Beyond Beauty Our Country Taiwan, Paradise in The Vault, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
The Graduate Institute of Performing Arts
Unlisted and Unavailable
Unlisted and Unavailable
Running time

The show is billed as a celebration of Taiwanese culture and life expressed through dance and media. And indeed it is. Numerous aspects of Taiwan are referenced and described as diverse as food through to issues of respect and everyday life.

Two dancers occupy a tiny stage within the Paradise in The Vault venue which cannot be much wider than 15 feet square. The choreography doesn't always easily work within this confined space and some sequences seem congested. Rather than ignoring the constraints of such a stage it would seem prudent to work with it rather than against it. The back of stage has an animated and filmed sequence projected against it. This compliments perfectly the dance performances taking place before it.

Numerous pieces are performed and the dance might have been better served with fewer transitions and longer individual segments. A beautiful sequence involving a white cloth held between the two performers created a powerfully calm and still moment. Outside of this the performance does not push against any boundaries or significantly pull on any emotional strings.

The celebration of Taiwanese culture is understandable, it is a artistically rich and ancient in its origins and influences. Occasionally however the celebration slips towards sycophancy - almost parody.

Times: 3-11 August, 19:55