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Cloud Gate Dance Theatre Performs Chicago Debut Of 13 TONGUES At Auditorium Theatre

13 Tongues is a striking and immersive journey transforming childhood memories of the Taoist rites and bustling street life of Bangka into a fantasy world.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre Performs Chicago Debut Of 13 TONGUES At Auditorium Theatre

The Auditorium Theatre continues its 2022-23 season of global dance presentations with Asia's leading contemporary dance theater, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, performing its bold and breath-taking evening length work, 13 Tongues for two nights only, Friday and Saturday, October 14 & 15 at 7:30 p.m. Making its Chicago premiere, 13 Tongues is a striking and immersive journey transforming childhood memories of the Taoist rites and bustling street life of Bangka into a fantasy world, as choreographed by Cloud Gate Artistic Director CHENG Tsung-lung.

"We are privileged to be able to host some of the greatest performing artists from around the world at the Auditorium Theatre," says Auditorium Theatre CEO Rich Regan. "Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan has been gracing Chicago stages for over two decades, and its brilliant skill and imagery continue to wow Chicago audiences."

As a child in the 1980s, Cloud Gate Artistic Director CHENG Tsung-lung would contribute to the family business by helping his father sell slippers on the streets of Bangka/Wanhua, the oldest district of Taipei. Bangka/Wanhua was known for its vibrantly diverse and bustling street scene that embraced religious and secular life, rich and poor, work and play, legal and illegal activities. The young CHENG was transfixed by his mother's accounts of the legendary 1960s street artist and storyteller known as "Thirteen Tongues" who had adopted Bangka/Wanhua for his informal stage. It was said that "Thirteen Tongues'' could conjure up all the Bangka/Wanhua characters - high and low born, sacred and profane, men and women - in the most vivid, dramatic, and fluently imaginative narratives. Thirty years on CHENG's fascination for "Thirteen Tongues" became his inspiration as he transformed his childhood memories into dance.

Beginning and ending with the sound of a single hand bell, the music accompanying 13 Tongues ranges from Taiwanese folk songs to Taoist chant to electronica. The stage is awash with projections of brilliant colors, shapes, and images as the dancers gather, interact, separate and re-gather in a thrilling representation of the clamor of street life. As the religious heritage of ancient Bangka/Wanhua fuses with the secular space it is today so time appears to dissolve. The spirit realm and the human realm also coalesce as the audience is taken on an immersive journey - via imagination and storytelling that recalls the art of "Thirteen Tongues" - through centuries of human endeavor, behavior, and belief.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan performs at the Auditorium Theatre Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $37 (inclusive of all fees) and are now available at auditoriumtheatre.org, or by calling 312.341.2300, or at the Box Office at 50 E Ida B Wells Drive in Chicago, IL. Click here for phone and in-person hours. Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more people are available. The Auditorium Theatre offers $20 student rush tickets to full-time college students and $5 tickets to young people ages 13-19 with Urban Gateways' Teen Arts Pass program. The Auditorium also offers a Student Savings Club for both college and high school students. The Auditorium Theatre's ADMIT ONE program offers complimentary tickets to Chicago-area community groups.

The Auditorium Theatre is fully committed to the health and safety of our patrons and our staff. We continue to monitor health guidance and appropriately adjust our policies. For current health safety information, please visit AuditoriumTheatre.org/visit/safety.

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