|International modern dance companies coming to UNC|
|Wednesday, September 28, 2011|
Modern dance by two international companies will take over Memorial Hall at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill next week.
Cloud Gate Theatre of Taiwan performs “Water Stains on the Wall” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6 and 8 p.m. Oct.7.
At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 9 and 10, Flemish/Moroccan choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and his company, Eastman, present “Babel (words)”.
Cloud Gate, with roots in Asian myths, folklore and aesthetics, derives the title of its dance from a popular metaphor for ideal Chinese calligraphy of natural, organic and fluid work.
Dancers perform on a tilted stage with a set that looks like a blank piece of rice paper traditionally used by Chinese calligraphers and painters. Images of drifting clouds in different shades of black are projected onto the stage, where the dancers’ movements are reminiscent of free-flowing ink.
The work is accompanied by Japanese composer Toshio Hosokawa’s Zen-like music, played on traditional Asian instruments.
Cultures and languages collide in “Babel (words)” by Cherkaoui and co-choreographer Damien Jalet. They combine Western contemporary dance with different movement styles from around the world. The production features performers from 13 countries representing 15 languages and seven religious backgrounds.
The work is meant to explore themes of ethnicity, identity, the concept of God, myths that shape belief systems and human striving for the divine. Its inspiration is the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel and the punishment of splintering humankind into different cultures and languages for trying to build a structure to heaven.
The music of “Babel” features Hindu rhythms, Kodo Japanese drumming and medieval music. The set design includes British visual artist and sculptor Antony Gormley’s huge, three-dimensional frames, which are raised, knocked down and transformed.
Both Cloud Gate and Cherkaoui have been represented in Memorial Hall before. Cloud Gate performed another work reminiscent of Chinese calligraphy, “Wild Cursive,” in 2007. Last year, 17 Buddhist monks from the original Shaolin Temple in China performed “Sutura,” choreographed by Cherkaoui.
For more information, visit www.carolinaperformingarts.org.
Tickets for all shows are $10 for UNC-Chapel Hill students and start at $19 for others for general admission. Go to www.carolinaperformingarts.org to purchase online or call the box office at 919.843.3333.
Carolina Performing Arts’ mission is to enrich lives by creating and presenting exceptional arts experiences. The organization nurtures artistic innovation and the development of new works on and off campus; challenges and inspires audiences with powerful and transformative performances; and integrates the arts into the life of the University, embracing its mission of teaching, research and public service.
Photos: Cloud Gate Theatre of Taiwan:
Carolina Performing Arts contact: Ellen James, (919) 843-0516,