4, Tao Ye. Photo: © Fan Xi

4 by Tao Ye


Tao Ye’s choreographic works explore the potential of the human body beyond the limitations of representation or dramaturgical narrative. In his performance titled 4, the choreography is abstract, the bodies expressing pure phenomenal movement.

A quartet of fluid bodies flows in powerfully controlled movements around a magnetic central point. Relentlessly, they perform a fixed pattern of movements, as if seeking to achieve oneness. The central point keeps them together, but they cannot breach the distance between them. Minimal shifts in movement are masterfully built in throughout the performance, drawing the audience into a slowly growing trance. The music features brisk and energetic voices beating against the sound of a plaintive string instrument, generating a powerful energy that stimulates the anonymous figures moving on the bright white stage.