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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Thursday, February 29, 2024

They’re moved by the music

A dark stage with bodies intertwined and rolling across the floor. Smooth and flowing beats course through the air in the nearly empty theater. Suddenly the lights come up and the limbs flailing in the air synchronize to the rhythm and glide over each other, infinitely complex. Seemingly impossible twists and bends appear in the performers' arms and legs. 




That is the first impression the audience got of the rehearsal of Jin-Wen Yu Dance's latest performance. The concert, entitled 'Interspace,' will be performed Saturday, Sept. 15 at 8 p.m. in the Civic Center's Oscar Mayer Theater. This latest work from choreographer and dancer Yu includes the world premiere of 'Which One Is Pink'?, a half concert-length modern dance piece set to the music of Pink Floyd's 1973 album Dark Side of the Moon. 




Also being performed is 'Feathering,' another Yu piece that explores the life cycle though the eyes of a bird. The piece is set to music by Karl Jenkins, composer of Pelladio, the music of the popular DeBeers Diamond commercial. Two other Yu works, 'African Tango' and 'First Fall,' will also be performed. 




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'Jin-Wen Yu wants to explore new movement styles,' said Yu's administrative assistant and fellow dancer Lori Dillon. '[He] pull[s] out the flavor and message of the music and lyrics.' 




Yu is an assistant professor in his fifth year at UW-Madison. He was born in Taiwan and began dancing in college. 




'I knew I could move,' Yu said. 'I liked art'music, literature, theater'and excelled at exercise and sports.' 




He originally performed as a soloist in Taiwan with the Cloud Gate Dance Theater and in 1999 founded Jin-Wen Yu Dance, a company based in Madison. 




'I like the audience to be stimulated, rather than entertained,' Yu said. 'I used to use a lot of 'pop' music like classical and modern, but [for this concert] we're trying something drastically different. I hope the audience will carry this away with them: that they can jump high, that they can dance and be fulfill[ed] themselves.' 




Yu dances in three of the four sections of the concert. Other performers include members of Jin-Wen Yu Dance, Yu's dance company and Dance Wisconsin ballet dancers.  




'[Yu's pieces] have a flavor all [their] own,' Dillon said. '[They] feel good on my body to perform.' 




The first half of the show consists of 'Which One Is Pink'?, the dance in which up to six dancers perform during the entire length of the Pink Floyd album, approximately 50 minutes. Dark Side of the Moon contains some of most popular Pink Floyd songs, including 'Money,' 'Time' and 'Us and Them.'

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