Water Stains on the Wall offers dance in a fluid hand | Performing Arts Sidebar | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Sidebar

Water Stains on the Wall offers dance in a fluid hand

A calligraphy-influenced work by Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


Along with Eastern and Western forms of movement, the members of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan study calligraphy. If that seems outlandish, consider the confidence and fluidity, the nuance and control of a master calligrapher's hand moving over the page. Cloud Gate dancers express that same ease and authority in their bodies. Calligraphy also influences choreographer Lin Hwai-min: the hour-long, 2010 work for 14 that Cloud Gate is performing here, Water Stains on the Wall, gets its title from a calligraphers' in-joke about beauty evolving over time. Danced on a slightly raked stage, Water Stains is dominated by an angular island of light whose contours blur and shift as shadows like those of ragged clouds pass over it. The dancers' movement might be grounded and glacial, almost imperceptible, or it might be quick and airborne, but it's always breathtaking. Toshio Hosokawa's eerie score tortures the sounds of traditional Chinese instruments into bizarre contemporary shapes.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment