In Cloud Gate Dance Theatre’s 'Songs of the Wanderers’, ancient religious rites found across Asia are transformed into a powerful dance display by the famed Taiwanese dance troupe’s founder Lin Hwai-min.
Coupled with soulful Georgian folk songs by the Rustavi Choir, Herman Hesse’s interpretation of Siddhartha’s quest for enlightenment is brought to life on stage by 3.5 tonnes of saffron yellow rice grains. Choreographed by Lin in 1994 after his journey to Bodhgaya (where Buddha attained enlightenment under a Bodhi tree), this 90-minute piece focuses on the practice of asceticism, the serene flow of a river, and the pursuit of tranquillity. ‘I was overcome with joy and felt a quietude that I had never experienced before, and I hope to share with the audience the serenity I brought back from Bodhgaya,’ explained the award-winning choreographer.
‘Songs of the Wanderers’ marks Cloud Gate’s first performance on our shores following extensive tours to the Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London, Next Wave Festival in New York, and other parts of the world since it was founded in 1973. The Times of London goes as far as hailing Cloud Gate as ‘Asia’s leading contemporary dance theatre’, so expect a haunting portrayal of spirituality and reverence in what should be a dance performance that is both aesthetically pleasing to the eye and soothing to the soul. Wong Boon Ken