Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bamboo Dream; the sadness that comes out at midnight... said Princess Haiku

Waking dreams or Watching the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan.

A DVD of Bamboo Dream arrived from Netflix today and I have viewed it three times already. For those of you who pan netflix do be advised it has a superior collection of documentaries and performing arts films. Yes, I know that one waits forever to receive new releases, but high art awaits your summons.

I saw Wild Cursive at Cal Performance two years ago and would dearly like to see Bamboo Dream live. Artistic Director and Choreographer Lin Hwai-min's esthetic exploration of the bitter symbolism of the bamboo evokes pristine beauty and pathos. It speaks to the tragic and temporal nature of human life and the constant movement of the psyche.

The evergreen Chinese bamboo survives even the bitterest of winters thus symbolizing integrity and also representing elegance. Bamboo plays a role as metaphor in many ancient tales. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants and the delicate and constant movement of the dancers evokes this mysterious process.

Before even the lyrical dream sequences representing the seasons are over, an entire new forest of bamboo has arisen around heart and soul. In my Western interpretation it is difficult to decide if the rapid and amorphous movement is the protection or the dense forest that results. As spirits of a bamboo netherland, dancers create and recreate haunted landscape and ancient history before our eyes. The dancers of Cloud Gate benefit from the ideas and concepts of collectivity and perform as one breath. Arvo Part's paens to the mythology surrounding bamboo in Asia is perfectly expressive of Hwai=min's concept.

Each of the dancers in this ensemble are qualified to be a danseur/ballerina. Put them all together and voila. you have Cloud Gate Theater of Taiwan dancing for Princess Haiku. Of note also is the flute improvisations of Chinest flute player Huang Sheng-Kai. I am going to check youtube so check my video player, right side of blog.

Here is a great review:

From the initial strains of an unearthly Chinese flute, played by a solitary wanderer on a stage forested with bamboo trees, Bamboo Dream promises to be a mystical work of exquisite beauty. Using an intoxicating array of styles, choreographer Lin Hwai-min has created a piece which seamlessly marries the grace of classical ballet with the drama of traditional Asian gesture and the self-discipline of martial arts

Reviewer is Nina Miall.


freemoneysite said...

great review i must say you're truly gifted

red dirt mule said...

I love the Chinese proverb that says bend like bamboo in the wind, slender and strong, it does not break.


Kathryn Magendie said...

How lovely!

get zapped said...

Thank you for the review and recommendation. I'll have to rent it from my local store. Sounds fascinating!

Happy Spring!!

Dorothée said...

Hello Princess Haiku,
After a long absence, I am back to the Blogosphere :-)

Thanks for sharing this info. This DVD sounds pretty magical and very inspiring. I'd love to see it. WE don't have Netflix, but I am sure it's possible to rent it in a video store.
I like very much Bamboo plants too. They are light and fragile. I have some kinds of Bamboos in the new place we live now. They are dry now, but I can see some new green things coming.

Have a great day!