After Stunning European Audiences by Integrating Taiwanese Literature and Music Europe-Based Choreographer Lin Mei-Hong’s Masterpiece Die Brautschminkerin to Premiere at Weiwuying
Lin Mei-Hong, the artistic director of Austrian dance troupe TANZLIN.Z, applies her expertise in integrating dance theater with Taiwan musical and literary elements in Die Brautschminkerin, a work with deep humanitarian concerns that portrays the struggles of those who have been silenced in the dark. Staged over 50 times in Germany and Austria, this July marks the first time for Die Brautschminkerin to be performed in Taiwan. The Asian premiere is scheduled on Saturday, July 6th and Sunday, July 7th at the Weiwuying Opera House.
Die Brautschminkerin is Lin Mei-Hong’s first work that was inspired by Taiwanese themes and cultural elements. Lin stated: “Die Brautschminkerin expresses our birthright for human rights. Taiwan’s February 28th Incident, Fascism, Germany’s Nazis, and the European Refugee Crisis, all have significant emotional influences on cultures, societies, and nations. Regardless of the source of pain and regret, these sentiments are universal, transcending race, background, and nationality, creating resonance even without the use of language. The past should not be forgotten, and silence does not mean peace. I hope this work will be able to touch the hearts of viewers, inspire sympathy and mercy, and that the wounds can be cleansed in this ritual of remembrance. Although the deceased has left us, we can still be together in spirit.”
Inspired by Taiwanese writer Li Ang’s fiction Rouged Sacrifice, Die Brautschminkerin conveys the choreographer’s pain and unbearable sentiments, the empathy for those who have suffered but live on with courage while expressing grave humanitarian concerns. Die Brautschminkerin was first staged in Germany in 2011 and was awarded the Der Faust prize in 2011, the highest honor in the German art scene, and was critically acclaimed among viewers. With the outburst of the European Refugee Crisis, Lin Mei-Hong presented Die Brautschminkerin once again at the Linz State Theatre in 2017, and the piece was selected “Best Work” by the German Theater Art Alliance.
Li Ang, the writer of Rouged Sacrifice, stated: “It has been over 20 years since the birth of Rouged Sacrifice. Lin Mei-Hong’s production of Die Brautschminkerin through dance theater moved me to tears when I first saw it in Germany. When I heard about the performance in Taiwan, I applied to become an amateur performer. Through the two weeks of rehearsals and performances, I hope that the decades of mental pressure can be released, allowing redemption through participation. I also hope that the work will inspire us to let go of the pain of history and give the current generation strength to move on.”
Die Brautschminkerin is presented with live music from start to finish. The music is composed and performed by German music arranger Michael Erhard, while the lyrics are written by playwright and Chinese opera singer Yu Yuan-Keng. France-based Chinese zither musician You Li-Yu and European musicians work together to present a work that transcends the cultural barriers between the East and West, integrating different cultural elements through dance.
Chien Wen-pin, artistic director of National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying), stated: “One of the missions of Weiwuying is ‘connectivity,’ which not only refers to connecting Taiwan with the world but also past and present. Weiwuying has always been devoted to forming a platform for different ethnic groups through art, presenting opportunities for dialogue and understanding. We are delighted that Lin Mei-Hong and the production team decided to present the Asian premiere of Die Brautschminkerin at Weiwuying; we hope that this will become an opportunity for Taiwan audiences to gain a deeper understanding into the importance of freedom and humanitarian values.”