Members of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre perform in a scene from “Formosa,” which is set to be staged March 16-17, 2019, in Kuala Lumpur. (Courtesy of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre)
Taiwan’s Cloud Gate Dance Theatre is set to perform its acclaimed show “Formosa” March 16-17, 2019, in Kuala Lumpur as part of government efforts to strengthen cultural ties with Malaysia under the New Southbound Policy.
Co-sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, the performances will take place at Istana Budaya, also known as the Palace of Culture. Mapping out Taiwan’s history, literature and natural landscapes, “Formosa” is the farewell work by Lin Hwai-min, the modern dance company’s famed artistic director and founder, before his retirement at the end of next year.
Speaking at a news conference Dec. 19, Anne Hung, head of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia, said that dance transcends language and borders, providing a powerful medium for promoting understanding of diverse traditions and heritage. It is hoped that the shows by Taiwan’s world-renowned Cloud Gate troupe will further deepen cultural exchanges between the two sides, she added.
First staged in 2017, “Formosa” has been performed in countries around the world, including France, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. It has won a number of honors at home and abroad, including show of the year for 2018 from prestigious German dance magazine Tanz.
U.K. broadsheet The Guardian also listed the production among its top 10 dance shows. In an article released Dec. 18, the paper’s critics lauded “Formosa” as one of Lin’s most magical creations, adding that the choreographer “reached for a world beyond struggle and human history” in the work.
Cloud Gate was formed in 1973 as the first professional modern dance troupe in Taiwan and has become one of the country’s major cultural exports. It has cultivated a global reputation for innovative works incorporating local cultural elements such as calligraphy, history and martial arts as well as Hakka and indigenous music.
A key plank in the government’s national development strategy, the NSP is enhancing the nation’s agricultural, business, cultural, education, tourism and trade ties with the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states, six South Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand. (CPY-E)