A Conversation with Cloud Gate Dance Theatre's CHENG Tsung-lung
October 2, 2022
Held at Asia Society Texas
Held at Asia Society Texas
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On Sunday, October 2, Cloud Gate Artistic Director Cheng Tsung-lung will visit Asia Society Texas for an insightful talk with arts writer Sherry Cheng on the history and artistry of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre and the creation of 13 Tongues, which was inspired by his memories of the vibrantly diverse and bustling street scenes of Taipei, and his mother’s accounts of the legendary 1960s street artist and story-teller known as “Thirteen Tongues.”
For tickets to the performance of 13 Tongues on October 1, please visit our event page.
From street hawker selling slippers to internationally recognized choreographer, CHENG Tsung-lung succeeded LIN Hwai-min as Artistic Director of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan starting in 2020.
CHENG took his first dance class at the age of 8. Upon graduation from the Dance Department, Taipei National University of the Arts, he joined Cloud Gate in 2002 and became the Artistic Director of Cloud Gate 2 in 2014.
CHENG has been awarded prestigious prizes for his choreography internationally as well as at home such as the No Ballet International Choreography Competition (Germany), the Premio Roma Danza International Choreography Competition (Italy), the MASDANZA Choreography Competition (Spain) and the Taishin Arts Award (Taiwan). He has also worked with companies from all over the world including Sydney Dance Company, the Transitions Dance Company at the Laban Centre, London, Expressions Dance Company, Brisbane, and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.
CHENG’s work is deeply rooted in both ancient and modern Taiwanese culture — and he is a strong supporter of Cloud Gate’s extensive engagement with grassroots audiences across Taiwan— yet it also embraces global influences. His 13 Tongues (2016) integrates folk dance, religious rites, and Taoist chant to vividly conjure the streets where he worked as a child. Lunar Halo (2019) is performed to an ethereally haunting soundtrack by Icelandic musicians Singur Rós and explores the complex area of human connection and technology. Sounding Light (2020) was written in response to COVID pandemic-induced isolation and reflects on the precariousness of both the human and the natural world. Visually stunning, Send In A Cloud (2022) displays in shifting colors a panorama of dancers’ life journeys.
CHENG has been a fixture of Routledge’s respected annual survey of dance practitioners, Fifty Contemporary Choreographers (2020), alongside the likes of William Forsythe, Akram Khan, Hofesh Shechter and leaders in the form.
About the Moderator
Sherry Cheng is an arts writer, music educator, and freelance musician based in Houston, Texas. She is a contributing editor for Arts and Culture Texas Magazine (ACTX).