Initial inspiration for this piece came from an old Tibetan myth about vultures. It is said that nobody ever sees the body of a deceased vulture. When a vulture knows it’s life is close to ending it will fly high up towards the sun and melt away into nothing. It ties in a little with the Greek myth of Icarus and Daedalus. Man imitating nature and failing. The vast sky of freedom motivates Icarus to soar high till his wings melted, and causes his downfall. Both characters are approaching the sun. The vulture is controlling the end of its own life, while the man losing life for the craving of freedom.
Ching-Ying Chien also gained inspiration from her life. Witnessing the death of her family or friend, she learns the uncontrollable nature of human life, and exclaims man’s various limitations. As a dancer, she can break free from the human frame and willfully transforms herself. On the stage she is at times animal and at times human. By interpreting the possibility, impossibility, madness and control of a free spirit inside a human body, she explores the limitation and freedom of life.
Premiere: Nov. 8, 2018 at Weiwuying Playhouse, Kaohsiung , Taiwan.
Commissioned by National Performing Arts Center – National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying), Taiwan.
Sponsored by the National Culture and Arts Foundation and made possible by a grant from the Lo Man-Fei Dance Fund, Cloud Gate Culture and Arts Foundation, Taiwan.
Development of Vulture’s short version was produced by Akram Khan Company as part of their Portraits in Otherness initiative and the first stage premiered on Jun. 7, 2018 at Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells Theater, London, UK.
Choreography：Ching-Ying Chien | Performance：Ching-Ying Chien, Joseph Ashwin (guitar), James Heggarty (drum) | Music：Joseph Ashwin | Costume Design：Marie Cantenys | Sound Design：Phil Wood | Lighting Design：Jui-Hsuan Tseng