Taipei Cultural Center in New York, in cooperation with Japan Society, presents a series of “Dance Diary” short videos and an online roundtable discussion between Taiwanese contemporary dance choreographers Hao Cheng and Wei-Chia Su and Japanese butoh artists Kentaro Kujirai and Barabbas Okuyama as the culmination of a seven-month Contemporary Dance Choreographers’ Virtual Exchange between Japan and Taiwan. These four emerging choreographers, originally slated to perform in Japan Society’s biennial Contemporary Dance Festival: Japan + East Asia, which was necessarily canceled for Winter 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have come together via this virtual artist exchange to explore new avenues of dance-making without sharing a physical space.
Since September 2020, the choreographers and their respective dance company members met once a month virtually to conduct joint workshops. To offer audiences an inside look, short video diaries filmed in each of these monthly artist workshops will be available for viewing starting Wednesday April 21. A pre-recorded online roundtable discussion will premiere on Wednesday, April 28 at 8:00PM EDT. Both online events streamed on Taipei Cultural Center in New York’s Facebook page and Japan Society’s website.
"Cognition of the physical body and surrounding space is a crucial element for choreography. However, in these virtual sessions, the four artists had to exchange through a flat-screen environment, and so they had to rely on 'language' to convey their concepts—yet they don't even speak the same language," said Yoko Shioya, Artistic Director of Japan Society. "It was as if they were sailing in this uncharted territory, but they were rewarded for their efforts greatly in the end. I am happy to share this process and its results with English-speaking audiences."
“When the world was turned upside-down by the pandemic, we know we have to stay strong (sturdy), resilient and creative for our life and work.” said Hui-Chun Chang, Director of Taipei Cultural Center in New York. “I am grateful that I have a like-minded long-term partner, Japan Society, when everything locked down, we break through.” She added, “I believe Taiwanese and Japanese artists learnt so much from each other, and brought the fruitful result from the in-depth sharing and exchange journey. This online workshop program is definitely a new model for international online exchange in our time.”
Dance Diary Premiere
Taiwan x Japan: Contemporary Dance Choreographers Online Workshop videos
Wednesday, April 21, 2021.
Taiwan x Japan: Choreographers Respond to COVID-19
Wednesday, April 28, 2021. 8:00PM EDT
Program runs approximately 40 minutes, with English subtitles.
This event is FREE but registration is required for the premiere.
To register, please visit www.japansociety.org/performingarts, or call Box Office at 212-715-1258.