Songs of the Wanderers Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan Choreography by Lin Hwai-min Music: Georgian Folk Songs Songs of the Wanderers is inspired by various Asian religions, and is loosely based on Herman 
Hesse’s tales of Siddharta’s quest for spiritual enlightenment. The purpose is to carry the audience away on a spiritual pilgrimage (the “Wanderers” of the title are pilgrims) toward a state of tranquility. The piece begins with a monk standing motionless on stage while a thin stream of rice falls from above, which the choreographer describes as “sand passing through an hourglass.” The journey toward tranquility, therefore, is equated with a journey through time. Carrying metaphor further, since rice is the sustenance that unites all of Asia, it is a symbol for the source of all life. The journey of the wanderers goes through a series of religious rituals drawn from Asia that leads to a moment of deep and festive joy. It concludes with a young man drawing a rake over the stage completely covered in rice, forming a spiral image which, like the spiritual pilgrimage, has no beginning and no end. Lin 
Hwai-min founded Cloud Gate Dance Theatre in 1973, the first modern dance theater in the Chinese-speaking world. “We use meditation to center body and mind,” says Lin. “Each choreography session for Songs of the Wanderers started with one or two hours of meditation. With their eyes still closed, the dancers then gradually moved into tai chi, then into improvisation, then into (choreographic) movement.” Bonus: A documentary about Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, including interviews with the director and artists. Booklet in English, French, and German included. 80 min., first release 2013

Songs of the Wanderers

  • Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan Choreography by Lin Hwai-min
  • VNX133

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