After spending ten years in the United States of America, including his seven-year career as a full-time dancer in Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Wen-chung Lin returned to Taiwan and started his own dance company WCDance with an expectation to make it “a small and delicate dance company which focuses on the purest and the most basic physical movement to continuously explore movements unique to a contemporary epoch as well as to establish a new physical aesthetics with sensitivity and humanity.”
In 2008, WCdance made its world debut with an evening-length work entitled Small. Five dancers squeeze into an acrylic box of three cubic meters and dance inside the box to demonstrate the form and the concept of “micro-theatre,” guiding viewers to concentrate on the dance, the human bodies, the exquisite movements, and the theatrical dynamics through a microscope. Taipei Times acclaimed it as “a highly polished jewel of a work” and later selected this production to be one of the “if you missed these performances you really missed out” amongst Taipei’s year round productions in 2008. Since then, Wenchung Lin has started his Small series with annual productions, including Small Songs (2009), Small Puzzles (2010), Small Nanguan (2010), and Small End (2013).
Following the success of Small, the Small series production No.2 Small Songs (2009) once again impressed the audience with thirteen love songs, which had very different styles from both the Eastern and the Western cultures, as its motif to reconstruct the idea of dancing. An ancient Nanguan love song, Looking at the Bright Moon, in Small Songs gave Wen-chung Lin an idea to further explore the beautiful hybridity between traditional music and modern dance. Small Nanguan thus marked the beginning of the series. Wenchung Lin not only conducted a field research with his dancers, but also made a bold suggestion that Nanguan music master should dance with the dancers on stage. Hong Kong Wenhui Newspaper described that “(Small Nanguan) turns the baggage of tradition into an artistic inspiration, extracting the essential ‘beauty’ of the Nanguan tradition and revealing it with delicate sincerity to touch the souls of the audience.”
After Wenchung Lin returned from a retreat in Bali and India in 2013, he decided to conclude the Small series with Small End. He peeled off any pre-existing physical movement as well as choreographic vocabulary to emphasize the purest bodies as a free flowing microcosm. Considered to be the most original work by WCdance, Small End won a nomination for the top fifteen productions in the 12th Taishin Arts Award.
Small Nanguan 2, which premiered at the 2014 Taiwan International Festival of Arts, was the sequel to Small Nanguan. It further deconstructed the performantive expressions of traditional Nanguan and modern dance. Although the edgy experiment in Small Nanguan 2 received mixed reviews, it unexpectedly related WCdance with the term “tradition” as it became the only modern dance company to perform at the 2014 Changhua Traditional Music Festival and the Cross-Strait Folk Festival as well as the 2015 Taipei Traditional Arts Festival.
The artistic focus of WCdance was not limited to local aesthetics, as it sometimes developed choreographic productions abroad. Invited by the Chicago-based world-known dance company The Selsoms, WCdance stayed in Chicago for one month in 2012 to work with The Seldoms and created WCdance x The Seldom, which was later presented in both Chicago and Taipei. WCdance is also one of the companies frequently presenting Taiwan at international events, including the 2009 Association of Performing Arts Presenters in New York, the 2011 Festival d'Avignon Off in France, and the 2012 Festival/Tokyo, the2014 Art Festival of Osaka University, and the 2015 Macau Art Festival.
Starting from the Small series, which features the physical dynamics within a limited space, WCdance develops a universal style beyond national and cultural boundary with its root in Taiwan as it searches for a unique physical expression of Taiwan’s modern dance. “Dance our own dance,” it is WCdance’s belief to base on the purest physical form and to present “Taiwan” on the international stage with its irreplaceable uniqueness.