dap festival

Pretend

Renowned Italian sculptor Stefano Bombardieri offers a unique collaboration opportunity for choreographers PeiJu Chien-Pott and Chien-Ming Chang. Bombardieri's sculptures feature wildlife as their subject matter, focusing on environmental sustainability.

Pretend

Pretend

Presented by DAP Festival & Oblong Art Gallery

PeiJu Chien-Pott and Chien-Ming Chang draw inspiration from Bombardieri's Art, translating the essence of his work into a dance performance. The dance, inspired by a rhinoceros-shaped chair sculpture, encapsulates the profound truths of life beneath the surface. This narrative serves as a symbolic exploration of the impacts of human desires and their positive consequences. Much like the intricate layers of human skin that continuously adjust to environmental shifts such as temperature, humidity, and sunlight, the dance draws parallels to the regulatory functions of animal skin. In the animal kingdom, skin not only adapts to environmental conditions but also acts as a mechanism for regulating color and serves as a crucial element in protection and self-defense.

In the realm of fashion, the skin becomes the ultimate garment: we adorn ourselves to make an impression on others or to fulfill our desires. Acting as a shield, the skin conceals what we wish to keep hidden, making it a form of "fiction." Ming and PeiJu take on the roles of the characters in this dance: MING symbolizes the primal and natural state of humanity, representing those who choose to ignore the truth, while PEIJU embodies the role of the pretender—a beautiful yet potentially dangerous manipulator. This dance serves as a transformative bridge connecting the realms of humans and animals, as well as bridging the gap between the natural and supernatural worlds.

Pretend
Pretend
PeiJu Chien-Pott

Biography

Peiju Chien-Pott

Peiju is an internationally acclaimed contemporary dance artist from Taiwan, described as “one of the greatest living modern dancers”, celebrated particularly for her work as Principal Dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company and her iconic roles of the Graham repertory. On the theater stage, PeiJu was a Principal Actress in the Kung Fu musical Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise commissioned by The Shed and choreographed by Akram Khan. She holds a BFA in Dance from Taipei National University of the Arts where she was honored with the “Outstanding Alumni Award”.

Her many awards include a Bessie for “Outstanding Performance”, Positano Premia La Danza Leonide Massine for “Best Female Contemporary Dancer”, Capri International Dance Awards, included “Best Performers” in the 2014 and 2017 Dance Magazine and numerous awards in her native Taiwan. She was recently recognized by the New York Times as one of the “Best Dancers of 2021” in Richard Move’s “Her Story of the Universe”. PeiJu currently serves as a faculty member at The Ailey School and her commercial work is represented by MMG New York.

Besides her on-stage performances, her most recent choreography includes Rebirth in collaboration with renowned sculptor Kang Mu-Xiang for Taipei 101, Island created during the pandemic commissioned by the Iron Rose Festival of Taiwan, and Unity completed for the late choreographer Nai-Ni Chen premiered in New York City in March, 2022.

PeiJu Chien-Pott

Biography

Chien Ming Chang

Originally from Taiwan, Ming trained at the Taipei National University of the Arts. He went on to work with Cloud Gate 2 in Taiwan and Bern Ballett (Stadttheater Bern) in Switzerland under the direction of Cathy Marston before joining Hofesh Shechter Company in 2008.

Ming has performed many works including Uprising, In your rooms, Political Mother, No Face, Political Mother: The Choreographer’s Cut, Survivor, Sun, barbarians, Orphée et Eurydice (Royal Opera House production), Grand Finale and Hofesh Shechter’s Clowns. From 2016, Ming was the rehearsal director for Shechter II.

Pretend
kan Yasuda

Biography

Stefano Bombardieri

Italian artist Stefano Bombardieri is renowned for his large and bold sculptures, often featuring wildlife subjects such as whales, rhinoceroses, crocodiles, and elephants. He acquired and honed his artistic knowledge through experimentation and the use of various techniques with multiple materials in his father's studio. Bombardieri embraces a profoundly philosophical approach to art, focusing on themes such as time and its perception, the human condition, the meaning of existence, and the experience of pain in Western culture.

He describes his work as minimal and conceptual, characterized by a diverse mix of tools and artistic mediums, ranging from large sculptures to video installations. In his early years, Bombardieri focused on figurative sculpture and was heavily influenced by 20th-century masters such as Boccioni and Balla, prominent painters of the Futurist movement. Since the 1990s, Bombardieri has exhibited in both public spaces and galleries. Notable installations include those located in the centers of Ferrara, Faenza, Bologna, Saint Tropez, and Potsdam.

In 2009, he presented his solo exhibition 'The Countdown of Animals' in the enchanting setting of Pietrasanta. In addition to numerous solo and group exhibitions worldwide, Bombardieri has participated multiple times in the Venice Biennale, and his works have been displayed in major art galleries in Italy and abroad. Bombardieri continues to work in Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, England, Greece, Lebanon, and the USA.

Photo credits
Lorenzo Montanelli, Irina Zin
Graphic design
Ed Noriega
Web Design
Luca Ponzanelli