CLOUD GATE DANCE
The virtuosity of Cloud Gate dancers has made critics ask: “when has one ever seen a company with such magical and beautiful bodies?” and confess that they “possess a control and articulation that verge on the superhuman. These are performers who can make stillness every bit as eloquent as animation. In fact, they have the power to change your metabolism.”
Cloud Gate is the name of the oldest known dance in China. In 1973, choreographer Lin Hwai-min adopted this classical name for the first contemporary dance company in any Chinese speaking community.
Its 24 dancers receive trainings of meditation, Qi Gong, an ancient form of breathing exercise, internal martial arts, modern dance, ballet, and calligraphy. Through Lin Hwai-min’s choreographies the company transforms ancient aesthetics into thrilling modern celebration of motion.
Cloud Gate has toured extensively with frequent engagements at the Next Wave Festival in New York, the Sadler's Wells Theatre and Barbican Centre in London, the Moscow Chekhov International Theatre Festival, and the Internationales Tanzfest NRW directed by Pina Bausch.
International critics have acclaimed Cloud Gate as the following: “Asia's leading contemporary dance theatre” The Times, London “One of the finest dance companies in the world” The Globe and Mail, Toronto
In 2003, Cloud Gate opened the Melbourne International Arts Festival with Cursive II (now known as Pine Smoke), winning both the Age Critics’ Award and the Patrons’ Award; while Moon Water was named the best dance of the year by the New York Times. In 2006, Cursive: A Trilogy was chosen as the best dance choreography of the year as a result of critics’ poll by Ballet-Tanz and Theater Heute.
At home, Cloud Gate also enjoys high acclaim and popularity. In addition to the regular seasons in theatres, the company stages annual free outdoor performances in various cities in Taiwan, drawing audiences of up to 60,000 per performance.
To perform for grass-roots communities, and to foster young choreographers in Taiwan, Cloud Gate 2 was founded in 1999. In 1998, Cloud Gate Dance School was founded to bring the joy of dance to students, aged 4 to 84.
In 2003, in recognition of Cloud Gate’s contribution to the cultural life of Taipei, the Taipei City Government named Fu-Hsing North Road Lane 231, home of Cloud Gate’s office, as “Cloud Gate Lane.” In 2010, a new asteroid, discovered by National Central University, Taiwan, was named after Cloud Gate. In 2014, celebrated by China Airlines, Cloud Gate’s dance images were featured on the Airlines aircraft livery.
Most of Cloud Gate's productions have been made into videos. Among them, Songs of the Wanderers, Moon Water, Bamboo Dream, and Cursive II (now known as Pine Smoke) were filmed in Europe.