Why 3 Men on a Horse? There is an expression in America that goes like this: two is company, three is a crowd and although that is often true, it is not always true for these two reasons. First, we’re not in America, we’re in Taiwan. And second, it’s not always true in America either.
The Horse in the title refers to HORSE, launched in 2005, a choreographic collaboration between its founders and co-directors Chen Wu-Kang and Su Wei-Chia and including, over the years, collaborations with other distinguished Taiwanese male dancers. The three men referred to in 3 Men on a Horse are Wu-Kang, Wei-Chia and me. Hence the title Three Men on a Horse
The collaboration between we three colleagues and friends is born of our mutual admiration – my love of their dancing and their regard for my choreography. Our approach and methods of working together are, however, predicated upon a more traditional relationship between dancer and choreographer than is customary for HORSE. At the risk of over simplifying the process of our working process, its methodology is more or less like this – I provide the choreography and they do the dancing. Of course, it is not always as perfectly clear as that, and the lines between dancer and choreographer frequently blur. This is of immeasurable benefit to the choreography, providing the dance with the instincts, animation and wisdom uniquely available to their young, strong and supple bodies and increasingly lost to my aging physique.
But let me be clear. It is not their relative youthful vigor and athleticism, alone or primarily, that encourages my desire to collaborate with Wu-Kang and Wei-Chia but rather their extraordinary sensitivity to the esthetic aspiration of the dance, its language, its grammar, and the palette it is often painstakingly exploring. To say it in simple everyday language they get it! They are dancers alert to the key of the dance! and that is as important as it is rare and as rare as it is important.
Why you dance is evident in how you dance! In other words, a dancers priorities, motivation and reason for dancing, those unnamable impulses that impel him or her to run and fall and jump, to organize their limbs in fresh combinations and surprising rhythms, the nature of their physical imagination,
will be revealed in the essence and spirit of their dancing.
When a dancer dances what you see is what you get, and how your dancing looks expresses and will inevitably disclose who you are and why and wherefore you dance. One cannot conceal the truth one’s dancing body will communicate to the viewer. And it is this defining motivation that we three, Wu-Kang, Wei-Chia and I share. It is the aesthetic glue that binds us without its ever being uttered directly.
Although it is never spoken of between us, nor even in our conscious thoughts, what we share without its ever being said is this. We dance to reveal the character of human nature, its physiology and temperament, not to overcome it.
I propose that dancing is motion’s way of thinking. And most often Wu-Kang, Wei-Chia and I are of one dancing mind.
That is why we 3 Men on a Horse are company and not a crowd.
—— Eliot Feld
Ballet Tech – Artistic Director