CINEMATIC TAIWAN: MANFEI

HUAI-EN CHEN

She is the dazzling light on the stage, the one the spotlights follow. Her name draws thoughts of modern dance and poetry, the melodies, and the rhythms. Her artistic concepts depict her mysterious, enigmatic charm and persona. She left ripples of creativity and rich colours throughout the world. She is the famed Taiwanese dancer Luo Man-fei.

The founder of the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre and a teacher of Man-fei, Huai-Min Lin once praised her as a “born dancer”. Her friend, the poet Zhi-cheng Luo said that “dance was tailor-made for her”. Man-fei injected a deep passion and love into modern dance, letting dance become a part of life. As an artistic director for Cloud Gate 2, she revolutionized the company’s artistic direction, and took many young dancers under her wing. Today, countless famous choreographers – including Zong-long Zheng, Bulareyaung, Shu-yi Zhou, Cai-zhen Yu, Ru-ru Jian, Wei Liu, and Wei Huang – all consider Man-fei a teacher and friend who cannot be forgotten. Manfei’s life was filled with accomplishments, yet her story did not end when she left this world. 

This is a story about missing someone, but also a story of remembering someone. It is a story of reunions and goodbyes. Director Huai-en Chen spent three years interviewing nearly 50 friends, colleagues, and students of Man-fei. Through the stories and images, he presents Man-fei’s poem of love, so ten years later, we can say hello to her again!

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