Genoa presented an amazing International Dance Festival called “Corpi Urbani“, and the 2012 edition show the participation of Choreographer Shang Chi Sun. Rising Taiwanese choreographer in Europe, since 2008 Shang has been invited to present creations by various international arts festivals and dance platforms in Japan, Israel, Taiwan and Europe.
He has collaborated as performer/choreographer with different companies, including Cloud Gate Dance Theatre and Sasha Waltz. In 2011 Tanznetz Germany described Sun as “a comet, who just started to mesmerize the dance universe.”
He founded in 2007 the “Shang-Chi Sun Company”in Taipei, seeking to experiment with movements and different media as well as performing arts to create new perspective and space for the viewer and himself. Based now in Berlin, he collaborates with artists in Europe and Asia. His company co-produces new works with arts festivals and tours internationally.
We had a wonderful interview…
Photography by Luigi Maggese.
F.M. You’re a well known choreographer and dancer, born in Taipei, now based in Berlin as well. I read you brought together Taiwanese and international artists from a variety of fields during your carrer. What do you think is the actual state of Contemporary Dance in Taiwan? Do you think Europeans are interested in the field?
S.C.S. The Taiwan contemporary dance scene, in my opinion, it’s the most vital and active in the Asian performing art scene when it comes to Dance. This is because of the freedom in experiments and research in dance matters. It’a strong feature . But meanly, the mentality in provoking new things, finding a bridge in between tradition and contemporary. And Sexuality, body controversial.
F.M. In your choreographies and performances, what are the main sources of inspiration?
S.C.S. One of the source is the fact I like observing People. I often observe People in the streets. To hear how they talk to each other and how they interact with each other in their relationship. I fix my sight on some specific views sometimes, often in the nature. It’s amazing how the dimension of natural force effects each other. Even a smaller change, that create beautiful movements.
Cinema. I am not expert in it. But I do get inspired by cinematic elements.
In my choreography, I don’t only focus on dance, but more on capturing the tension in the body, and human aspects in connection to our experiences.
F.M. Which are the main differences in your opinion in developing your carrer in Europe after the important experiences in Taipei?
S.C.S. The main difference for me is on the issue of perception through body and mind. I lived in Taiwan before I was aged 24, then I moved to Germany. I got often asked this question. It’s the same is humanity, no matter Asian or European. Because we all share and feel the encounters in the eye. Though I feel a bit fortunate, cause I can choose different paths to communicate what I want, by expressing it in my choreographies. My perception of Taiwan has something to do with the body and mind. That helped me much later in my works. So I can combine what I experienced there in Europe now.
F.M. Taipei and Berlin are your main bases. What about Italy, how does it feel to be a guest at the Genova Corpi Urbani’s Festival? What’s the main theme of the performance you’re presenting?
S.C.S. It was a nice experience, I liked the audience there, they are passionate and curious about contemporary dance. I felt the direct feedback right after the show. And I love Genoa. I have been in many cities in Italy and found Genova the most charming one.
F.M. The taiwanese culture center of Paris helped you in developing new projects? Was that institutional support important to your carrer?
S.C.S. I am grateful for their support. They have been helping me all the through. And that is a big push for me.
F.M.I know in Taipei there are important dance companies like the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre and there are beautiful locations where to perform, like the National Theatre Hall or museums. Which are the most important locations for Dance matters in Taipei? Are there any festivals you would recommend to attend for foreigners visiting the city?
S.C.S. Locations ca be the National Theatre Hall, and actually there are many nice venu, builded on old traditional architects of Taiwan. They are charming and known as well, like Taipei hua-Shan village.
F.M How do you think Taiwan’s Dancing will evolve on an international scale in the next years and what are your dreams for the future?
S.C.S. Taiwanese have strong position in promoting contemporary dance internationally, and they are going for it fully. There are a lot of international exchanges with artists all the time. That makes big progress to push the arts.
My dream of future… Let’s see: I hope I will still be able to express what I want to say, and feel the spirits no matter where I am.
Watch Shang Chi Sun performing here
Find out more about Corpi Urbani’s Festival here