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Resident Island Dance Theatre to Make Its U.S. Debut with “Ice Age” at ADF and Jacob's Pillow

  • Date:2023-07-13

Resident Island Dance Theatre will make its U.S. debut with “Ice Age” at the American Dance Festival in North Carolina on July 18 and 20, and at the Jacob's Pillow Festival in Massachusetts on July 26. The piece features an emotionally thrilling, physically integrated quartet co-choreographed by RIDT’s Artistic Director Chung-An Chang and French dance maker Maylis Arrabit.

 “Ice Age” was supported with a British Council Taiwan-U.K. cultural exchange grant and an award from the Rainbow Initiative, supported by the National Arts and Culture Foundation (Taiwan). Special thanks go to the Ministry of Culture, Taiwan, and the American Institute in Taiwan. A work in process was previously showcased in 2021 at the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts-in Weiwuying, Taiwan: Dance Base, S. 

This 55-minute piece is performed by two dancers in wheelchairs and two standing dancers. The project took shape as the world locked down during the COVID-19 pandemic and seeks to explore the different ways that people navigate and connect in their own cultural environments. It evokes the coexistence between parallel realities, separated by space-time while simultaneously united by it. “Ice Age” challenges external forces and shows us the potential of a physically, mentally, and emotionally integrated world. “All the things that make up daily life and relationships are changing. That’s the main concept,” says Chang. “Ice Age” is “a choreographic experiment to uncover, recognize, and relate to this new moment of change in motion not just for some, but for us all.”

“ICE AGE is a triumph of cross-cultural connection. Chang is partially sighted, Arrabit is a wheelchair user, and they live on opposite sides of the world and for much of the rehearsal process, could only meet online. Yet the results are wonderful. Able-bodied dancers Yi-Chen Juan and Shih-Yun Fang are as fluid as water as they traverse the space. Whether they’re dancing alone, dueting with each other, with Arrabit or her fellow wheelchair user Yo Cheng Cheng, their polished technique is captivating.” (4 stars) – The Scotsman

Resident Island Dance Theatre, based in Taiwan’s rural south, performs works that explore the human condition and the possibilities of an inclusive world. With fresh and inventive kinetic explorations of space, time, action, and gesture, the company’s emotionally charged and socially engaged works disrupt limitations and challenge society’s expectations. Founded and directed by maverick choreographer Chung-An Chang, Resident Island Dance Theatre is one of the few professional theaters outside of Taiwan’s capital city, Taipei, to tour abroad, collaborating internationally with contemporary dance makers and integrating dancers of differing abilities into its company.

Resident Island Dance Theatre at the American Dance Festival

Tuesday, July 18 at 7:00pm*

Thursday, July 20 at 7:00pm*

*Post-performance discussion with Resident Island Dance Theatre and ZviDance on Tuesday, July 18, and Thursday, July 19 from 8:15-8:45pm in the Ruby Lounge.

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Resident Island Dance Theatre at the Jacob's Pillow Festival

Wednesday, July 26 at 6:00pm

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