It has been 12 years since the Martha Graham Dance Company last visited Taiwan. This weekend, the company is back with a Taiwanese principal dancer, Peiju Chien-Pott. Chien-Pott will be bringing back to life Graham’s long lost 1933 solo work Ekstasis.
The dance will be a new rendition by choreographer Virginie Mecene for Chien-Pott. It was for Ekstasis that Chien-Pott became the first Taiwanese dancer to receive the prestigious Bessie Award for Outstanding Performer in Dance.
Chien-Pott said Ekstasis goes back to the basics of physical movement by abandoning decorative gestures. She called it a work that enhances self-exploration. She said Graham created the dance as a way of exploring from the pelvis to the shoulders and the spine, and then to the neck and the head.
After joining the company in 2011, it took Chien-Pott just three years to become the troupe’s second Taiwanese principal dancer. This will be the first time for Chien-Pott to perform in Taiwan having studied dance in the US for the last ten years. She said she was there watching the company perform in Taipei in 2006 on its last visit. She said it is special this time to come with the company to dance in her own home country.
The program in Taipei will also include Martha Graham’s classic works Chronicle and Rite of Spring.