MODERN ARTS DANCE THEATER
No.260, In-Tsai Road Taichung City,Taiwan, R.O.C. 404
MODERN ARTS DANCE THEATER (MAD Theater)
Established in June 1997, MODERN ARTS DANCE THEATER (MAD Theater) was the first professional modern dance company in Taichung. It remains to be the most iconic modern dance company in central Taiwan. Performing Arts Review had a feature story exclusively onMAD Theater, entitled ¡§A Shining Future.¡¨ Shih Gee-Tze, its founder as well as artistic director, is the first person in Taiwan that graduated from a fine art university and had worked as an elementary school teacher before entering into the realm of choreography. Medias regarded him highly as a ¡§choreographer that paints with human bodies¡¨. He won the first place of modern dance division and Best Choreography Awards in the National Folk Dance Competition with Thoughts of the Sea, a work created when he was still teaching at an elementary school. Later he choreographed Square after entering the graduate institute of Taipei University of the Arts. The work won him the Best Choreography Award and a scholarship offered by the university.
Since its establishment in 1997, MAD Theater has been presenting new pieces of work every year to broaden the body vocabulary of the Oriental, including Three Dynamics, Millennium Ritual, Sandglass, Square, A Fantasy about Bach, Feel and Respond, Zhan Zhuan, Taroko, Grass Mountain, True Man, etc. At the same time, MAD Theater never ceases to challenge itself. Window (2006) and Pet (2007) are attempts to fuse fashion into dance, while Puppet Ballet (2008) and New Puppet Ballet (2009) are works of a ¡§new Taiwan style¡¨ that tries to approach Taiwanese folk culture in an innovative and fashionable manner.
In recent years, the dance company makes itself conspicuous on international stage. In 2000, it honorably received an invitation from Malaysia¡¦s Department of Culture to participate in its TARI-2000 International Dance Festival, and became the first modern dance company in Taiwan to perform at Brigham Young University in the United States. In 2001, after presenting Feel and Respond together with dancers from Western Australian Performing Arts Academy, MAD Theater was invited by Marnes River Valley Dance Festival to perform Square and a solo dance from Feel and Respond. In 2002, the work entitled Zhan Zhuan was invited by the 5th International Chekhov Theatre Festival in Moscow. They became the centre of attention, had considerable coverage in Russian media, and returned home triumphantly.
In 2003, MAD Theater begun to work on a series of works under the theme of ¡§Dancing With National Parks¡¨. Taroko was inspired by Taroko Naional Park and Grass Mountain by Yangmingshan National Park. They premiered in October 2003 and November 2004 respectively. One year later, after musing upon a collection of Zhuang¡¦s lecture, MAD Theater came up with True Man, and performed the piece in the 4th Foreign Culture Week in Paris with the invitation of Taiwan¡¦s Council of Cultural Affairs. Again, it was a great success that not only drew the attention of international media and local audience, but also won great reviews among critics. ¡§It (True Man) was an inspiring and exciting performance,¡¨ remarked Michel Caserta, the artistic director of Marnes River Valley Dance Festival.
In 2006, Shih went to Cité International des Arts as a resident artist. After his return, he choreographed an innovative work, Window. The next year, he pushed the boundary further by bringing animals onstage to perform with the dancers in Pet. It was the first time for MAD THEATER’s work to be presented in Chungshan Hall. The ticket sale was record high, and the piece was invited to Guandu Art Festival. In the same year, Shih was invited to participate the 20th anniversary of National Theatre and Concert Hall with his new work Evolutionism as the only non-Taipei choreographer. In 2008, in collaboration with Taichung Sheng Wu Jhou Puppet Troupe, MAD THEATER presented Puppet Ballet, which was invited by Cabrillo College, US, to participate an exchange activity “The Name of this Dance Changes Every Day” at 418 Project Theatre. San francisco World Journal gave it excellent review and a headline of “an avant-garde dance company”. Little Green Man (2010) was created in collaboration with Tzu-Yu Chang (from Hong Kong’s City Contemporary Dance Company) and was invited to the 8th Guangdong Modern Dance Festival in China.Fragile (2012) and Dress Up (2012) was mixture of design,living and technology. Dress Up was invited to the 6th Interface 2012 Dance Festival in Kolkata (India) and to the Mirramu Four Elements Arts Festival (Australia).
Backpacker(2013) and Mad Amusement Park(2014) are the two most recent works. The choreography is challenging as it tells a narrative while also displaying dancing and dramatic skills. Both two are very popular works by family audiences.
As of Dec, 2014, MAD Theater has had nearly 885 international performances and lectures. MAD Theater continues to be the only uniquely iconic contemporary dance company from central Taiwan.
|MODERN ARTS DANCE THEATER/ Choreographer / Artistic Director
Shih Gee-Tze (Jesse) is one of the best independent choreographers in Taiwan. Taiwan¡¦s Performing Arts Review has dubbed him ¡§a choreographer who paints with the human body.¡¨??Jesse was a painter, street artist, teacher, and late life dancer.? His Thoughts of the Sea won the Excellence in Modern Dance and Best Choreography awards at Taiwan¡¦s Provincial Folk Dance Contest and led to the founding of APDT in 1997.
Some career highlights:
- 1998 - studied choreography and performance at University of Connecticut.?
- Square in Formation (performed at Malaysia¡¦s Department of Culture and BYU) wins Taipei National University of the Art¡¦s scholarship for outstanding artistic work.
- 1999 - receives MFA from Taipei National University of the Arts College of Dance.
- 2000 ¡V Sandglass selected as opening act for Taiwan National Theater¡¦s Millennium Experimental Dance Exhibition.
- 2001 - Invited to Paris¡¦s Marnes River Valley Arts Festival to perform solos from Feel & Respond.
- 2003 - Zhan Zhuang presented at Moscow¡¦s 5th International Chekhov Theatre Festival.
- 2006 - Resident artist at the Cite International des Arts, Paris.
- 2008- In collaboration with the Taichung Sheng Wu Jhou Puppet Troupe, MAD Theater presented ¡§New Puppet Ballet¡¨.
- 2009- Iinvited by Cabrillo College (USA) to participate in an collaborative production ¡§The Name of the Dance Changes Every Day¡¨ performed at the 418 Project Theater. The San Francisco World Journal praised MAD Theater with the headline ¡§an avant-garde dance company.¡¨?
- 2010-Inviting TZU-YU CHANG, the senior dancer of City Contemporary Dance Company of Hong Kong, to serve as a visiting artist and to participate in the choreography of ¡§The Little Green Man,¡¨ initiating the Theater¡¦s work with simplistic productions and fabricated with designs.
China Times, Nov/08/08:? Puppet Ballet is an outstanding piece that combines ballet and traditional hand puppets, the integration of western and oriental art forms has received good feedback from all sides¡K.
The Liberty Time, Nov/10/08:? ¡§Acme¡¦s Puppet Ballet brings the art of traditional hand puppets to modern dance, extending and widening the influence of both¡K¡¨
Performing Arts Review, Nov/11/08:? ¡§In Puppet Ballet, Ballet and Hand Puppets join in an avant-garde dance that introduces the traditional Taiwanese Folk Art form into the dance theater
World Journal, Mar/24/09:? Avant-garde dance company.
dancers' bodyes in MAD Theatre seem to be boundless.
It doesn't look like western ballet, but it's also not the traditional
modern dance style known to all . (Vremya MN, Moscow 2003.07.14)
The dextrous dancers reveal the true connotation of the "oriental
body." (Nezavimaya, Moscow 2003.07.15)
"Expect great talent and performance from APT in the future....
energetic and twinkling dynamics. An exciting and rhythmic tempo.
The piece "Square" is valiant and solemn. It is successful
to melt Chinese martial arts and west dance technique."
"MADTheater" is the first professional modern dance company in the center of
body language are powerful and challenging...the choreographer designs
the natural view on the stage to attract audience visual."
Gee-Tze's peaceful finale, Feel and Respond, celebrating the beauty
of ritual and the power of the dawn."
The West Australian TODAY NEWS
and language barriers will be broken through the power of dance
when MADTheater dancers from Taiwan bring their unique performance to
Daily Universe, Life Style
Shih Gee Tze: I move my body the way Buddhists Knock on wooden
drums. Dance is my religion
Ultimate Body-Energy Dance Group is an ambassador of Taiwanese
body art from Taichung to the world