Moon Water at Sadler’s Wells Online
Moon Water by Taiwan’s Cloud Gate Dance Theatre explores the concept of the body as water, mimicking the movement of the gentle yet steady flow of the meandering river, moving from the quiet murmuring spring to sudden gushing falls. The dancers clad in loose white trousers, the multiple mirrors hoisted onto the stage, and the water that fills the stage floor all create an illusion of the moon reflecting on the gentle current of the river.
Choreographer Lin Hwai-min combines movement with Tai Chi in a beautifully calming presentation of a meditative dance. Set to Bach’s Six Suites for Solo Cello and complimented by Chang Tsan-tao’s lighting design and Austin Wang’s set design, Moon Water inspires deep reflection about the nature of existence where perception and understanding are questioned.
In embodying the Buddhist proverb: “Flowers in a mirror and moon on the water are both illusive”, Moon Water creates and recreates the illusion of flowers and the moon reflecting on the Sadler’s Wells stage. This production provokes the question of whether it is the reflection that creates the moon, in whose silver shadow life comes to dance, or if the moon creates the illusion of the dance – that is to say, whether the reflection is illusive or our perception of it. Meanwhile, in between the river and moon exist people as instruments in the ceaseless dance of life, but are they also not negated if they can only be perceived in and through light? Is our perception of reality illusory if we perceive only through the reflection of light on the objects through which reality gains meaning?
Moon Water is a profoundly insightful production. Watching it live would have been an entrancing experience, but on private computer screens during lockdown, it can drag on a bit.
Photo: Sadler’s Wells
Moon Water is at Sadler’s Wells Online from 15th May until 22nd May 2020. For further information visit the theatre’s website here.