The epic Taiwanese dance theatre Formosa will open in Kuala Lumpur in March 2019.
Presented by Taiwan’s Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, in collaboration with Malaysia’s Hands Percussion and Inxo Arts And Culture Foundation, this is as grand a production as dance shows come.
Formosa made the headlines in 2018 when it was staged at the Sadler’s Wells in London. Britain’s The Guardian and The Stage named it one of the best dance productions of 2018.
It also toured Europe and the United States after a hit run in Taiwan. The Chicago Tribune placed Formosa at the top of its year-end dance events. Now, Malaysia will experience this spectacle when Formosa performs at Istana Budaya on Mar 16 and 17.
Taiwanese choreographer and writer Lin Hwai-min’s new work is inspired by the words of 16th century Portuguese sailors who, when they saw the land that would be known as Taiwan, exclaimed “Formosa!” (meaning beautiful).
Formosa is also the 71-year-old’s swansong. Lin founded Cloud Gate Dance Theatre in 1973, and the company played an integral role as Taiwan developed its national and cultural identity.
With music by award-winning indigenous Taiwanese singer Sangpuy, stage projections of Mandarin characters and words from Taiwanese poetry, the lines between tribal ritual and the bustle of the city are blurred.
Using gesture, script, music and other elements of the island, Lin explores how writing has the power to distort memories and erase history.
In what will be Lin’s last creation for the company as artistic director, this love letter to Taiwan is deeply personal, poetic, and full of his signature style – intense, meditative tai chi set against explosive jumps and stomps.
Bernard Goh, artistic director for Hands Percussion, says, “What audiences can expect from this show is a stunning, mesmerising dance masterpiece that reflects on the Taiwan of today, celebrating its open multicultural society at the same time acknowledging the conflict between frustrations and hopes of modern day life.”