Arts Chinese Theatre Dance with Me Preview

Huayi 2023: 13 Tongues by Cloud Gate Dance Theatre (Preview)

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre is perhaps one of Taiwan’s most well-regarded contemporary arts companies, producing countless quality dance works since being founded in 1973. Combining a plethora of dance and movement forms, from qi gong to martial arts, modern dance to ballet, the company blends the traditional and contemporary as it brings its productions to the world.

In their first performance in Singapore since the pandemic, the company is bringing artistic director Cheng Tsung-Lung’s 13 Tongues to the Esplanade, as part of the 2023 Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts. Cheng’s work is deeply rooted in both ancient and modern Taiwanese culture, and 13 Tongues is no different, as a love letter to Bangka, the district in Taipei that Cheng grew up on, helping his father sell slippers.

Beginning and ending with the sound of a single bell, the realms of the spiritual and human coalesce in a visually and sonically arresting spectacle. Against a bizarre projection reminiscent of temple lights, dancers move and travel in serpentine patterns, chanting mysterious mantras as they stomp, stagger and tremble like enchanted shamans against music that ranges from Taiwanese folk songs to Taoist chants to electronica. As the lights dim, striking fluorescent patterns emerge on their costumes and flow across space, evoking the wandering spirits of Bangka.

Known for its diverse and bustling street scene that embraced the religious and the secular, the lawful and the illicit, and the rich and poor, watch as Cheng and the dancers of Cloud Gate bring to life memories of the legendary 1960s street artist and storyteller known as Thirteen Tongues, with vivid stories and tales of the many inhabitants of Bangka in all their shapes and forms. Part real, part dream, 13 Tongues takes you on a journey that mesmerises just like the stories told by Thirteen Tongues, in a space where what separates deities, spirits and humans slowly fades away.

13 Tongues plays from 3rd to 4th February 2023 at the Esplanade Theatre. Tickets available here

Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts 2023 runs from 27th January to 5th February 2023 at the Esplanade. Full programme and lineup available here

0 comments on “Huayi 2023: 13 Tongues by Cloud Gate Dance Theatre (Preview)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: