Taipei, June 8 (CNA) The U-Theater will mark its 35th anniversary this year with a new version of its 2017 piece "Dào," which will showcase the troupe's signature Tai chi-infused moves and visceral drumming.
Dào was first inspired by the "vivid and energetic" strokes that make up the collection of works by calligrapher Tong Yang-tze (董陽孜), titled "The Sayings of Laozi and Zhuangzi," explained Huang Chih-chun (黃誌群), U-Theater's artistic and musical director.
"Moves, dancing and music all started materializing in my head. Master Tong transformed music and dancing into her calligraphy. She has a truly amazing gift," Huang said at a press conference in Taipei.
Later, Huang said, he was introduced to splatter artist Ling Ko (柯淑玲), whose arbitrary creative process produced paintings that complemented "Dào's" philosophical theme that "the body and the universe are one," which is central to ancient Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi's teachings.
Ko later collaborated with theater visual designer Wang Yi-sheng (王奕盛) and the paintings became the backdrop of "Dào." The set went on to win the top prize in the 2022 World Stage Design's Projection Design category.
The revamped version, "Dào V2.0," is an "upgraded" version of the original, featuring two completely revamped acts that focus on Tai chi to better embody the philosophies of Zhuangzi and Laozi, also an ancient Chinese philosopher, U-Theater founder and director Liu Ruo-yu (劉若瑀) said at the press conference.
Liu added that she hoped "Dào V2.0" conveyed Laozi's teachings that called on people to pursue the transformation from being self-conscious to surrendering one's body to the universe to avoid suffering.
"Dào V2.0" will be staged in Taipei at the National Theater from Sept. 22-24, at the National Taichung Theater on Nov. 25-26 and at the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying) on Dec. 9-10.
U-Theater was founded by Liu in 1988 and is known for its unique blend of Asian martial arts, Tai chi, drumming, theater and dancing. In 2008, Liu was named National Award for Arts winner in the "performing artists" category.