TAO Dance Theatre premieres new works 6 and 7 in Adelaide
TAO Dance Theatre is making waves across the world and they’re premiering their newest work in Adelaide.
At the tender age of 22, Tao Ye established his own dance company, TAO Dance Theatre, as long ago as 2008. His dance is representative of a new postmodernism, postmodern, that is, to the 20th century.
Tao has no signature moves and no driving themes. His works are simply a series, each title a number, which represents the number of dancers. If there is a common thread of any sort, it’s his exploration of the potential of the human body as a visual element, without recourse to narrative or representation.
In the past couple of years, Tao has rocketed to international attention as audiences all over the world have been gripped by the range of expression in his works. His 4 and 5 have played to rapt audiences across Europe and the USA, even if they took a while to gain currency in their homeland. In 2012, the company premiered at Sadler’s Wells in the Lilian Baylis Studio, a small studio that frequently hosts youth and experimental dance. So great was the reception, that TAO returns to Sadler’s Wells in a few weeks’ time to present a new work that the theatre itself, jointly with OzAsia, has commissioned.
That work is 7, and it will receive its world premiere in Adelaide, along with the Australian premiere of 6, which itself premiered in Sweden earlier this year.
Watch a preview of TAO's 6
The variety of Tao Ye’s work is astonishing. 2, for instance, was predictably a duet, set to a minimalist score. In 4, Chinese indie-folk rock accompanied a fast, weaving ensemble that were at times attracted to each other, at times repelled, but never touching. Then in 5, the brakes were on, and five dancers were joined throughout in a slow, writhing, swirling. In 6, a line is sustained in mesmerising, pulsating waves, while the Sami singing of northern Sweden, said by some to be the oldest musical form in Europe, weaves its own tune.
So what are we to get in 7? Needless to say, at present there is nothing to tell, only expectation. What to expect of seven dancers from a company whose dance, in the memorable words of Sydney Dance Company’s Rafael Bonachela, is like “dance meets The Matrix”?
TAO Dance Theatre’s 6 and 7 is in the Dunstan Playhouse, September 19 & 20. Book at Bass.