It is said in the Great Preface of “The Book of Songs,” an anthology of Chinese poems dating from the 10th to the 7th century BC:
“The emotions are stirred and take form in words.
If words are not enough, we speak in sighs.
If sighs are not enough, we sing them.
If singing is not enough, then unconsciously
our hands dance them and our feet tap them.”
Dance is a powerful expression.
It speaks to earth and heaven.
It speaks of our joy, our fear and our wishes.
Dance speaks of the intangible, yet reveals the state of mind of a person and the temperaments and characters of a people.
Like many cultures in the world, the indigenous people in Taiwan dance in circle.
Their ancestors believed that evils would be kept out of the circle.
With hands linked, they share the warmth of each other and move in communal pulses.
Dance brings people together.
And dance happens at the vanishing point.
Movements disappear as they occur.
Dance exists only in that fleeting instant.
It is precious. It is a metaphor of life itself.
In this digital age, images of movements take millions of forms.
They are fascinating.
But, they can never replace dance because images do not breathe.
Dance is a celebration of life.
Come, turn off your television, switch off your computer, and come to dance.
Express yourself through that divine and dignified instrument, which is our body.
Come to dance and join people in the waves of pulses.
Seize that precious and fleeting moment.
Come to celebrate life with dance.
Lin Hwai-Min, founder and artistic director Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan
© LIU Chen-hsiang