17 Years cicada

Scenography and Pilot development of a dance piece
2017,  Taipei Performing Arts Center, Taiwan

A collaboration with with Choreographer Ming Hwa Yeh & Sound artist Yan Sheng Wen.
Dancers: Ho-Ju Wu, Yu-Ting Fang, 盧美云 and TingSyu Lin

Cicadas find themselves to be on the lowest level of the food chain, being preyed upon by a wide range of predators once they surface, their only defense being their extreme numbers. Predators eat the first wave of the surfacing cicada until they are satisfied so that the following waves of cicada can survive just long enough to mate, lay eggs, and disappear again for another 17 years. While trying to shed their case many of them get stuck to it and die. Their life cycle could be considered tragic/hopeless, or we could envision it more optimistically as Albert Camus concludes in his book The Myth Sisyphus: There is no sun without shadow, and it is essential to know the night. (…) At that subtle moment when man glances backward over his life, Sisyphus returning towards his rock, in that slight pivoting, he contemplates that series of unrelated actions which becomes his fate, created by him, combined under his memory’s eye and soon sealed by his death. Thus, convinced of the wholly human origin of all that is human, a blind man eager to see who knows that the night has no end, he’s still on the go. The rock is still rolling. (…) One must imagine Sisyphus to be happy.

Photo credit: Hsin-Che Lee

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