Verb Ballets' Winter Series Features Work of Chung-Fu Chang Tonight
Verb Ballets returns to the Breen Center for the Performing Arts tonight, February 23, 2013, at 8pm to experience an evening of work by Chung-Fu Chang.
Chang was born in Taiwan and discovered his passion for dance at age 17. He went on to perform with Cloudgate Dance Theatre and Kaohsiung Contemporary Dance Company. His works have been performed nationally and internationally. Chang's evening of work explores the evolution of his personal identity influenced by his participation in contemporary societies, both Asian and Western.
"Last year I was impressed by the visually stunning, The Lily. I enjoyed how he utilized the stage as an artist would to paint canvas. His return to Verb offers the opportunity to present a collection of work to showcase his unique style and range," said Director, Dr. Margaret Carlson.
Chang returns this season to set a new full company work inspired by the wind. Exploring the idea of wind movement Chang will borrow its breeze with movement, dynamics, path, speed, shape, and ultimately the wind's emotion. This distinctive fusion of East and West will show the power of the wind and its gentle hidden potential.
The Lily, a visually stunning work created especially for Verb Ballets last year, will be revived. This full company work depicts a love story based on an ancient Taiwanese tale of passion and destiny. Donald Rosenberg of The Plain Dealer described the piece as, "the movement style is fluid and ritualistic, rooted in ballet but shaded by Asian colorations."
In addition Chang will perform on the program in a new solo, called Pheasant's Writing. The solo is inspired from one of the poems of the Shijing, the Classic of Poetry, a collection of songs and poems from the Zhou Dynasty (10th-7th century BC) of ancient China. These rhyming works have been passed down through generations. "The oral cultures are capable of immense sophistication and tend to become visible only when they come into contact with the literate genres that are destined to replace them," said Chang about his inspiration from the Classic of Poetry. Pheasant's Writing is a work about secrets, identity, and finding one's own language.
Also on the program is the world premiere of Richard Dickinson's ballet about loss and longing, set to Richard Strauss' haunting Four Last Songs. This piece will interpret the haunting melodies of Strauss' last work and the writings of the poets, Hermann Hesse and Joseph von Eichendorff. The hope in Spring, the fading light of September, the darkness of losing someone in a Time to Sleep; and the mourning of letting a loved one go, At Dust, Dickinson's work explores the story lines in the beauty and gracefulness of the four songs.
Immediately following the performance will be a wine and dessert reception at the new West side art gallery, Transformer Station, located at 1460 West 29th Street Cleveland, OH 44113. The Transformer Station is a project of Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Foundation that is designed to bring original contemporary art exhibitions, events and programming from around the world to the west side of Cleveland. Be one of the first to experience the collection of contemporary photography and photo-based art. Mingle with the dancers and talk with choreographer, Chung-Fu Chang, at the renovated transit substation. Tickets to the reception are $15 and require a reservation by calling 216.397.3757.