On February 19, the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan was awarded the Stef Stefanou Award for Outstanding Company at the annual UK National Dance Awards, the most prestigious award for dance in the UK. The win follows their 2018 residency at Sadler’s Wells with Artistic Director Lin Hwai-min’s ode to Taiwan, “Formosa” which was performed between 9-12 May. Taiwan’s Minister of Culture Ms Cheng Li-chun personally sent them a congratulatory message, expressing the pride that Taiwanese people felt as a result of this good news.
Accepting the award on behalf of Cloud Gate, Artistic Director of Sadler’s Well Alistair Spalding CBE said “He (Lin Hwai-min) created a whole dance culture in Taiwan from the very beginning."
The UK National Dance Awards are presented annually by the the Critics’ Circle, a distinguished group of senior reviewers and journalists from the world of dance.
Competition for Outstanding Company was incredibly fierce this year, with Cloud Gate seeing off tough competition from other nominees including the Royal Ballett, the Scottish Ballett, the Northern Ballett and the Dresden Semperoper Ballett.
Lin Hwai-min also received a nomination in the Best Modern Choreography category. Both Lin and Cloud Gate were the only respective choreographers and dance companies from Asia to receive nominations this year
Founded in 1973, The Cloud Gate Dance Theatre was the first professional dance group in Taiwan, and the first modern dance group in the Chinese speaking world. They has been invited to perform in London 10 times since 1999. It has been called "Asia's leading contemporary dance theatre" by the Times, and its 2018 acclaimed show "Formosa" was selected as one of the top 10 dance shows of 2018 by The Guardian.