ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar
Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan
Two performances only: October 14 & 15 at 7:30 p.m.
The Auditorium Theatre (50 E. Ida B. Wells Drive) proudly continues its 2022-23 season of global dance presentations with Asia’s leading contemporary dance theater, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, performing its bold and breath-taking evening length work, 13 Tongues for two nights only, Friday and Saturday, October 14 & 15 at 7:30 p.m. Making its Chicago premiere, 13 Tongues is a striking and immersive journey transforming childhood memories of the Taoist rites and bustling street life of Bangka into a fantasy world, as choreographed by Cloud Gate Artistic Director CHENG Tsung-lung.
“We are privileged to be able to host some of the greatest performing artists from around the world at the Auditorium Theatre,” says Auditorium Theatre CEO Rich Regan. “Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan has been gracing Chicago stages for over two decades, and its brilliant skill and imagery continue to wow Chicago audiences.”
As a child in the 1980s, Cloud Gate Artistic Director CHENG Tsung-lung would contribute to the family business by helping his father sell slippers on the streets of Bangka/Wanhua, the oldest district of Taipei. Bangka/Wanhua was known for its vibrantly diverse and bustling street scene that embraced religious and secular life, rich and poor, work and play, legal and illegal activities. The young CHENG was transfixed by his mother’s accounts of the legendary 1960s street artist and storyteller known as “Thirteen Tongues” who had adopted Bangka/Wanhua for his informal stage. It was said that “Thirteen Tongues'' could conjure up all the Bangka/Wanhua characters - high and low born, sacred and profane, men and women - in the most vivid, dramatic, and fluently imaginative narratives. Thirty years on CHENG’s fascination for “Thirteen Tongues” became his inspiration as he transformed his childhood memories into dance.
Beginning and ending with the sound of a single hand bell, the music accompanying 13 Tongues ranges from Taiwanese folk songs to Taoist chant to electronica. The stage is awash with projections of brilliant colors, shapes, and images as the dancers gather, interact, separate and re-gather in a thrilling representation of the clamor of street life. As the religious heritage of ancient Bangka/Wanhua fuses with the secular space it is today so time appears to dissolve. The spirit realm and the human realm also coalesce as the audience is taken on an immersive journey - via imagination and storytelling that recalls the art of “Thirteen Tongues” - through centuries of human endeavor, behavior, and belief.
Performance schedule and tickets
Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan performs at the Auditorium Theatre Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $37 (inclusive of all fees) and are now available at AuditoriumTheatre.org, or by calling 312.341.2300, or at the Box Office at 50 E Ida B Wells Drive in Chicago, IL. Click here for phone and in-person hours. Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more people are available. The Auditorium Theatre offers $20 student rush tickets to full-time college students and $5 tickets to young people ages 13-19 with Urban Gateways' Teen Arts Pass program. The Auditorium also offers a Student Savings Club for both college and high school students. The Auditorium Theatre's ADMIT ONE program offers complimentary tickets to Chicago-area community groups.
The Auditorium Theatre is grateful for the support of the 2022-23 Season Global and Chicago Dance Sponsor, The Florian Fund, and Presenting Sponsor, Alphawood Foundation. The Auditorium Theatre 2022-23 Season is made possible in part with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Illinois Arts Council Agency. The Auditorium’s official hotel partner is the Palmer House Hilton.
About Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan
Cloud Gate is the name of the oldest known dance in China. In 1973, choreographer LIN Hwai-min adopted this classical name and founded the first contemporary dance company in the greater Chinese-speaking community: Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, also known worldwide as Cloud Gate. In 2020, CHENG Tsung-lung succeeded LIN as the company’s Artistic Director.
Cloud Gate has set out to engage with local history, culture and subject matter and draws on classical, folk, and modern dance from both the western and Asian traditions. Its dancers trained in meditation, Qi Gong, an ancient breathing exercise, internal martial arts, modern dance, and ballet. Under the leadership of CHENG, their training has further expanded to include trainings from various styles of dance, such as street dance. Manifesting in choreographies, the company transforms ancient aesthetics into a thrilling and modern celebration of motion. The company has toured worldwide with frequent engagements at the Next Wave Festival in New York, the Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London, the Moscow Chekhov International Theatre Festival in Russia, the Movimentos International Dance Festival and the Internationales Tanzfest NRW, then directed by Pina Bausch in Germany.
About The Auditorium Theatre
The Auditorium Theatre, located at 50 E. Ida B. Wells Drive at Roosevelt University in Chicago, is an Illinois not-for-profit organization committed to presenting the finest in international, cultural, community, and educational programming to all of Chicago and beyond as The Theatre for the People. The organization also is committed to the continued restoration and preservation of this National Historic Landmark that originally opened in 1889.
This Auditorium Theatre’s 2022-23 performance season features a dynamic mix of acclaimed global dance companies (Kyiv City Ballet of Ukraine, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Step Afrika!, and the much anticipated annual engagement by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater) while closer to home, beloved Chicago dance companies also take the stage (Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, also Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, South Chicago Dance Theatre, and an evening with Trinity Irish Dance Company, M.A.D.D. Rhythms, and special guest, New York-based Dorrance Dance. In addition, the critically acclaimed National Geographic Live speaker series, offering first-hand accounts and expert voices on cultural and environmental issues, returns with three offerings and a new lower ticket price. And rounding out the season will be two holiday music concert specials in December: the popular Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah and Celtic Woman.
For more information on the Auditorium Theatre and a complete listing of events at the Auditorium Theatre, please visit AuditoriumTheatre.org.