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Yen-Cheng Liu

  • Aug. 2-25 2019:  Selected into the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Taiwan Season programme, his work MONSTER will perform 18 shows at Dance Base in August.
  • Mar. 2019:  He and choreographer Hsiao-Tzu Tien visited a circus school in Switzerland. Together they also participated cross-discipline and cross-culture experiments with Sarah Simili, the co-artistic director of Cie. Courant d’Cirque.
  • Dec. 2018:  He held the work-in-progress presentation for his choreography Solo with Flags. The project is supported by the Taipei City government, and is derived from White Flags, his artistic residency project at the National Theater & Concert Hall (Taipei) in 2017.
  • Oct. 2018:  He presented his work TSCHÜSS!! BUNNY in the Showcase Program at Busan International Dance Market (BIDAM 2018).
  • Jun. 15-17. 2018: Premiere of his duet piece THE END OF JOURNEY, commissioned by National Theater & Concert Hall for its Mixed Programe at Experimental Theater.

Choreographer, performer, music designer and artistic director of Dua Shin Te Production.

Born in 1986 in Nantou, Taiwan. Graduated from Graduate Institute of Dance, Taipei National University of the Arts.

Liu’s works often exhibit his thematic interest in human existence. The ethos of his creations is that “the life exists when the body exists; the body exists when the movement exists.” His approach is to return to rudimentary origins of body movements, seek the awakening of physical knowledges, and pursue the body’s boundless possibilities. By excavating performance movements from daily life, and by integrating other important materials, such as objects, visual or audio elements into our works, he attempts to create fantasy in reality, and reality in fantasy.

His persistent research and creation have won many supports: from LMF Dance Fund (2013 and 2016), from Cloud Gate Art Makers Project (2016), and from NTCH Art Residency Project (2017). With his work Nowhere he was awarded a special prize for choreography by Beijing International Ballet and Choreography Competition in 2013. His duet piece Tschüss!! Bunny, the winner of S-AN Artistic Creation Award, has toured from Taiwan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, US, Spain, France, to Germany.

His choreography pieces include The End of Journey (2018), Monster (2017), under surface (2016), The Highest Place-All the Same (2015), Tschüss!! Bunny (2013).

The End of Journey

 

Tangible waste is called “rubbish” whereas intangible waste is called “sacrifice”. But when something, or someone, becomes a useless waste, dose it really mean that such subject or person reaches the end of journey?

Nothing is made to last. So how do we define what is useless and what is meaningful? Perhaps only when we disregard meanings, could we finally feel that “nothing is in vain” and “everything will be alright” .

Sometimes we need to put important things aside and look at the vain. The End of Journey is presenting a seemingly ordinary process, without a grand opening or closing. This is a process where chaos fills the space between the start and the end. The same goes with our life, in which we often feel bewildered. Yet when all is said and done, the sun will still rise and set as always.

Before their journey ended at the landfill, the disposable products were once beneficial and convenient to our life. What I tried to explore in the early phase of creation were the man-made waste and harm and their role as a sacrifice for human existence. Our pursuit of convenience often results in mess and chaos – are we sacrificing our future for the sake of our existence today?

The first layer of meaning where I explored is about sacrifice, from which I tried to remove things to form a second layer. Deduction became vital to the creation of The End of Journey. I constantly considered what could be subtracted during the development. Resisting indulgence or multiplication, I was cautious about every step, distance and breath. I tried to remove anything heavy to form a light structure. The fragments as a result of de-contextualization become part of the structure, an interrupted continuity.

Premiere: Jun. 15, 2018 at Experimental Theater, Taipei. Commissioned by the National Performing Arts Center – National Theater & Concert Hall, Taiwan.

“A concise choreography, with every phrase aiming to the point. It expresses the choreographer’s thinking about life… To confront the unpleasant reality he perceives, he has two dancers dancing nonchalantly on top of stacked wooden pallets, till the very end.”

Xiang-Jun Fan, Nominator for Taishin Arts Award

Monster

 

Life is always difficult. When truly confronting the self, one always feels alone, despite all the relationships he/she has made.

We are the masters of our mind only at the present time. We do not have total control over how we have become what we are, nor where we will go in the future.

Everyone alone carries a different monster in his/her own mind, a monster gradually bred, grown and shaped by various influences in life. If the master of one’s mind is the soul that dwells in the body, it must be a complicated compound, expandable, shrinkable and distortable at different stages of life. A distinct monster.

Set in a daytime psychedelic mood, Monster is like a journey to retrace the time and an individual’s existence. I chase after himself, stand still, pace back and forth, and push onward recklessly. I start in a straight line, but then the path spins, twists and deforms, until I no longer see the beginning nor the destination. Never do I feel I will fail. Never do I feel I will succeed. Paradox continues to appear. We are not only defined by our past, but also by others’ past which has influences on us. That is how a monster is shaped.

Time just passes on and never returns. When I chase the future it seems going forward. However, when I look back at the past, it seems going backward. So, is time definitely moving forward?

Premiere: Jun. 2, 2017 at Experimental Theater, Taipei. Commissioned by National Performing Arts Center – National Theater & Concert Hall, Taiwan.

“It gives a riotous profusion in between monochrome imagery… The piece seems to run the time in a loop, in an attempt to retrace the time backward… The information here is filtered by various objects that can be found in everyday life. While these objects give a sense of context, the diffusing smoke however cast ambiguity and confusion, with a feel of solemn condensation.”

I-Wen Chang, Critics for Pareviews

Tschüss!! Bunny

 

Say goodbye to your past self, and embrace a brand-new one! While one’s self fades away with the passing of time, should one accept the new self and restart? Or should one keep fighting the tides of time with his/her own old identity?

The phrase, Qu Si Ba Ni, which means ‘Go To Hell!’ in Chinese is transliterated into Tschüss!! Bunny. These terms contribute to the idea of ‘death’ and ‘goodbye’, and simultaneously bring up the notion that death might be a form of rebirth, thus epitomize the main concept of this choreography.

Tschüss!! Bunny attempts to explore our philosophy toward life when confronting separation and rebirth. To whom are we saying goodbye? What we are fighting for? Can we find any peace within? While being watched, we are watching, too. We observe, disturb, fight and forgive. But, does looking for solutions really make us survive? Or we can only let the passing time take us and transform us? Who is the self I am departing from? What kind of self will I become? Is leaving behind the old self actually a way to sneer the present? Is nudity displaying true honesty, or is it another way of deception?

In this choreography, the key points are to collect knowledge from our life, look for the possibilities of movement development, and find clear, playful and expressive dance vocabulary.

Premiere: Oct. 3, 2013 for NEXT Choreography Project, Taipei, Taiwan

Touring history:
2014 Beta Publica, Madrid, Spain
2015 Festival Off d’Avignon, Avignon, France
2015 Weiwuying Arts Festival, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
2015 d’MOTION International Dance Festival, Selangor, Malaysia
2016 Internationale Tanzmesse NRW, Düsseldorf, Germany
2016 Tua-Tiu-Tiann International Festival of Arts, Taipei, Taiwan
2017 APAP 17th Contemporary Dance Showcase:Japan + East Asia,  New York, USA
2017 HOTPOT East Asia Dance Platform, Hong Kong

“Two dazzling dancers manage to speak to us without “expressing themselves” … This Taiwanese magic piece opens up another vision of life, death, rebirth … Great art.”

Chris Gabrieli, Chaine du MIN de Rungis

“The very dynamic piece is based on the theme of separation and renewal … the dancers clash on stage in a back and forth gesture, mixing humor and theatricality.”

Johan Barthélémy, La Provence

under surface

Down below is quite, safe, moist, dark.
In silence facing the self and the deadly.

Premiere: Oct. 20, 2016 for Tua-Tiu-Tiann International Festival of Arts, Taipei, Taiwan

2019-11-07T04:43:12+00:00