TAO Dance Theater

6&8

TAO Dance Theater 22

source: danceumbrellacouk

“intense, repetitive, seriously hypnotic and completely attention-sucking… it’s both high concept and thrillingly simple, and proves Tao an outstanding new voice in international dance.”
Evening Standard

“The words “mesmerising” and “hypnotic” are often scattered about like confetti when describing contemporary dance. In the case of China’s Tao Dance Theatre, they are unusually apt.” Telegraph

“The dance moved like a force of nature” Financial Times

TAO Dance Theatre performs a brand new double bill as part of Dance Umbrella, performing for the first time on the main stage at Sadler’s Wells following sell out shows in the Lilian Baylis Studio.

Formed in 2008 by Beijing-based choreographer Tao Ye, TAO Dance Theatre is known for creating dances that have a mesmeric, trance-like quality. In 6 & 7, Tao Ye continues his numbered series of experimentations that explore the potential of the human body as a purely visual form, freed from the constraints of story-telling or representation.

In 6, his six dancers move in dynamic and hypnotising unison, in a shifting landscape of light created by Swedish lighting designer Ellen Ruge. His latest work 7 continues Tao Ye’s fascination with pattern, precision and ritual, and is distinguished by a sound track of acoustic effects generated by the seven dancers’ own bodies. Both 6 & 7 will be accompanied by specially commissioned music from Chinese indie folk composer Xiao He.
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source: telegraphcouk

The words “mesmerising” and “hypnotic” are often scattered about like confetti when describing contemporary dance. In the case of China’s Tao Dance Theatre, they are unusually apt.

Here as part of this year’s Dance Umbrella festival, the company – just eight years old – is offering two minimalist pieces: the first a UK premiere, the second a world premiere, and both of them part of TDT artistic director Tao Ye’s ongoing, enumerated exploration into the nature of movement.

6 (for six dancers – you get the idea) begins with a stage almost entirely obscured by smoke. A single, bowed note sounds continuously, and overhead shafts of light come and go, like the sun repeatedly trying and not quite managing to penetrate clouds.
Through the gloom, you can intermittently make what at first looks almost like a strange, single organism, more or less rooted to the spot, but pulsating backwards and forwards and from side to side. As Xiao He’s atmospheric score builds, and the murk lifts just slightly, you confirm that this is Tao’s sextet of dancers, clad in black, ankle-length elasticated dress-like costumes, standing in a row diagonally to the audience, and repeating ad infinitum a fixed but fluid sequence of movements.
Rippling their hips and torsos, rolling their heads from side to side, arching back and craning forward, these astonishingly fit, resilient and consistent dancers could be trees in the wind, anemones in a current of water, or something out of this world, an undefinability that is very much the point of the exercise.

Tao’s lofty mission is to encourage the audience to strip away all preconceptions, observe movement unencumbered by meaning, “and finally begin to walk into the unknown”. And, although I admittedly never quite forgot I was in norf London, and 40 minutes or so proves quite a long time to watch repeats of the same 10-second pattern (albeit with several variations as the piece progresses), 6 does have a genuinely trance-like quality to it.

Half the earlier piece’s length, 7 is a kind of yin to 6’s yang. Executing identical motions to before, the now seven dancers are here clad in white versions of 6’s costumes, the stage is brightly lit, and the only sound is now a steady hum coming from the dancers and picked up by wafer-thin microphones dangling above them.
Quite early on, as this vocalising builds, there is a minute or two of polyphonic eeriness reminiscent of Legeti’s Requiem (which three times accompanies the appearance of the monolith in Kubrick’s 2001). Otherwise, beyond this contrast for contrast’s sake, it is hard to see what 7 brings to the table, and it is definitely its pre-interval predecessor that makes the more lasting impression.
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source: danceumbrellacouk

Founded in 1978, Dance Umbrella is internationally recognised for its annual festival which takes place each October. In addition, projects supporting artists and engaging the public with choreography now take place year-round. To date, Dance Umbrella has reached audiences of over one million people in London.

Arts Award

Dance Umbrella is an Arts Award Supporter. Arts Award is a unique range of multi-level qualifications for children and young people aged up to 25 years to develop as artists and arts leaders, developing and sharing their creativity, leadership and communication skills. It provides opportunities for individuals, schools and youth groups to connect to the world of professional artists.

Dance Umbrella will provide opportunities for young people to engage with the festival and festival staff. Each year the programme will include professional performances specifically for children and young people, providing opportunities linked to that work as well as other shows in the festival. These will broadly include the chance for young people to see international contemporary choreography, to review shows, obtain first-hand knowledge of how an arts organisation and dance festival works, have access to festival artists, participate in one-off performances, and opportunities for short term work placements.
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source: baikebaidu

2008年3月成立以来, 陶身体剧场已经在中国各大现代舞节上亮相并引起了各界的广泛关注。北京草场地艺术节、北京中美艺术节、北京现代舞周、中国北欧艺术节、上海越界艺术节、上海秋收季节-迷仓艺术节、广东现代舞周、昆明交叉艺术节、深圳香港双年展、上海当代艺术博物馆等国内各大知名艺术节上都出现过他们活跃的身影。
舞团的巡回演出已遍及世界五大洲三十多个国家和地区,曾受邀英国伦敦赛德勒斯·威尔斯剧院、荷兰阿姆斯特丹城市剧院七月舞蹈节、美国秋季舞蹈节、加拿大国家艺术中心、以色列苏珊达拉艺术中心、比利时欧罗巴利亚艺术节、新加坡艺术节、墨西哥塞万提斯国际艺术节、韩国釜山国际舞蹈节、西班牙马德里国际舞蹈节、奥地利维也纳艺术节、台北新舞风艺术节等40多个重要艺术节与知名剧院演出。
曾四次荣登纽约时报,纽约时报首席艺术评论家Alastair Macaulay以”戏剧性的张力、舞者对身体运动的控制和强大的驱动力、激情与能量是如此的非凡和吸引人”的高度评价来形容舞团作品。
陶身体剧场是中国首个应邀在美国林肯中心艺术节和澳大利亚悉尼歌剧院演出的现代舞团,也是应邀于美国舞蹈节演出,并成为该舞蹈节驻节艺术家中第一个进行为期六周文化访问的中国舞团。
2013年,陶身体剧场应邀在中国国家大剧院举办的第二届北京国际芭蕾舞暨编舞比赛开幕式上进行表演,并于一个月后,在国家大剧院的舞台上开启了舞团在近三年国际巡演后国内首演的大幕。
近期,陶身体剧场的国际委约新作有:作为2014年“欧洲文化首都”开幕式演出进行世界首演的新作《6》萨米中国项目,及将于2014年10月在英国伦敦赛德勒斯·威尔斯剧院首演的新作《7》。