Taiwanese Tribal Myth Meets Modern Choreography in Visually Exquisite Ode to the Ocean’s Sacred Cycle

The PuSh International Performing Arts Festival (PuSh Festival) and TAIWANfest present the Western Canadian premiere of Taiwan’s Legend Lin Dance Theatre in The Eternal Tides, the PuSh Festival’s headline event February 3, 2018 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Renowned choreographer LIN Lee-Chen draws on Taiwanese tribal tradition and ceremonial rite in this monumental contemporary dance work. Inspired by the ocean that encloses her native island of Taiwan, Lee-Chen pays respect to life-giving water in a visually-lush spectacle featuring 18 dancers accompanied by drummer and vocalist.

“Choreographer Lin Lee-Chen is recognized as an international force in dance, and it’s a major coup to be part of bringing her work to Canada,” says Norman Armour, Artistic & Executive Director of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival. “Lee-Chen has been critical to the preservation of Taiwanese tradition and indigenous culture, and in showcasing these in the world spotlight. Now, Vancouver will receive its first glimpse of her brilliant artistry.”

“We are proud to partner with the PuSh Festival in hosting Legend Lin Dance Theatre,” says Charlie Wu, Managing Director of TAIWANfest. “Not only will this mark the first-ever time these revered artists set foot on our coast, it also provides Vancouverites the opportunity to encounter more of the extraordinary talent to emerge from one of Asia’s most culturally vibrant hubs with an incredible storied history.”

Adorned in exquisite costumes with striking minimalist sets in the backdrop, the artists of Legend Lin Dance Theatre promise to mesmerize audiences in The Eternal Tides. On stage, a vivid tableau of fabric and silver grass, red-tinted figures and shocks of white, are composed with flair and delicacy. With subtle, hypnotic movement, the dancers create poetry in motion, evoking the ebb and flow of nature and its precariousness in modern life.

Taiwanese folk and Taoist ritual are weaved in The Eternal Tides, among which the mystic legends of the eagle and the ‘White Bird’. Further, Lee-Chen uses symbolism of the seed, which travels via the sea to new lands to take root. A variety of 20 seeds—flower, grain and fruit—are featured as elements of the sets and costumes.

Lee-Chen founded Legend Lin Dance Theatre in 1995. It has since become iconic for its large-scale performances reflective of the unique spirit of Taiwan. Prior to starting this acclaimed dance company, Lee-Chen began garnering attention on the international arts circuit in the 1970s for her immense productions often involving hundreds of artists. Such works have had a marked influence on contemporary Taiwanese art and theatre. Her choreography commonly threads an environmental theme and story—in particular, her famed trilogy, a tribute to Heaven, Earth and Man. Over their ten years of development, the works of this trilogy toured to prestigious theatres in Europe and North American, and were received with a list of illustrious awards and honours.

The Eternal Tides is the most recent work by Legend Lin Dance Theatre and its presentation at PuSh Festival is supported by Ministry of Culture, Taiwan and Taiwan Academy. Tickets can be found at pushfestival.ca.

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