Feasting on "RICE" at BAM

Photo Credit: Jack Vartoogian

Lin Hwai-min is the genius behind Cloud Gate Theatre of Taiwan. He created the concept and choreography for this stunning production of dance magic presented at the Brooklyn Academy of Music during mid-September and though this review was delayed in getting out, it is by no means for lack of enthusiasm. The audience was utterly spellbound by the sharp clear and absolutely precise synergy of the dancers, not just with each other, but their physical representation of nature, as it effects the growth and nourishment of sustenance, the life and death of RICE. The food of life.

The dancers became all: soil, wind, pollen, sunlight, grain, fire, and water. They were the elements. Earth and rice were one and the same. In total and complete synchronicity; they moved in harmonious beauty, the likes of which I have never seen matched. Sharp movements cut through the air and spliced the space, delicate swoons and rounded embraces were acutely articulated by the dancers, as if, it seemed, they had contemplated each blade of grass and spiritually transcended to another dimension to become the wind.

If there is a word beyond 'sublime' to describe the sensuous physical concerto performed by Huang- Pei-hua and Tsai Ming-yuan then I am remiss in not using it. Lin Hwai-min's choreography was superb, as the dancers balletic pollination seemed to alight all of Brooklyn with the fragrance of flowers for a moment.

Cloud Gates back drop by videographer Howell Hao-jan Chang was projected perfection of the rice crops evolution and destruction. But if I have one criticism here it is only this, some of the music was incongruous to the mission and representation of the dance; it categorically swept the audience away from the brilliance of the piece into perturbed confusion. That being said, it was hard to keep our eyes averted from the beauty of the this companies elegant achievement communicating the story of RICE.