BWW Reviews: Cloud Gate 2 is 'ON THE ROAD'
Cloud Gate 2, of Taiwan, performs at The Joyce Theater
Cloud Gate 2 was launched in 1999, by Lin Hwai-min, the Founder and Artistic Director of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, with the late Lo Man-fei, a choreographer and former Cloud Gate dancer, as its' Artistic Director. After Lo's passing in 2006, Lin took over the directorship.
Unlike most junior companies, Cloud Gate 2 is neither a preparation for Cloud Gate nor does it perform the same choreographies.
This week, at The Joyce Theater, NYC, Cloud Gate 2 performs "On the Road", a full evenings' performance, choreographed by Cheng Tsung-lung, which was the Annual Performance Arts Award winner of the 10th Taishin Arts Award 2012, the most prestigious arts award in Taiwan.
Before the performance opens, the dancers, three men, Chiang Pao-su, Luo Sih-wei, and Chang Chien-hao, are on stage, houselights on, each preparing alone, in silence. When the house lights dim, the three line up, single file, at the back of the stage, just in front of the backdrop, in a unison dance/march, in front of the screen. (On this night, there was a broken projector, which, one could imagine, would have displayed visuals of the places they had traveled, while On the Road. The choreography did not seem to be lost with out the photo or film display.) The entire performance portrayed three men on the road.
All dancers remained on stage, whether dancing or still, during various duos, trios, and solos. The movements were often slow and deliberate, even meditative. Sometimes acrobatics were inserted, adding a change of pace. One trio used primarily acrobatics, as the dancers aided each other climbing on each other and inverting one or another. The dancers worked seamlessly together. Arm gestures were important, especially remarkable when two or three dancers were making choreography of their arms woven together.