jún 2021
Bratislava in Movement | Tao Dance Theater
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Tao Dance Theater

Since its founding in March, 2008, TAO Dance Theater has swiftly become one of the most sought-after contemporary dance companies world-wide.TAO was the first contemporary dance company from China invited to perform in Lincoln Center Festival (US) and the Sydney Opera House (AU); the second invited to perform at the American Dance Festival (ADF); and the first Chinese company invited to be artists-in-residence for ADF’s six-week festival. Sadler’s Wells (UK) has commissioned the company three consecutive years and invited the company numerous times to perform in London.

The company has already performed in more than 40 countries on five continents, including tours in the USA, UK, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Israel, Spain, Austria, Korea, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Belgium, Finland, Switzerland, France, Indonesia etc. Festivals include Sydney Opera House “Spring Dance”, London’s Dance Umbrella, Amsterdam’s Julidans, New York Fall For Dance, Canada’s National Arts Centre, Suzanne Dellal Tel Aviv Dance Days, Singapore Arts Festival, Madrid enDanza, Wiener Festwochen, Taipei Novel Dance Series, Hong Kong New Vision Arts Festival, India Attakkalari Biennale, etc. among more than 70 major festivals and venues.

TAO Dance Theater has stirred the attention of China’s fashion industry, leading to cooperation with various fashion brands, magazines and photographers. VOGUE China has featured the company three times and invited them to collaborate with renowned photographers and videographers.

In 2014, Time Out New York named TAO Dance Theater’s performances one of the “10 Best Dance Shows of 2014,” the only company on the list from Asia.

In 2015, Asian Arts Theatre in Gwangju, Korea and Sadler’s Wells are commissioning the company’s newest work, “8”.



(artistic director and choreographer) 

Born in Chongqing, Tao Ye is a graduate of the Chongqing Dance School. He has danced with the Shanghai Army Song & Dance Ensemble, Shanghai Jin Xing Dance Theater, and Beijing Modern Dance Company. In March 2008 he founded TAO Dance Theater. Main works include: Weight x 3, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7. In 2012, leading Asian style magazine Men’s UNO awarded Tao Ye the 2012 Elegance Award, recognizing leaders in China’s culture and entertainment field. That same year, Tao Ye was selected by Sadler’s Wells (UK) as one of only six choreographers worldwide to be a “New Wave Associates” artist. In 2013, The Beijing News awarded him the 2013 Innovator Award for Dance.

Tao Ye is committed to developing a new training technique that allows dancers to explore the potential and extremes of the human body, continuously pushing past physical limits and mental expectations. He has been invited to teach workshops at the American Dance Festival, New York University Tisch School of the Arts, Amsterdam Henny JurriënsStichting, Singapore Arts Festival, Dongyi University of Korea, BeijingUllens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing Dance Academy and Taipei National University of the Arts among others.


(rehearsal director and dancer)

Born in Xi’an, Duan Ni graduated from the Shaanxi Art College. In 2004 she graduated from the Beijing Dance Academy modern dance choreography department (Guangdong branch), led by dance education pioneer Madam Yang Meiqi, founding director of the Guangdong Modern Dance Company, China’s first modern dance company. During school, Duan Ni received a scholarship to attend the American Dance Festival. After graduating, she danced with Shanghai Jin Xing Dance Theater, London’s Akram Khan Dance Company, and New York’s Shen Wei Dance Arts. In August 2008, she joined TAO Dance Theater. With the latter three companies, she has performed at New York’s Lincoln Center. Each time, her performance was singled out by The New York Times, lauded by critics as “extraordinary” and “formidable.”


(founding dancer and administrative manager)

Born in Hubei, Wang Hao graduated in 2002 from the Central University for Nationalities Dance Academy preparatory school. In 1998 she won first place for her performance in the “Beijing City Sixth Annual Dance Competition.” In 2006 she graduated from the Central University for Nationalities Dance Academy undergraduate program. While in school, she won First and Third Place awards respectively at the Eighth Annual Beijing Dance Competition and the Seventh Annual China National Dance Competition. In 2005 she won a Second Place award in the Ninth Annual Beijing Dance Competition. From 2006-2008 she was a dancer in the Beijing Modern Dance Company. In March, 2008, Wang Hao became a founding dancer of TAO Dance Theater.


Choreography: Tao Ye

Music: Xiao He

Lighting: Ellen Ruge (Sweden)

Costumes: Tao Ye, Li Min

Dancers: Fu Liwei, Mao Xue, Li Shunjie, Yu Jinying, Ming Da, Huang Li

Premiere: February 1, 2014 “6: The Sami Chinese Project” as the opening performance of the 2014 European Cultural Capital at NorrlandsOperan in Umea, Sweden

Commissioned by: NorrlandsOperan

Co-Produced by: NorrlandsOperan, Ping Pong Productions, TAO Dance Theatre

Supported by: Umea2014, Swedish Arts Council, Swedish Arts Grants Committee Region Vasterbotten, and China Literature and Art Foundation

Duration: 30 minutes


Choreography: Tao Ye

Music: Tao Ye

Lighting: Ma Yue, Tao Ye

Costumes: Tao Ye, Li Min

Dancers: Lei Yan, Fu Liwei, Mao Xue, Li Shunjie, Yu Jinying, Ming Da, Huang Li

Premiere: September 19, 2014 at OzAsia Festival, Adelaide Festival Centre

Commissioned by: Sadler’s Wells with additional support from Adelaide Festival Centre

Development Supported by: Sadler’s Wells New Wave Associates Program

Duration: 30 minutes

Producer and Management: Ping Pong Productions

Choreographer Tao Ye believes a single word or phrase is insufficient to encapsulate the meaning in a work of contemporary dance theater. Titles can set preconceptions in the audience and limit creative direction. His numbered series of minimalist experimentations explore the potential of the human body as a visual element, freed from the limitations of representation or narrative.

Thus freed from the strictures of story-telling, these works can give free reign to the imagination, and can inspire a panoply of interpretations. By titling hisworks with numerals instead of words, Tao Ye hopes to transcend the duality of abstract vs.concrete thought.

No specific words can express the meaning of tonight’s performance. Rather, these pieces are permeated with our conceptions of ‘the body’ and physical practice. So what your eyes perceive is exactly what our hearts hope to express,” says Tao Ye.

Artistic Director’s Note

We live in an era of dazzling colors; my chosen path of thought in such an era is to create a single distilled color.

When it comes to pluralism versus binary opposition, I believe more in the existence of the single unitary.

I deeply understand the narrowness of the individual, and that the possibilities of humanity are created precisely within the limitations of that narrowness.

The body, the physical existence that bears within itself the intrinsic order of life, is where the greatest wisdom resides.

With deep reverence for the body I study its inherent limitations in dialogue with myself, refusing to follow fleeting inspirations as my source of creativity. The sacredness of this practice can only be realized through application of the body in this ritualistic process of accumulating, sculpting and exploring.

By applying myself to such a process I enter a game against time, a mystery that only reveals itself when we break free from the linear understanding of past, present and future.

Often I am asked how I define my own style, when in fact I never made such an attempt because I don’t think it’s possible to do so. Definitions are useful building blocks of our cognitive framework of the world, but they are never the truth.

I’m also often asked what I want the audience to take away from viewing my work. Then I ask in return – what do YOU as an audience want to take away from viewing my work? I resist the rampant consumerism that characterizes our time and believe that the more you want to get or take away from something, the further you are from that pursuit.

Instead, through my work I hope to return attention to the essence of the process of sensing and perception – what makes dance truly express its purity and progression. When we allow ourselves the freedom to see without controlling pre-conceptions, only then can we experience a genuine dialogue with the true nature of what is in front of our eyes, and finally begin to walk into the infinite unknown.