Special Projects

Crossover Dance Company, Taiwan

After The Party

2002

After The Party was made over 4 weeks in summer 2002, a collaboration between Charlotte Vincent and Crossover Dance Company.

Crossover is an extraordinary company of mature dancers, who have retired from Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan but wish to continue their performing careers as they enter their late 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. Crossover’s dancers share a powerful life force, which defines the spirit of the company and their reason for continuing to perform in middle age. Their life force, commitment and skill go a long way towards defining the spirit of dance itself.

The members of Crossover share a multitude of colourful and devastating stories, the physical and emotional remnants of which are carried deep within their bodies. A desire to share and uncover these memories, to find humour in difficulty and beauty in disintegration, makes their work stand out. After the Party exposes the funny, awkward and painful stories about love and marriage. Set in the aftermath of a wedding party, when most of the guests have gone home, the piece reveals the sticky family relationships between the bride, the groom, the groom’s mother, her suitor and the groom’s grandmother. After hours of drinking and dancing together, they begin to discover more about each other than perhaps they need to know.

This piece opened at the Novel Hall, downtown Taipei on 7th November 2002. Funded and supported by The British Council in Taipei and the National University of the Arts, Taipei.

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Director's Notes

I arrived in Taipei mid August 2002, jetlagged from a 16 hour flight and armed only with a bunch of new CD’s from Austria, an interest in international collaboration and a relatively open mind. I didn’t know much about the context, the country or the company, who I would find, or what approach I would take when I got here. To find out more about each other, we spent the first week in the studio playing, learning some recent phrases from my own work, exploring tasks and improvising together. After two days, two of the original dancers left the project due to recurring injuries brought on by the energetic nature of the work, and Xiao Xong Zhang- an energetic dancer indeed – joined the group.

It would be difficult to communicate and collaborate if dance was not the universal language that it is. Whilst we share a set of codes, and even though these dancers speak excellent English, translation is still a primary pre-occupation in a project such as this: translation of language itself, translation of thoughts into ideas, given and our responses to them.

As a company of skilled and experienced individuals, Crossover share a multitude of colourful and devastating stories. It is the willingness to share these, to find humour in difficulty and beauty in disintegration which connects us, and which makes these performers a joy to work with. It is the human element, not technique, nor the notion of West meeting East, which is so exciting about making something new. The remnants of our physical and emotional lives are carried deep within the body. With maturity these stories deepen and become more complex, vibrant and often ridiculous. Making After the Party has exposed me to funny, awkward and painful stories about love and marriage.

Stories about marrying the right man first, and getting it wrong second time around, stories about lying to your mother because she thinks your future husband is too thin, stories about falling in love with shoes, stories about marrying a woman, when it should have been a man, stories about falling in love on the other side of the world.

Crossing the geographical and cultural boundaries to be in Taiwan has reminded me of why I make new dance theatre work. It has to do with putting your life on the line. It has to do with finding a way of working with strangers to translate the pathos and hilarity of life’s stories into a shared experience that others can recognise as their own. Crossover’s dancers share a powerful life force which defines the spirit of the company and their reason for wanting to perform. Their life force, commitment and skill goes a long way towards defining the spirit of dance itself.

‘After The Party’ has grown out of a 4 week collaboration between myself and Crossover Dance Company, funded and supported by The British Council in Taipei. Set in the aftermath of a wedding party, when most of the guests have gone home, the piece reveals the sticky family relationships between the bride, the groom, the groom’s mother, her suitor and the groom’s grandmother. After hours of drinking and dancing together, they begin to discover more about each other than perhaps they need to know.

Charlotte Vincent
October 2002
Taipei

Who's Who

  • Directed by
  • Designed by
    • Keh-hua Lin
  • Lighting and Costume Design
    • Shin-hsing Wang
  • Made and Performed by
    • Man-Fei Lo
    • Shu-gi Cheng
    • Xiao-Xiong Zhang
    • Wei-min Wang
    • Min-Fei Hsieh

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