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Thursday, September 3, 2015

In Context: Rice

Rice, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre's lyrical tribute to Taiwan's essential crop, opens the 2015 Next Wave Festival on September 16. Context is everything, so get even closer to the production with this curated selection of articles and videos related to the show. After you've attended the show, let us know what you thought below and by posting on social media using #CloudGateDance.

Curator's Note

BAM Executive Producer Joseph V. Melillo discusses his selection of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre's Rice for the 2015 Next Wave Festival.

Program Notes

Rice (PDF) 


BAM Blog Questionnaire: Tsai Ming-yuan of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre (BAM blog)
You've seen him in photos—in BAM's season brochures, website, in posters, or postcards. Now get up close and personal with Rice's own Tsai Ming-yuan.

"Cloud Gate Dance Theater: A Roving, Bounding Symbol of Taiwan" (The New York Times)
"When it began in 1973, Cloud Gate was Taiwan’s first professional dance company. Forty-two years later, it has become a roving, bounding symbol of the island."

"Grain of Truth: Lin Hwai-min on Cloud Gate Dance Theatre's Rice" (The Guardian)
No longer grown for colonial occupiers or with harmful chemicals, Taiwan's famous rice-growing region is thriving, says the choreographer.

"Cloud Gate Celebrates Completion Of Its New Home" (Taipei Times)
Cloud Gate's previous studio went up in flames in 2008. Now they have a new home.

"Cloud Gate Choreographer Lin Hwai-min Looks Back On A Life Dedicated To Dance" (
Lin Hwai-min is tired of talking about himself. "I could stay in my flat for a week without going out. I enjoy washing dishes, mopping the floor, sewing my underwear, reading: I do lots of things."

Watch & Listen

Lin Hwai-min On Rice and Cloud Gate Dance Theatre (
The Cloud Gate choreographer discusses his inspiration for rice, coupled with footage of the company's performance in the fields of Chihshang.

"80 Faces of Lin Hwai-min" (YouTube)
"I said my god, I have to learn how to choreograph well. It's not a joke."

Worthwhile Words

Choreographer Lin Hwai-min:
“After harvest, the farmers would spread out their rice grains in an empty space in the courtyard. We loved to mess around with it. Pretty often we'd get caught and were beaten up. Rice is something you take for granted but is so precious. I grew up right after the second world war and at that time parents would demand of their children that not a single grain of rice be left in the bowl.”

Now Your Turn...

What did you think? What is it exactly that art lends to agriculture? Did it satisfy your carb craving? How does the ubiquity of industrial farming affect how Rice is received? Tell us what's on your mind in the comments below and on social media using #CloudGateDance.


  1. Well done and more that entertaining!
    ..A real pleasure...

  2. Terrific work. Loved the use of video as well.

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  4. I found it exquisitely beautiful. Happy to have Cloud Gate return; their artistry and creativity have been sorely missed the last years.

  5. Very disappointing. There work has been much, much better in the past. Very boring and not very visually dramatic. Snooze