1957 A.D. by Neo-Classic Dance Company
07, May 2008 17:15
Dr. Liu Feng-Shueh（劉鳳學）is a pioneer of Chinese modern dance in Taiwan and known for uniquely blending traditional Chinese dance with Western techniques, and at times even with Taiwanese aboriginal cultures. The momentous year of 1957 marked the launch of her distinguished style which also influenced many in modern dance. In this upcoming performance, Liu will invoke memories and history by choosing six representative pieces from throughout her career, starting with the soaring 1950s, and leaping with grace through years of modern dance.
A note on Liu Feng-Shueh（劉鳳學）
Liu Feng-Shueh is the founder and Artistic Director of the Neo-Classic Dance Company. She is also the founder and chairwoman of the Neo-Classic Performing Arts Foundation and director of the National Theater and Concert Hall.
Liu was born in Qiqihar（齊齊哈爾）City, Heilongjiang（黑龍江）Province in northeast China in 1925. She graduated with a degree in dance and music from National Changbai Teachers College (長白師範學院). She moved to Taiwan in 1949.
From 1965 to 1966, Liu studied modern dance and choreography under Matsumoto and Ioguchi at Tokyo University of Education in Japan. In 1970, she went to Germany to study choreography and labanotation under Albrecht Kunst and Hans Zulich at Folkwang Hochschule.
Liu has also researched, performed, and preserved the dance of Taiwan’s aboriginal tribes. She was involved in extensive research on this subject between 1954 and 1976, carrying out surveys on Orchid Island and throughout the mountains of Taiwan. In 1976, she videotaped the aboriginal dances performed by youths of the nine tribes.
In 1981, she went to England to study for a doctorate at London University’s Laban Center for Movement and Dance. She wrote her dissertation under the direction of L.E.R. Picken, Sc. D., F.B.A. at Cambridge University and earned her Ph.D. in 1987, becoming the first person in Taiwan to obtain a Ph.D. in Dance.
Liu has served successively as a dance professor at National Taiwan Normal University, and Director of the Dance Department of National Taiwan Arts College for more than 30 years. Her students have continued to make significant contributions in all areas of dance, and their impact is evident in Taiwan’s educational, cultural, and artistic organizations.
Liu has amassed five decades of experience in the field of dance. She has choreographed more than 122 dance pieces. Through her philosophy of dance, choreography, research directions and methods, innovations in dance notation, and work in arts administration, she has made an immense contribution to the art of dance in Asia and has profoundly influenced its development.
In recent years, she has been devoted to blending dance and technology, using computers to record dance notation and creation. Her computerized pieces include Child’s Eyes, Signs and Koalas.
A note about Neo-Classic Dance Company
The Neo-Classic Dance Company was founded by Liu Feng-Shueh and her dedicated students in Taipei in 1976. After Liu returned from her studies in Germany in 1972, she immersed herself in choreography and dancer’s training, which eventually contributed to the inception of the Neo-Classic Dance Company in 1976.
Since then, Neo-Classic has not only performed all over Taiwan, but has also toured the United States, Germany, France, Austria, and Singapore. Among them their overseas presentations, were the 22 performances staged at Festival Folklorique International des Pyrenees, at the invitation of the French government, which was seen by than 100,000 people.
After 1980, when Liu and some the troupe’s dancers went abroad for further study, the number of performances dropped. However, Neo-Classic continued to foster and train talented young dancers. In 1993, Neo-Classic was invited to perform at Taipei Theatre, New York, and was highly praised by the New York Times.
In 2001, Neo-Classic won the medal for the best group in the International Choreographers’ Contest, Novosibirsk, and the dancers also won gold in the folk dance category and silver in the modern dance segment.
As an artistic director, Liu attempts to investigate the abstract aspects of dance, such as movement, time, space, and dynamics in most of her works. She endeavors to reconstruct and promote traditional Chinese materials and combine them with vocals, operas, western and Taiwan aboriginal cultures to present the works in their full majesty.
Neo-Classic dancers come from a variety of backgrounds. Their expertise include dance, athletics, painting, music, mass communication, psychology, education, and linguistics, which makes a beautiful combination that sparkles on stage and enhances the image of Neo-Classic.
For more information about “1957 A.D. by Neo-Classic Dance Company”, please check the official Web site: http://www.neo.org.tw/
Admission: NT$ 400, 600, 900, 1200, 1600, 2000