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Cloud Gate performs '13 Tongues' to sold-out Madrid crowd

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Cloud Gate dancers perform "13 Tongues" for the dance troupe annual free open-air performance in Taipei on July 15, 2023. CNA photo

Madrid, Dec. 7 (CNA) Taiwan's Cloud Gate Dance Theater performed "13 Tongues" (十三聲) at a sold-out Teatros del Canal on Thursday in Madrid as part of its 50th anniversary European tour.

Following the performance, Vivia Chang (張俊菲), Taiwan's representative to Spain, told the audience that Cloud Gate had brought Taiwan's best artistic performance to coincide with Spain's Constitution Day.

Audience members described the performance as "beautiful" and "magical" as the curtain fell.

Eloísa del Pino, president of the Spanish National Research Council, told CNA that the modernity of Cloud Gate's performance had defied her imagination of Asian dance.

Meanwhile, Senator María Jesús Bonilla Domínguez said she was captivated from the beginning, becoming fully immersed in the performance as it reached its climax.

Cloud Gate Artistic Director Cheng Tsung-lung (鄭宗龍) said the piece was inspired by a legendary street artist who performed in Taipei's Wanhua District, where he was born.

The performance, which was scored by award-winning Taiwanese composer Lim Giong (林強), combines music with incantations and shouts, according to Cheng.

The dance piece was performed in Marid on Wednesday and Thursday by 13 Cloud Gate dancers. The company is on tour in Europe to celebrate its 50th anniversary, which began on Nov. 23-26 in Barcelona, Spain.

The dance company also performed Cheng's 2019 piece "Lunar Halo," inspired by the phenomenon of a ring of light around the moon, at Sadler's Wells Theatre in London from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2. The piece is also scheduled for Dec. 15-16 at the Theater im Pfalzbau in the German city of Ludwigshafen.

The company will then bring "13 Tongues" to the Festival de Danse Cannes on Sunday and conclude their European tour in Auditorio de Tenerife in the Canary Islands with performances on Dec. 20-21.

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