Interdisciplinary dance works giving artistic voice to Asian Americans

Reflections on “Fire of Freedom” by Wan-Lin Lo

Reflections on “Fire of Freedom” by Wan-Lin Lo

Highly recommend to everyone who are interested in modern/contemporary dance. Even I, who wasn’t a big fan of the dance in general, had very good time watching the performance and enjoyed it a lot.

The story has three independent lines that went on simultaneously. Every line was about violence and healing, yet all took different shapes of the violence (such as war violence, domestic violence as the two examples). The audience may follow any dancer throughout the performance; the storyline I was following was focused on the war violence, where my friend Wei-Shan was a major character to lead the story.

The dance was beautiful. It’s so beautiful that the emotion was contagious and made my heart hurt. When the bomb in battlefields dropped on the foreign ground, it destroyed not only everything that the enemy ever owned, but also hit the inside of yourself, and people who are close to you. Violence, no matter how well it’s masked by the so-called justice, is just like any other things in the universe, that for it to happen, you need to offer something to exchange. And most of the time, the price is the inner peace, where we could always find ourselves comfortable no matter cold or warm, lone or lost, with hope or desperate. And when that comfort is gone, no medical help may work the wonder to heal the wound.

The team used a lot of multimedia work to bring in the background and tell the story. No words were said, but Wei-Shan and her “military colleague” used every movement of their bodies and facial expression, to drive the story forward. Maybe because we as the audience may choose which storyline we wanted to follow, the performance became part of the “reality” at that moment when watching the dancers danced. Thus, when they drank in the bar to numb the pain, when the violence took place, when the medicine failed the hope, I felt like I was there as well. The dancers were struggling with the post trauma thanks to the war violence, and the audience, by standing in the same room, were struggling with the hurt that the violence seeded and a sense of helpless that may echo how these war victims’ friends and family feel.

photo by Robbie Sweeny

Comments are closed.