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Cloud Gate's founder Lin says he is making room for new blood

2017/11/24 14:27:12

Taipei, Nov. 24 (CNA) "This is not goodbye, rather it is a move to attract more young artists to Cloud Gate," Lin Hwai-min (林懷民), artistic director and founder of the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre said Thursday, speaking of his plan to retire.

"Don't make it sound as if I'm leaving now," he joked to reporters at a press conference. "I still have two years before I retire."

Lin, 70, is planning to retire at the end of 2019, after Cloud Gate presented his most recent work Formosa (關於島嶼), which premiered at the National Theatre in Taipei on Thursday.

"I just want to hand it over to someone younger before I become an old mad man," said Lin, a dancer, writer and choreographer.

Noting that Cloud Gate will mark its 45th founding anniversary next year, he lamented that it was still the only professional full-time dance group in Taiwan.

"Thanks to the energy and support of the Taiwan public through the years, Cloud Gate has been able to reach this far," Lin said. "This team and this platform must go on."

Lin, the son of the late Interior Minister Lin Jin-sheng (林金生), did not follow in his father's footsteps, but instead established the Cloud Gate modern dance group in 1973 when Taiwan was still a very conservative society.

Over the years, Cloud Gate has grown into an internationally acclaimed dance troupe and Lin has become an award-winning choreographer.

As he moves toward retirement now, Lin said, the next two years will be a transitional period for the group. "I hope more young artists will join Cloud Gate, bringing new ideas and voices so as to reach out to and interact with the massive young audience," he said.

His said his successor Cheng Tsung-lung (鄭宗龍) is someone who is full of energy and enthusiasm.

"He has a wild spirit from the street, something that I've always longed for but never had," Lin said.

(By Y.J. Wang and Flor Wang)