Subscriber login

Welcome to our new site. You will need to reset your password if this is your first time logging in. Please click here to reset your password.
School Closings
Averill Park CSD: ClosedBallston Spa CSD: ClosedBerlin CSD: Delayed 2 HrsBethel Full Gospel Church: Closed, No AM prayer mtgBrunswick (Brittonkill) CSD: ClosedCatholic Central HS: ClosedCohoes Community Center, Inc.: Open, All AM aqua classes Canceled. Pool will open At 9:30am, All AM aqua classes canceled. Pool willl open at 9:30am.Crown Point CSD: Delayed 2 HrsEast Greenbush CSD: ClosedFranklin County Technical SD: Delayed 2 HrsGabriel Abbott Memorial School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No A.M. DaycareGalway CSD: Closed, Regents PostponedGeorge Washington School: ClosedGreenbush Child Caring: ClosedGreene County Transit: ClosedGuilderland CSD: Closed, Regents Postponed, Special meeting of BOE still planned for 7 pmHoly Spirit School (East G'Bush): ClosedHometown Health Center: Delayed Until 9aLa Salle Institute (Troy): ClosedLexington Center Fulton Co ARC: Delayed 1 HrLoudonville Christian School: Closed, Today's exams postponed until Friday. Maria College: Delayed, No Morning Classes, All classes prior to 12 pm are cancelled, including clinicals. Staff to report.Memorial Hospital Nursing School: ClosedMiddleburgh CSD: Closed, Regents PostponedMilford CSD: ClosedN. Greenbush Little Red School: ClosedNew Lebanon CSD: Closed, Regents PostponedNiskayuna CSD: Closed, Regents PostponedOnteora CSD: ClosedOur Lady of Mt Carmel (Amsterdam): Closed, Senior Citizens Mtg for Tues at 1 pm canceledPoughkeepsie City School District: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, Regents Given, Please check website for Regents Exam scheduled for today.Samaritan Hospital Nursing School: ClosedSchenectady Jewish CC: Delayed, Will open at 7 amSchoharie CSD: Closed, Regents PostponedShenendehowa CSD: Closed, Regents PostponedSouthern Berkshire Regional SD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-SchoolThe Albany Academies (AA & AAG): ClosedUlster-Greene ARC (Catskill): Open, No TransportationUlster-Greene ARC (Kingston): Open, No Transportation, Training Center is closed.Voorheesville CSD: Closed, Office Staff Report at 10AMWindham-Ashland-Jewett CSD: Closed

Review: Taiwanese troupe showy, versatile

Review: Taiwanese troupe showy, versatile

“Fantastic Taiwan 101” sounded like a primer on Taiwanese culture. But as seen at The Egg on Friday

“Fantastic Taiwan 101” sounded like a primer on Taiwanese culture. But as seen at The Egg on Friday night, this program presented by Da-Guan Dance Theater, was much more.

It was a surprising, silly and showy display of traditional dance doused with classical and contemporary styles and sounds. Actually, it looked like a commercial Broadway tribute to Taiwanese art, something that Rodgers and Hammerstein might stage, only on a smaller scale.

Still, these dozen dancers, all trained at the National Taiwan University of Arts, are outsized and versatile, tackling aboriginal bamboo pole dances as well as ballet, martial arts, modern and hip-hop.

The evening began, as expected, with a traditional ribbon and fan dance. Eight women in silks of pale pinks and blues waved peacock feather fans with delicacy. Taking tiny steps on their heels, they formed a tight circle and shuddered like a flower in the breeze.

They disappeared one by one, returning with long sashes trailing off their sleeves. They unfurled the gossamer scarves, which circled around their heads and bodies like glowing halos. It was lovely.

The men came on strong in the next number, “The Great Tides Are Sweeping the Coast.” The quartet charged and crouched as if going to battle. But the piece also foretold what was to come as the men jeted and pirouetted with speedy aggression, demonstrating their firm footing in ballet.

Their contemporary sensibilities shone in “The Flow,” a homage to tai chi. To a sweeping, symphonic score, the dancers hypnotized as they moved through the passages of the ancient, meditative form. At the same time, they passed through the positions with a vibrancy that pumped tai chi into a life-affirming ensemble act.

As the program moved along, the dance and music became more westernized. In the bamboo dance, the dancers were dressed in traditional costumes and were driven by the ancient rhythms. But overpowering the dance was a flowery song. Here is where Da-Guan crossed the line of culture preservation and education into entertainment. While it was engrossing, especially the skipping the men did over the long sticks, one has to wonder if the older audience members from the Taiwanese community were disappointed in what the youth were doing to their precious traditions.

In the second half of the program, the dancers further collided and converged with the West. For example, they staged Tchaikovsky’s Chinese divertissement from “The Nutcracker.” The soloist, who wielded a peony that exploded into a ribbon, did a beautiful job showing that choreographers do not need to parody the Chinese, as they usually do, for this variation. The music stood up beautifully without the degrading schtick.

The ensemble was having fun too with such pieces as “The Different Tunes,” in which a group of traditional Taiwanese women, who were creating the illusion of flowers with their hands, met a b-boy. With his headphones on, he broke to the beat, luring one of the girls to adopt his street style. What ensued was a humorous battle between East and West. No one won. Rather each co-existed happily, as it should be.

View Comments
Hide Comments
You have 0 articles 1 articles 2 articles 3 articles 4 articles 5 articles 6 articles 7 articles remaining of Daily Gazette free premium content.

You have reached your monthly premium content limit.

Continue to enjoy Daily Gazette premium content by becoming a subscriber.
Already a subscriber? Log In