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Edinburgh Fringe 2018

Taiwan Season: Bon 4 Bon

Chang Dance Theatre, Taiwan

Genre: Contemporary, Dance

Venue: Dance Base


Low Down

Founded in 2011, Chang produces only one work per year. Bon 4 Bon is the first in which the siblings perform together using material that arose from improvisations centered round their individual experiences of being related.


Bon 4 Bon is a contemporary dance piece choreographed for four dancers from Chang Dance Theatre by Eyal Dadon, an Israeli choreographer. Chang Dance Theatre comprises four brothers – and they all perform in Bon 4 Bon: Chien Hao Chang, Chien Chih Chang, Chien Kuei Chang, Ho Chien Chang.

Memories of the brothers growing up are integrated in the original choreography. Each brother has his own personality, which comes out in the progression of the piece, starting with spoken memories and then full movement and intricate dance sequences.

All four brothers had a strong interest in the arts and particularly dance, which makes their story not only fascinating but also unusual.

The choreography includes a theatrical flair in several moments, such as when the four freeze and look out at the audience as if in a photograph. Movement is almost non-stop, it’s stylized until one of the brothers picks up a mic and speaks about his own memories.

They dance in tight formations across the large performance space, and break off into complex individual motifs. When the song “Blackbird singing in the dead of night…” plays their dancing is graceful with idiosyncratic movement interspersed with agile feet, their bodies pulled in several directions.

Although abstract, the dancers perform naturally and each section seems to be meaningful to them. They take time to interact with each other, yet everything has the right balance of dance and theatricality. There is humour when they play tricks or are competitive with each other – and serious when conflicts arise.

The dance quality is very good throughout and might benefit from being a tad more emotive, in general –  they perform vibrant sequences, complex motifs, and creative lifts with attention to detail and follow through finishing off each movement.

This show is a breath of fresh air about families and siblings who get along and even enjoy spending time together!

Clothing, comprises a variety of coloured t-shirts, trousers and socks, designed by Po-Chen Lin and plays a fascinating role in the narrative. Mangoes are also a theme. This show is Recommended – go see!