BOONE, N.C. — The New York Public Library (NYPL) has awarded Dr. Kin-Yan Szeto, professor in Appalachian State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance, a NYPL Fellowship for the 2018–19 academic year in support of her project “Aesthetics East and West: A Study of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan.” The fellowship provides $4,000 in funding.
As part of the fellowship, Szeto is conducting on-site research at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, which has one of the most resourceful performing arts collections in the United States.
Her research focuses on the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan and the performance philosophy of the company’s artistic director, Lin Hwai-min.
The Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, founded by Lin in 1973, is “dedicated to transforming Eastern aesthetics into breathtaking and contemporary displays of physical movement,” Szeto said. “He is often considered the most influential choreographer from Asia.”
Lin has received numerous prestigious national and international awards, including the National Cultural Award in 2003, National Award for Arts in 2002, Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Ministry of Culture in 2008, and the 2013 Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for lifetime achievement.
Szeto said, during her residency in 2018–19, she will read archival materials to determine how Lin’s artistic innovations and international success reflect his creative integration of Western philosophies and Eastern thought on a global stage.
“The Cloud Gate dancers study not only modern dance and classical ballet but also traditional Asian disciplines, such as the Beijing Opera movement, martial arts and meditation,” she said.
The Cloud Gate Dance Theatre troupe, which tours extensively, has been a frequent guest at New York’s Next Wave Festival and has also performed at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre and Barbican Centre in London; Moscow’s Chekhov International Theatre Festival; and the Movimentos Festival in Germany.
About the Department of Theatre and Dance
The Department of Theatre and Dance is one of seven departments housed in Appalachian’s College of Fine and Applied Arts. Its mission is to facilitate transformative experiences for students and the public, which cultivate compassionate, creative and collaborative communities through theatre and dance. The department also offers coursework for integrated learning through the arts to the general university student population. Its dynamic co-curricular production program provides exemplary theatre and dance experiences to departmental students, the university community and the region. Learn more at https://theatreanddance.appstate.edu.
About the College of Fine and Applied Arts
Appalachian State University’s College of Fine and Applied Arts is a dynamic and innovative group of seven academic departments, bringing together a variety of perspectives, experiences and real-world education to provide unique opportunities for student success. The college has more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate majors. Its departments are Applied Design, Art, Communication, Military Science and Leadership, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment, and Theatre and Dance. Learn more at https://faa.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.