In 2003, Cloud Gate opened the Melbourne International Arts Festival with Cursive II, winning both the Age Critics’ Award and the Patrons’ Award; while in New York, Moon Water was named the best dance of the year by the New York Times. In 2006, Cursive: A Trilogy was chosen as the best dance choreography of the year as a result of critics’ poll by Ballet-Tanz and Theaterheute.
At home, Cloud Gate also enjoys high acclaim and popularity. It performs throughout Taiwan, in venues ranging from the lavish National Theater in Taipei to mid-sized cultural centers in various cities to high-school auditoriums in remote villages. The company also gives free outdoor performances several times a year, drawing audiences of up to 60,000 per performance.
To further tour campuses and grass-root communities, and to foster young choreographers in Taiwan, Cloud Gate 2 was founded in 1999. In 1998, Cloud Gate Dance School was founded to bring the joy of dance to students, from ages 4 to 84.
In 2003, in recognition of Cloud Gate’s contribution to the cultural life of Taipei City, the Taipei City Government proclaimed August 21st, the premiere day of Cloud Gate’s 30th anniversary season, as “Cloud Gate Day” and named Fu-Hsing North Road, Lane 231, home of Cloud Gate’s office, as “Cloud Gate Lane.” This was the first time Taiwan bestowed the honor of naming a day and place after a living artist and/or artistic group.
Most of Cloud Gate’s productions have been made into videos. Among them, Songs of the Wanderers, Moon Water, Bamboo Dream, and Cursive II were filmed in Europe. They have been broadcast in many countries and are available on DVD.
The Artistic Director:
Founder and Artistic Director of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, Lin Hwai-min studied Chinese opera movement in his native Taiwan, modern dance in New York, and classical court dance in Japan and Korea. He founded the company in 1973.
An internationally renowned choreographer, Lin often draws from traditional Asian culture for inspiration to create works with innovative forms and contemporary relevance, which have prompted international critics to acclaim:
“Lin Hwai-min has succeeded brilliantly in fusing dance techniques and
theatrical concepts from the East and the West.”
The New York Times
Lin Hwai-min’s choreography “presents a distinct and mature Chinese
choreographic language. The importance of this evolution in Asian dance
is no less profound than the impact of Forsythe’s Ballett Frankfurt on
European classical ballet.”
A two-time winner of the National Award for Arts in Taiwan, Lin Hwai-min has been awarded honorary doctorates from Hong Kong Baptist University, and Taipei National University of the Arts, National Taiwan University, National Chiao Tung University and National Chung Cheng University in Taiwan; and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Department of Culture of New York City; the Joyce Award of Chicago; the Ramon Magsaysay Award, the so called “Nobel Prize of Asia;” and the John D. Rockefeller 3rd Award.
In 2000, Lin was featured as the “Choreographer of the 20th Century” by Dance Europe and one of the “Personalities of the Year” by Ballet International, and cited as the “Best Choreographer” at Lyon Biennial Festival. He was celebrated by the Time magazine as one of the “Asia’s Heroes” in 2005, and honored by the International Society of Performing Arts (ISPA) with the “Distinguished Artist Award” in 2006.
Lin Hwai-min has been the subject of full-length television documentaries in Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong and, most recently, in Discovery Channel’s Portraits Taiwan: Lin Hwai-min and Opus Arte’s Floating on the Ground. Many of his choreographic works have been made into DVDs. Among them, Cursive II, Moon Water, Bamboo Dream, and Songs of the Wanderers were filmed and produced in Europe.
His dance works have been restaged by dance companies and universities in the US and Europe. In 2004, his production Smoke was restaged, for the first time by a classical ballet company, by the Zurich Ballet. In 2006, at the invitation by Sylvie Guillem, he choreographed a solo piece, Sally, for her. Lin’s opera direction credits include Rashomon in Austria and Tosca in Taiwan.
An acclaimed writer, Lin holds a Master of Fine Arts from the Writers’ Workshop, University of Iowa. His novella Cicada is a best seller in Taiwan, and several of his short stories have been translated into English and published in the United States. His biographies, Legend of Lin Hwai-min and Cloud Gate and Hwai-min as a Young Man, are popular sellers in Chinese speaking communities.
Devoted to the arts and education, Lin founded the Department of Dance at Taipei National University of the Arts in 1983 and served as its Chairman for five years. In 1993 and 1994, he was the founding dean of the university’s graduate dance program. In 1999, he gave workshops in Cambodia assisting local dancers to organize teaching materials of Khmer classical dance for children.
Since year 2000, Lin has also been serving as the Artistic Director of “Novel Dance Series,” introducing internationally renowned avant-garde groups and artists, one of the latest being Jérôme Bel in June 2006, to dance lovers in Taiwan.
In 2003, Lin donated his prize from the Executive Yuan Culture Award, the highest honor of its kind in Taiwan, as the seed money for the Wanderers’ Fund, which supports local young artists to travel in Asia.