Ching-Ying Chien (UK/TW)

27.07 | 21:30 | Mikis Theodorakis theatre

Tickets: 12€ (regular), 9€ (student, unemployed)

Born in 1988, Taiwan. Graduated from Department of Dance, National Taiwan University of Arts. Freelance artist work with Akram Khan Company (UK) and Compagnie du Hanneton (FR)

She has worked with Akram Khan Company since “iTMOi” in 2013. Her performance in “Until the Lions” won the Outstanding Female Performance (Modern) at the 2016 National Dance Awards (UK). Dance critic Lyndsey Winship also praised her “a woman of powerful but serene stillness, who shape-shifts between delicate, melting movements, stubborn decisiveness and contorted convulsing.” And “Outwitting the Devil” in 2019.She is also as a Akram Khan Company rehearsal director and company repertoire workshop teacher.

In 2020. She started working with James Thierrée -Compagnie de Hanneton in creation “Mo’s” and “ROOM”.

She has also collaborated with different choreographers and companies in Taiwan, such as Fang-Yi Sheu, Shu-Yi Chou and HORSE theater. Besides theater performance, she also worked as the art model and improvising dancer for Guo-qiang Cai’s “Day and Night”, a gunpowder drawing. She was the dancer and choreographer for “Stranger”, a music video for hip-hop musician Plan B, and few videos for British electronic band The Chemical Brothers, both projects directed by Adam Smith. Together with Akram Khan, she co-created a duet for “Can We Live with Robots”, a TV documentary commissioned by Channel 4. Recently, she performed in “The Silent Burn Project” – a documentary celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Akram Khan company during the Covid pandemic time.

Her latest choreography piece is “Vulture”, supported by LMF Dance Fund. National Culture and Arts Foundation (Taiwan) and Akram Khan company, which has performed in Lilian Baylis Studio of Sadler’s well and Weiwuying National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts. ”Vulture” also been selected as one of twenty pieces in Aerowave 2023.

Initial inspiration for this piece came from an old Tibetan myth about vultures. It is said that nobody ever sees the body of a deceased vulture. When a vulture knows it’s life is close to ending it will fly high up towards the sun and melt away into nothing. It ties in a little with the Greek myth of Icarus and Daedalus. Man imitating nature and failing. The vast sky of freedom motivates Icarus to soar high till his wings melted, and causes his downfall. Both characters are approaching the sun. The vulture is controlling the end of its own life, while the man losing life for the craving of freedom.

Ching-Ying Chien also gained inspiration from her life. Witnessing the death of her family or friend, she learns the uncontrollable nature of human life, and exclaims man’s various limitations. As a dancer, she can break free from the human frame and willfully transforms herself. On the stage she is at times animal and at times human. By interpreting the possibility, impossibility, madness and control of a free spirit inside a human body, she explores the limitation and freedom of life.

Choreography: Ching-Ying Chien
Composer / Guitar / Vocal: Joseph Ashwin
Musical collaborator/Drum: James Heggarty
Lighting Design: Jui-Hsuan Tseng
Costume Design: Marie Cantenys
Vulture is commissioned by National Performing Arts Center – National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying), Taiwan. Premiered at its Playhouse on November 8th 2018.

Sponsored by the National Culture and Arts Foundation, Taiwan. Made possible by a grant from the Lo Man-Fei Dance Fund, Cloud Gate Culture and Arts Foundation, Taiwan.

Development of Vulture’s short version was produced by Akram Khan Company as part of their Portraits in Otherness initiative, and the first stage premiered on June 7th 2018 at Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells Theater, UK.

27 July | 21:30 | Mikis Theodorakis theatre

Ching-Ying Chien – Vulture

Next Ching-Ying Chien – Akram Khan Company workshop