Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan


Water Stains on the Wall © Liu Chen-Hsiang

Water Stains on the Wall

Choreography: LIN Hwai-min
Music: Toshio HOSOKAWA

“Where do you get the inspiration for your calligraphy?” asked Yen Chen-ching, the great master of brush writing in the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907). “I observe summer clouds that resemble mountains with spectacular peaks,” replied the young Huai Su, who later became the most renowned calligrapher of the wild cursive style. “The most exciting parts remind one of birds flying out of woods and snakes slithering into bushes….”“How about water stains on the wall?” asked Yen Chen-ching. “Right on! You old devil!” exclaimed Huai Su.

The legend of this conversation established “water stains on the wall” as a popular metaphor that represents the highest state in the aesthetics of Chinese calligraphy.

Lin Hwai-minand his dancers from theCloud Gate Dance Theatretake off from this metaphor creating an abstract work of beauty and magic that stands sublimely on its own. In his new work, Lin Hwai-min challenges them with the task of dancing on a rigged, tilted stage. Covered with white Marley, the set resembles a piece of rice paper, onto which images of drifting clouds are projected. They look like flowing ink, creating exquisite spaces that are constantly shifting.

Toshio Hosokawa, Japan’s preeminent living composer, constantly explores the boundaries between cultures. His distinctive compositions examine the relationship between Western avant-garde art and traditional Japanese culture, and are influenced by the static structures of the Gagaku music of the Japanese court. Nature and its inherent transience also greatly influence his compositions. "My music is calligraphy, drawn on the open border between time and space. Each individual sound is shaped like a line or point, drawn by a brush", Hosokawa says, revealing his aesthetic kinship with Lin Hwai-min's choreography.

ForWater Stains on the Wall, Lin-Hwai min selected seven compositions from Hosokawa, ranging from solo percussion to Gagaku ensemble to full orchestra. This is not the first encounter of Hosokawa's distinctive and beautiful music with dance. Following his collaboration with Anna Teresa de Keersmaker on his operaHanjoin Aix-en-Provence, Sasha Waltz is currently directing his latest operaMatsukazein Brussels.

Following its overseas premiere in New York in September 2011,Water Stains on the Wallwill be touring world-wide in 2012 and 2013.

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