Cloud Gate’s Artistic Director, Lin Hwai-min, "succeeds brilliantly in fusing dance techniques and theatrical concepts from the East and the West" (New York Times). His choreography is rooted in the myths, folklore and aesthetics of Asia and brings age-old beliefs and stories into contemporary and universal perspective.
Like the choreographies "Songs of the Wanderers" and "Moon Water", "Bamboo Dream" takes its inspiration from China, but the more varied pace and the freer, emotionally expressive style is a departure from the earlier pieces. The evergreen Chinese bamboo survives even the most bitter of winters. Symbolising integrity and epitomising elegance, it plays a part in many ancient tales. Lin Hwai-min’s inspired choreography does not narrate a single bamboo story but draws on many to create an abstract and lyrical piece of dance theatre.
Performed to melodies improvised by Chinese flute player Huang Sheng-kai and music by Arvo Pärt, the cycle of the seasons unfolds in a series of scenes featuring solos, duets, trios and stunning examples of the ensemble-work in which Cloud Gate excels. Groups move not with the precise unity of a corps de ballet but as an exotic and exquisitely co-ordinated, many-limbed creature. Austin Wang’s stage design, strikingly lit by Chang Tsan-tao, creates an enchanting setting for this studio recording.
The contemporary dance programme "Bamboo Dream" is available on DVD together with an extensive making-of "Secrets of the Bamboo Grove".
2003 Golden Prague Festival
Category: Music or dance programmes adapted for television