Captivating body language

Photographer:  Chia-Hao Chang

Photographer: Chia-Hao Chang

One sunny afternoon in Taiwan, I took the Taipei metro to attend a dance show called Renaissance of its Ashes — An Experimental Work by Taiwanese choreographer Ho Hsiao-mei. I found it while browsing online. The few teasers from the show caught my interest, and so I booked a ticket.

The show was performed at the Experimental Theatre at Taipei National University of the Arts as part of the Kuandu Arts Festival. Once I got off the metro station, I entered a big complex surrounded by nature and trees, where many families were enjoying the pleasant climate of that Sunday afternoon.

Since I had some free time before the show, I wandered around the university to explore the place. I walked past a building where sounds of a playing piano could be heard. With the calm atmosphere of the whole campus, it was the perfect place for aspiring and professional artists to get inspired.

Half an hour before the start of the performance, we entered the venue. The lights on the stage dimmed and went into complete darkness. 

A few weak yellowish lights went on a few minutes later and moving bodies started appearing. They danced and swayed in such unusual ways that they actually reminded me of movements from the vegetal world, sometimes of seaweeds swinging with the waves, rather than of actual body movements. This totally new body language to me was so intriguing and beautiful at the same time that I got mesmerized from beginning to end. 

What a great discovery! The hypnotic dance show was wonderfully interpreted by dance students from Taipei National University of the Arts.

We were not allowed to take pictures during the show, but Taiwanese photographer Chia-Hao Chang made official photos of the performance.