the Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London, the Moscow Chekhov International Theatre Festival in Russia, the Movimentos International Dance Festival and the Internationales Tanzfest NRW, then directed by Pina Bausch in Germany.
Cloud Gate has also danced into local campuses and grassroots communities. Its annual free outdoor performances staged across Taiwan in cities and villages draw a minimum of 30,000 people per performance, hailed as one of the biggest dance events on earth.
What Has Been Said About Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan
Talent and skill require no translation... it’s only right that they should be shared with the rest of the world.
The New York Times
When you're talking about Cloud Gate, magic is not too strong a word.
One of the finest dance companies in the world.
The Globe and Mail
An extraordinarily exciting, brutishly physical contemporary dance company.
San Francisco Examiner
[The dancers] have such stringent, elastic control that they can suddenly blast upwards into high, light jumps that for a moment you fancy might not come down again. The grace of it is, in a way, balletic, but its evasion of the norms of gravity, its total fluidity, suggests that there is a new book of the human dancing body waiting to be written with t’ai chi training.
The Daily Telegraph
Dancers of the Cloud Gate possess a control and articulation that verge on the superhuman…In fact, they have the power to change your metabolism.
What dancers! Their assurance, fluidity and discipline are simply breathtaking. The mixture of traditional Asian gesture, martial arts-inspired leaps, kicks and slaps and the audible breath of the dancers creates a mesmerizing language before our eyes.
Durham News & Observer
Cloud Gate leaves you sitting breathlessly on the edge of your chair.
San Jose Mercury News
This company gets to you. . . . A rousing standing ovation.
San Francisco Chronicle
This is a company that you will enjoy, fall in love with, and want to see again.
So touching that one can not help crying . . . tears of joy – one’s heart nearly explodes from such a great theatrical experience.
Lin Hwai-min - Founder
LIN Hwai-min was first known to the Taiwan public as a fiction writer. He started his modern dance training at the age of 23, while working on his MFA degree at the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. He founded Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan in Taipei in 1973.
A self-taught choreographer, LIN often draws from Asian cultures and aesthetics to create works with contemporary resonance. Under his direction, Cloud Gate tours extensively to international acclaims and prominence.
In 2013, he received the prestigious Samuel H. Scripps / American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement. Previous awardees include Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, Pina Bausch, and William Forsythe. LIN is the first recipient based in Asia.
Among other honors LIN Hwai-min has received are the John D. Rockefeller 3rd Award, the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters from the Ministry of Culture of France, the Honorary Fellow Trinity Laban, London, and honorary doctorates from six universities in Taiwan and Hong Kong. He was also celebrated by the Time magazine as one of “Asia’s Heroes.”
At the end of 2019, LIN retired from the position of the artistic director of Cloud Gate. CHENG Tsung-lung succeeded him to take the reins of the company.
From street hawker selling slippers to internationally recognized choreographer, CHENG Tsung-lung succeeded LIN Hwai-min as Artistic Director of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan starting in 2020.
CHENG took his first dance class at the age of 8. Upon graduation from the Dance Department, Taipei National University of the Arts, he joined Cloud Gate in 2002 and became the Artistic Director of Cloud Gate 2 in 2014.
CHENG has been awarded prestigious prizes for his choreography internationally as well as at home such as the No Ballet International Choreography Competition (Germany), the Premio Roma Danza International Choreography Competition (Italy), the MASDANZA Choreography Competition (Spain) and the Taishin Arts Award (Taiwan). He has also worked with companies from all over the world including Sydney Dance Company, the Transitions Dance Company at the Laban Centre, London, Expressions Dance Company, Brisbane, and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.
CHENG’s work is deeply rooted in both ancient and modern Taiwanese culture—and he is a strong supporter of Cloud Gate’s extensive engagement with grassroots audiences across Taiwan—yet it also embraces global influences. His 13 Tongues (2016) integrates folk dance, religious rites, and Taoist chant to vividly conjure the streets where he worked as a child. Lunar Halo (2019) is performed to an ethereally haunting soundtrack by Icelandic musicians Sigur Rós and explores the complex area of human connection and technology. Sounding Light (2020), was written in response to COVID pandemic-induced isolation and reflects on the precariousness of both the human and the natural worlds. Visually stunning, Send In A Cloud (2022) displays in shifting colors a panorama of dancers’ life journeys.
CHENG has been a fixture of Routledge’s respected annual survey of dance practitioners, Fifty Contemporary Choreographers (2020), alongside the likes of William Forsythe, Akram Khan, Hofesh Shechter and leaders in the form.
Lim Giong - Music
LIM Giong’s music career began as a singer-songwriter and then moved behind the scenes to meet DJs. Encouraged by director HOU Hsiao-hsien, LIM started the work of film soundtrack from "Goodbye South, Goodbye", and has participated in the soundtrack of short films, advertisements, animations, and documentaries. After he started collaborating with artists in various fields in 2004, his compositions became more experimental and are increasingly infused with electronic music, evolving drum and bass, breakbeat, ambient, and electronica. LIM composed for choreographer CHENG Tsung-lung’s 13 Tongues (2016), Full Moon (2017), Multiplication (2019), and Sounding Light (2020) with his unique music style and added a variety of flavors to the pieces.
Ho Chia-hsing - Art Design
An AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale) member since 2017, HO Chia-hsing is nourished in his artistic designs by the rich cultural atmosphere of Dadaocheng, an old city district in Taipei.
HO established a graphic design studio called the “Timonium Lake” in 2006. In 2019, with partners at work, he runs the “Monsoon Plasticizing Culture Work Team,” focusing on the rapid changes in the design industries of Taiwan and East Asia. His team uses the calligraphic line of traditional Chinese scripts as means to create modern designs. In collaboration with artists in different fields, his team fuses local Taiwan culture with their spiritual nourishment in their plastic arts and design works.
Shen Po-hung - Lighting Design
Graduating from Graduate Institute of Drama and Theatre at National Taiwan University, SHEN Po-hung has created his personal marks on lighting design through in-depth reading into interdisciplinary fields. SHEN currently works as a freelance designer and his designs encompass works in dance, drama, concert, and special event. He has collaborated with CHENG Tsung-lung for many years, with designing credits including Send In A Cloud (2022), Lunar Halo (2019), Dream Catcher (2017), 13 Tongues (2016), Beckoning (2015), Dorian Gray (2014), Blue Hour (2013), and On the Road (2011).
Ethan Wang - Projection Design
One of the most active projection designers in Taiwan, Ethan WANG has received numerous awards including the bronze medal of “World Stage Design 2013 New Media Award” and the winner of “7th Knight of Illumination Awards 2015,” respectively for his projection designs for Cloud Gate’s Water Stains on the Wall and RICE. His projection design for CHENG Tsung-lung’s 13 Tongues won him the silver award in 2017 and for Lunar Halo was nominated in 2022 at the World Stage Design Calgary. He also served as the visual art designer for Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei and the guest art designer for the Hua-shan Art District, Taipei. In 2006, he founded his own studio “Over Quality,” devoting in digital graphic animation creations.
Lin Bing-hao - Costume Design
LIN Bing-hao started learning dance at the Taipei National University of the Arts. Later discovering his true passion for costume design, he dropped out of school to serve as an apprentice to the renowned designer LIN Ching-ju in 1998. In 2001, he opened his Costume Shop, and soon in the next year launched Taiwan’s first professional brand of leotards, KeithLink.
LIN has collaborated with important performing arts groups and artists in Taiwan, including Cloud Gate 2, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, Ju Percussion Group, and GuoGuang Chinese Opera Company.
Acclaimed by critics as a promising artist, in 2011, LIN was invited to design for the opera La Dame aux Camélias directed by the renowned Japanese theater director Tadashi Suzuki.
TSAI Pao-chang graduated from National Taiwan University with his BA in Drama & Theatre and received his MA in Music Theatre from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. In 2011, with a grant from Asian Cultural Council, he received his voice and speech trainings from the America Repertory Theater at Harvard University, and further his theater adventure at Moscow Art Theatre (MXAT). He is actively involved in various international artist-in-residency and programs including France, Iceland, USA, Denmark, South Korea and Germany.
Known as a playwright, a director, and an actor, TSAI collaborate with many performing arts companies in Taiwan. He served as the co-artistic director of Tainaner Ensemble, one of the most established theater companies in Taiwan from 2009 to 2018.
Lee Ching-chun - Associate Artistic Director
LEE Ching-chun obtained her MA degree in Dance Studies from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London, in 1999. In 2004, she received the National Award for the Arts from Taiwan National Culture and Arts Foundation, the highest award for artists in Taiwan.
Joining Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan in 1983, LEE took leading roles in most of LIN Hwai-min’s choreographies, including his signature works Cursive: A Trilogy, Songs of the Wanderers, and Nine Songs, among others. Appointed as Associate Artistic Director in 2003, she has often represented LIN Hwai-min to re-stage his works for international dance companies, such as Zurich Ballet.
LEE’s other dance credits include Helen LAI’s The Rite of Spring, Invisible Cities, La Vie en Rose, and Frida. In addition to performances, she has also been invited to choreograph for Cloud Gate, Spotlight Dance Company, and Kaohsiung City Ballet Company. In 1999, collaborating with Canadian stage designer Tania Etienne, she choreographed and performed her solo dance work Courtyard of Pearls.
Serving as the Chief Consultant for Cloud Gate Dance School, LEE has helped to create and develop class syllabuses for students aged from 4 to 84.
Yang Ling-kai - Rehearsal Director
Learning dance at a very young age, YANG Ling-kai had toured internationally in her adolescence with Taiwan’s Lan Yang Dancers Troup. Immediately after graduating from Taipei National University of the Arts in 1999, she joined Cloud Gate 2 serving as one of its founding members and had since taken major roles with praise, in works by renowned choreographers such as LIN Hwai-min, Helen LAI, LO Man-fei, WU Kuo-chu, Bulareyaung Pagarlava, HUANG Yi, and CHENG Tsung-lung. YANG has been the rehearsal director for Cloud Gate since 2014.
Cloud Gate Culture and Arts Foundation
Board of Directors
HSU Sheng-hsiung Barry LAM Simon LIN LIN Hwai-min Jamie LIN TSAI Hong-tu
Rick TSAI TSENG F.C. TUNG T.H. Kate Huei-wen WEN Eric YAO Diane YING
Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan
Founder LIN Hwai-min
Artistic Director CHENG Tsung-lung
Associate Artistic Director LEE Ching-chun
Rehearsal Director YANG Ling-kai
Rehearsal Assistants HUANG Mei-ya YEH Po-sheng
Qi Gong Masters HSIUNG Wei LEE Guo-wei
Internal Martial Arts Masters Adam Chi HSU CHEN Chun-lung
Ballet Teachers CHUANG Yuan-ting LIN Li-chuan WU Ching-yin
Modern Dance Teachers HUANG Pei-hua TSAI Ming-yuan
Accompanists HONG Jia-ling KUO Tsung-han
LIANG Chun-mei WU Jia-jin
CHEN Mu-han HOU Tang-li HUANG Li-chieh
HUANG Mei-ya LEE Tzu-chun WU Jui-ying YEH Po-sheng
CHEN Lien-wei CHEN Tsung-chiao CHENG Hsi-ling CHOU Chen-yeh FAN Chia-hsuan
HSU Chih-hen HUANG Lu-kai HUANG Po-kai HUANG Yu-ling SHAO Hsing-wen
CHAN Pui-pui CHANG Yu-tzu HUANG Ching-heng HUANG Yen-cheng YEN Hsueh-hsin
CHAO Hsin LAI Wei-chun LIN Pin-shuo
HUANG Hsiang-ting WANG Chun-hung
Administrative Staff on Tour
General Manager HUANG Ching-yi
Senior Project Manager Janice WANG
Project Manager CHUANG Ting-chi
Project Assistant Alanna CHOO
Technical Staff on Tour
Production Director Nick HUNG
Stage Manager CHUNG Pin-yueh
Technical Director HUNG Chih-lung
Lighting Supervisor TSENG Yen-min
Audio Supervisor LIOU Yun-chang
Wardrobe Supervisor HSU Wen-wen
Aditya Prakash Ensemble
Fri, Oct 7 at 7:00 PM
Comedy at the Bing: Ian Lara
Sat, Oct 8 at 7:00 PM & 9:00 PM | Bing Studio