Jade & Artists Dance Troupe’s (肢體音符舞團) An Encounter in Time (桃花緣) is the only dance performance in this year’s Taipei Traditional Arts Festival, but only three performances were scheduled. The first was last weekend in Hsinchu, the second is tonight at the Zhongshan Hall in Taipei, and the third will be performed next month in Yilan County. That’s too bad, because An Encounter in Time is a nice little piece by the 15-year-old company, which has produced solid work year after year.
Choreographer and artistic director Jade Hua (華碧玉) has often drawn on Buddhist imagery for inspiration in her work, in which she combines modern and traditional Chinese dance techniques. This time she turned to the printed word — the poems of the sixth Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso — for a work about transcending time and place, encounters and relationships between men and women, and the displacement between the real world and the unreal.
Pop singer and composer Kevin Lin (林隆璇), who worked with the company on An Untold Secret (藏心) in 2010 and Crystal Tun-Hwang (水晶瓶中的敦煌) in 2009, composed the music to go along with the poetry for the two-act production. The dancers will be accompanied on-stage by a cellist and female singer.
An Encounter in Time has been divided into three stories: Former Life, A Glimpse, and This Life, with a combination of powerful duets and group sets for the one male and eight female dancers.
Former Life examines the feeling and meaning of deja vu from a man’s point of view, with the male character walking into a painting in search of the woman he had been in love with; A Glimpse explores serendipity from a woman’s point of view, specifically that of a bride-to-be; and This Life brings it all together in an exploration of the encounters we have in life and our destiny.