Full Moon by Cheng Tsung-lung, the Artistic Director of Taiwan’s phenomenal Cloud Gate 2, is a striking new piece that harnesses the power of the moon through the journey of eight characters.
“When these characters gather to dance at full moon, they represent different metaphors of the moon. But they could also represent a sense of fullness.” – Cheng Tsung-lung
They Are All Gods – Holly
Tsung-lung wanted to portray that every single individual is a God and they don’t interact with each other – they are in their own world and performing their own story to the audience. It was very important to Tsung-lung that there were never many interactions with your focus on-stage but that you are always within your own world. We were all portrayed as gods that have different roles and different purposes on the stage.
Bruce Lee & Zen Stone – Bernie
The first big character Tsung-lung gave me was Bruce Lee, over time this morphed into a Zen-fighter character. I spend a lot of time on the floor in one position; it’s a very meditative state and character. Tsung-lung always refers to the Japanese stone garden, I see myself as one of the pieces in the puzzle, the rock that sits there in the perfect position, very contemplative. The god that I represent is all knowing, very Zen, absolutely sure of what he does – Bruce Lee in a way.
Rabbit on the Moon – Jesse
Part of the Chinese mythology similar to our ‘man on the moon’ is their ‘rabbit that lives on the moon’. The rabbit is a friend of the moon goddess and creates the elixir of immortality for the goddess who represents youth and eternal youth. We looked at the qualities of that youthfulness and even looked at Peter Pan, the sharpness, sprightliness, being a fairy and lots of jumping. Also, the qualities of a rabbit -they’re very friendly and also very cautious when they find something that they don’t like, so when I interact with other characters I have to determine if I’m friends with them or not. I use the costume with its silvery-ness and shininess representing the glimmering light of the moon.
Witch – Holly
My hair is my new face and a new identity. I needed to try and tell a story of thousands of years ago, an old tale of a witch, dancing and basking naked in the moonlight trying to absorb energy. Tsung-lung wanted to know how we can absorb energy from the moonlight and create this scary, mystical, old wise witch character. With my hands and my body language he wanted me to take him on a journey and tell a story through my new face. It is not necessarily imperative that I don’t show my face but it’s preferred. I am the queen of the witches. I have a sense of nobility and power and there are certain moments throughout the piece where I have a more goddess, noble presence as opposed to the grungy, scary witch all the time, I sort of shift between the two.
Female Warrior – Latisha
The main idea of my character is the Female Warrior, leader of the tribe and then there’s also a hint of Shiva the Indian god from Hinduism. Shiva has a crescent moon on his forehead and is also known for having matted hair – hence my mane/frizzy hair! There are a lot of little different things I played with including having a relaxed personality but also being very strong and calm. The red colour of my costume symbolises luck and happiness.
The Golden Goddess – Janessa
I’m the golden one; you could say I’m the golden goddess. I have a few characters, one being quite witch like – a part of Holly’s shadow. I then go into another world with Bernie, a bit more of a love story and he brings me out into the light and lets me show my gold. In the end we kind of represent stars and we create this full moon.
Lovers – Chloe & Todd
We are lovers, a couple. We were started with the idea of peach blossoms and this idea of innocence and being a love story. Tsung-lung also talked to us about being Adam and Eve – that purity and innocent love, also yin and yang which is seen in a lot of our movement. Also two dragons, weaving in and out of each other, opposing but complimentary forces.
Nobel Teacher – Sam
My character is less specific than the others but Tsung-lung gave me specific characteristics of movement. For my solo I was working with low-grounded movement and circles. I’m working with a beautiful skirt, that represents a lotus flower so when I sit down it spreads out and creates an incredible look on stage, Bernie and I do a duet that is a love story, there are lots of journeys I go on within the piece.
WATCH the characters on stage in a highlights video.
See Full Moon live on stage in the world premiere of Orb from 29 April – 27 May in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.