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Cloud Gate founder encourages young people to be courageous
Central News Agency
2013-09-29 10:00 PM
Taipei, Sept. 29 (CNA) Lin Hwai-min, founder and artistic director of Taiwan's Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, on Sunday encouraged young people in Taiwan to be brave in pursuing their goals and not to restrict themselves. Speaking at the annual TEDxTaipei talks, Lin, 66, recounted his own experience founding the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre four decades ago, saying many did not expect him to succeed. "My father told me, dancers are the greatest artists.but a dancer could earn as much as a beggar," said Lin, who went on to establish the renowned Cloud Gate, the first professional dance troupe in Taiwan. Without predecessors or choreography experiences, Lin said he worked long hours and often had to raise funds for the troupe, but persevered because he didn't want to let down his dancers nor turn his back on his youthful dreams. Busy work, however, led Lin to suspend the dance troupe in 1986, but he called the decision "one of the best works of my life" as it gave his team time to mature and become more professional when Cloud Gate was finally resumed in 1991. He advised young people not to put restrictions on themselves, but to reflect and move forward. "The other name for youth is bravery. Don't be afraid," said the artist. Established in 1973, Cloud Gate has been called "Asia's leading contemporary dance theatre" by the Times of London. Its production "Moon Water" was selected by the New York Times as the best dance of 2003. Lin was the recipient of this year's Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 2005, he was celebrated by Time magazine as one of "Asia's Heroes." Meanwhile, Davy Liu, founder of animation company Kendu Films and a former Disney animator, urged grown-ups to give more encouragement to children, mentioning himself as an example. Liu, who participated in creating Disney animation films such as "Mulan" and "The Lion King," said he struggled through elementary school until moving to the United States at age 13 and meeting a teacher who praised his talent for drawing. Children can become anything "as long as we stop treating diamonds like glass," Liu said. Hsu Chen-jung, founder of Chio-Tian Folk Drums and Arts Troupe who also struggled academically, also stressed the importance of encouragement to children, mentioning a teacher who made a difference to his life simply by showing care and concern. Hsu, whose troupe recruits high school dropouts and trains them to become folk artists and drummers, said he hopes to encourage teenagers to achieve their dreams. (By Christie Chen)
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