Monday, September 21, 2009

Cats, dancers and a loaf of bread

Three black cats crossed my path in one evening.
One gave me a stare down as soon as I left my apartment. Another passed by my table at a Cantonese restaurant. She works for a living catching mice and cockroaches, the restaurant owner said. I saw the third as I was going to buy bread. "What the..."
I don't think I've seen three black cats in three years. What kind of omen is this?
My phone rings and it is Tina. She has tickets to Cloud Gate and a friend has just canceled. Said he suddenly had vision problems. When is the show? It starts in 15 minutes. I hail a taxi.
Before coming to Taiwan, I had been told to see their renown Cloud Gate Dance Theatre company.
The cab pulls up to an imposing palace, National Chiang Kai-shek Cultural Center's theatre, and on the red carpet, Tina finds me holding a loaf of bread.
The company's current show, Cursive, is inspired by Chinese calligraphy. The audience is so quiet that we can hear the dancers breathe. And the squish of my bag of bread when I shift in my seat.
The performance is short, 70 minutes without an intermission, and the set is simple and stark. The dancers are wearing black or white. (Members of my Latin dance company would ask where the sequins and feathers are). Their movements are powerful, seemingly improvised.
Click here for link to video.
Later Tina and I are riding the subway (the MRT) in silence. She turns to me and says: "I don't get it."
"Me neither."
Doesn't matter though since I will think about its beauty for days after.

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