Taiwan's Cloud Gate Dance Theatre wins UK honor

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Taiwan's Cloud Gate Dance Theatre was named yesterday as the winner of the Stef Stefanou Award for Outstanding Company, one of the most prestigious dance honors in the United Kingdom.

The Stef Stefanou Award for Outstanding Company is one of the UK's National Dance Awards, presented annually by the Critics' Circle. Among those who chose the winners were dance critics with the Guardian and the Times, two of the most read news outlets in Britain, CNA reports.

Lin Hwai-min, founder and artistic director of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, was also nominated for "Best Modern Choreography" for his farewell work "Formosa."

Lin announced in 2017 that he would step down as artistic director of Cloud Gate at the end of 2019 to make room for new talent.

The Cloud Gate Dance Theatre has been invited to perform in London 10 times since 1999. It has been called "Asia's leading contemporary dance theatre" by the Times, and its acclaimed show "Formosa" was listed as one of the top 10 dance shows of 2018 by The Guardian.

The competition for the Stef Stefanou Award this year was fierce. The Cloud Gate Dance Theatre had to beat out the Royal Ballet, the Northern Ballet and the Scottish Ballet from the UK and the Dresden Semperoper Ballett from Germany.

Founded in 1973, the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre was the first professional modern dance troupe in Taiwan, and it served as a pioneer of modern dance in Chinese-speaking societies, according to Taiwan's Ministry of Culture.

It has toured extensively overseas and regularly invites students from rural areas of Taiwan to attend its shows for free.