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Taiwan Festival: Hung Dance - Birdy

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Taiwanese contemporary dance company Hung Dance present the UK premiere of Birdy.

The Audience Award winner for Best Choreography in Tanzplattform Bern, Birdy is a delicate duet which blends the movement of the human body, the flutter of birds, traditional Chinese opera and contemporary dance to create a truly memorable performance.

We often feel trapped in a cage we’ve built for ourselves out of our morals, beliefs, ideals and responsibilities, telling ourselves that we can’t always follow our heart and chase our dreams. Birdy explores the struggle to free ourselves from our cages and the desire to accomplish dreams.

In Birdy, the female dancer wears a special head piece called Ling Zi. Its long pheasant tail feathers are often worn on warrior’s helmets in traditional Chinese opera to show the warriors’ strength and skill. Here, the Ling Zi represents the image of a bird, an extension of inner feeling, and the desire to escape reality. The Ling Zi sways as the dancer moves through space, showing the struggles and battles within.

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Additional Information

Hung Dance
Hung Dance is a Taiwanese contemporary dance company founded in 2017. Choreographer Lai Hung Chung serves as the artistic director, and the troupe’s name comes from the Chinese character 翃 , meaning to fly. The company has adopted four core elements in its development: Annual productions, the International Collaboration Project (ICP) , International Tours, and the Stray Birds Dance Platform.

At the core of Hung Dance’s annual productions are the works of Artistic Director, Lai Hung-Chung. His pieces are inspired by daily life, taking internal emotions and physical states and translating them into movement. He is perceptive to the subtle relationship between people and nature, and integrates elements of Tai Chi with contemporary thinking to cultivate a new dance vocabulary. In 2018, the short piece, Birdy, was developed into the dance company’s first feature-length work, Boundless, which was invited to premiere in Madrid, Spain at the Made in Taiwan – Taiwan en el Circulo, co-hosted by the Taiwan Embassy in Spain and the Circulo de Bellas Artes de Madrid. The work then returned to Taiwan to tour in Kaohsiung, Taipei and New Taipei City, as well as the Ivory Coast. The company’s second feature-length work was 2020’s See You, which premiered at Taipei’s Wellspring Theatre and was nominated for the 19th Taishin Arts Award.

International touring began at the founding of Hung Dance., with Lai Hung-Chung’s short pieces, Watcher and Birdy, winning 13 international awards. Following this success, the company embarked on an international tour that saw them perform in Europe, Asia, America, and Africa, with a total of 70 performances.

The ICP invites international choreographers to Taiwan to tailor-make new works for Hung Dance, allowing the dancers to learn dance vocabularies from different cultural backgrounds. The first international collaboration project was Out of Elegant, a work co-produced with Spanish choreographer Mario Bermudez Gil and performed at the Experimental Theatre of the National Theatre in 2020.

The Stray Birds Dance Platform (Stray Birds) project was created in 2018 to create a bridge and provide opportunities for young choreographers to publish works on the platform, connecting like-minded artists and establishing connections between choreographers and the international market. They opened applications to international works in 2022, deepening their international connections and fostering a positive, competitive environment.

 

 

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