Behind the Scenes at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019

Tag: Dance

Monsters Within

Traversing slowly through the foggy room to find my seat, Taiwan Season: Monster by Yen-Cheng Liu was an experience from the onset.  Creative, evocative, uncomfortable, boundary pushing – This is the kind of work I came to the Fringe to experience. 

Afterwards, Liu was very approachable and open to share about his art.  Although created in 2017, this is his first time touring with this piece.  Liu, an acclaimed international dancer, explained that he reached a point in his dance career where he began to seriously question why he was dancing?  “What was the point of dancing?”  This work reflects those explorations as he experiments with space and time in unusual and interesting ways.  He says that this is a “movement piece” versus a dance piece.  Liu explained how he likes that in some Chinese landscape paintings you see mountains on each side of the picture and a big open space between.  The concept is reflected in his work. His actual dance movements were captivating. I walked away wanting more! MORE!  And needing to think and take it all in.  I love that.  I love that the Fringe is the place he decided to allow a very non-traditional piece the space.  Isn’t that what the Fringe should be about after all?

Chaos Costume Designing for the Fringe

The Fringe offers opportunities for a variety of behind the scenes folks that are a part of making shows happen.  I met Si Chen on the train to Edinburgh.  She is from Northern China but currently a fashion design student in a graduate program at the University of London.  She designed and sewed beautiful costumes for a small group of dancers performing an original dance and storytelling show at the fringe called Chaos.  Her friend who created and choreographed the experimental piece chose to use dance as the international language to share traditional Chinese stories. The show only performs a couple of days with today being the last day (today at 18:30).  Si explained that space is expensive, especially as a student, but the experience is still worthy.  

Like the show, her designs of the long flowing lavender colored skirts add a contemporary look to traditional Chinese designs.  This is a perfect fit for Si as her personal interest in fashion is creating modern twists to traditional Chinese dress.  She showed me a photo of a luncheon with friends who share a similar interest and each woman was wearing beautiful dresses that reflected six different Chinese dynasties and their stories.  For Si, the Fringe provides her a professional opportunity to share and display her designs with an international audience, and help her student friends with their artistic projects. 

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