Esplanade Presents


13 & 14

TAO Dance Theater (China)

13 Oct 2023, Fri, 7.30pm

14 Oct 2023, Sat, 7.30pm

15 Oct 2023, Sun, 3pm

1hr 15mins

(Intermission: 1 x 15mins)

Singtel Waterfront Theatre at Esplanade

This event is over.

14 Photo Credit: Fan Xi
13 Photo Credit: Fan Xi
13 Photo Credit: Fan Xi

“... confounds and amazes. It is rare to be able to say, ‘I’ve never seen anything quite like it,’ and really mean it.”
– CVNC Online Arts Journal North Carolina (USA)


“Tao Ye is emerging rapidly as a force to be reckoned with, as well as the most exciting name in modern dance.”
– Time Out Beijing


“Absolutely amazing … An extraordinary experience for the audience.”
– Västerbottens-Kuriren (Sweden)


After their sold-out performance at da:ns festival nine years ago, the acclaimed TAO Dance Theater takes the stage at Esplanade once again, this time on a grander scale with 14 dancers at the Singtel Waterfront Theatre. The award-winning contemporary dance company presents a double bill of 13 and 14, the two latest instalments of choreographer Tao Ye’s signature Numerical Series. Known for their distinct minimalist stye of repetition and restriction, TAO has found immense success worldwide and is recognised as one of Asia’s leading contemporary dance companies.


This production is presented as part of da:ns focus – Connect Asia Now (CAN), a weekend that spotlights contemporary dance works by Asian artists focusing on distinct voices and creative impulses from the region.


About 13


13 is the twelfth instalment of choreographer Tao Ye’s Numerical Series. This contemplative work uses the concept of a trinity to correspond to the number 13, and examines the interactions and connections formed between solo, duet and group dances. These three kinds of permutations constitute the entire creation.


The concepts of single, dual and multiple dimensions form a rule. In this creation, the chorographer cultivated the three changes of body, space, and time to form a chaotic whole. Rigorous and open concepts are used in the choreography to respond to the different states of the present concrete and the impermanent.


In the work, the dancers are connected into a whole, and then gradually fission into different forms. The continuous changes in the dance sequence during the movement open up a complex physical world: the realisation of impact, extrusion, fusion, and falling, rebound, pull and other infinite phenomena. Through varying speeds and rhythms, the bodies are transformed into water, mountains, rocks and all things alike. At this time, the body as a medium, demonstrates the vagaries of imagination.


Production Credits
Choreographer: Tao Ye
Composer: Xiao He
Lighting Designers: Ma Yue, Tao Ye
Costume Designer: Duan Ni
Costume Maker: Dnty


About 14


Rhythm is the linkage of all life.


14, the thirteenth work of Tao Ye’s Numerical Series presents a study of rhythm and change. How does one challenge the new context of the body? This time, Tao Ye, breaks the previous creative method of repeated cycles, and uses the ever-changing texture of movement to explore the space-time possibility between movement and stillness.


The music of this work boldly adopts a single minimalist well-balanced temperament, using the progressive method of the hour hand to correspond to the complex dynamics of the body in dance. The cuttings and foldings of points, lines and planes in the space, the agitation and swing with the control of weight, make the work return to pure body movement, with all possibilities unfolding in a changing yet unchanged rhythm.


Following the philosophy of “less is more” in regard to the relationship between audio and visual, TAO Dance Theater’s unique body technique, the Circular Movement System, is expanded and realises its ultimate potential.


Production Credits
Choreographer & Sound Conception: Tao Ye
Lighting Designers: Ma Yue, Tao Ye
Costume Designer: Duan Ni

There will be a post-show talk after every performance. 
Recommended Age: 12 and above.
Admission Age:
6 and above.
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Artist Information

Tao Ye (Founder, Choreographer & Artistic Director of TAO Dance Theater)

Born in Chongqing, Tao ye is a graduate of the Chongqing Dance School in China and has performed with the Shanghai Army Song & Dance Ensemble, Shanghai Jin Xing Dance Theater, and the Beijing Modern Dance Company (BMDC). In 2008, at the sage of 23, Tao ye founded TAO Dance Theater. His main works include the Numerical Series, weight 2 through 14, Non-numerical Series – Contrast; Arts Live Series – 12 Hours and Infinite Walking.


Inspired by Asian philosophy, Tao Ye developed the Circular Movement System in combination with his own style of dance. He has several international achievements under his name, such as performing at the Lincoln Center Festival in New York, USA, as well as being one of Sadler’s Wells New Wave Associates from 2011 – 2013. He has done several cross-disciplinary collaborations in film, theatre, fashion and more, having worked with Japanese brand Y-3, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre and starred in the film Blue Sky Bones.


Tao Ye’s choreography is distinct, recognised for its minimalistic style, repetition and restriction. His cutting-edge creative concepts have been acknowledged for being challenging for both dancers and spectators.

Duan Ni (Founding Dancer & Artistic Director of TAO Dance Theater)

Born in Xi’an, Duan Ni graduated from the Shaanxi Art College. She graduated from the Beijing Dance Academy modern dance choreography department (Guangdong branch), led by pioneer Madame Yang Meiqi, the founding director of China’s first modern dance company, Guangdong Modern Dance Company. In school, Duan Ni received a scholarship to attend the American Dance Festival. For the first time, Duan Ni systematically taught “Relaxation Techniques” in China, and her cutting-edge teaching concepts subverted the inherent concept of body movement of domestic dancers.


Duan Ni has danced with Shanghai Jin Xing dance Theatre, Akram Khan Dance Company (UK), and Shen Wei Dance Arts (USA). In August 2008, she joined TAO Dance Theater as its Founding Dancer and Artistic Director. As the first Chinese contemporary dancer invited by international dance companies, Duan Ni accepted all concepts and dstyles and formed he own body language and characteristics—softness and toughness, pure and open. She has performed at the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts in New York with different three dance companies. Each time, her performance was singled out by The New York Times, lauded by critics as "extraordinary”, “formidable” and “athletic control”.

TAO Dance Theater

TAO Dance Theater is a full-time contemporary dance company founded by Tao Ye, Duan Ni and Wang Hao in 2008. It is the first contemporary dance company in China to be invited to perform at the Lincoln Center Art Festival in the United States, the Edinburgh International Art Festival in the United Kingdom, the Sydney Opera House in Australia and Theatre de la Ville in France. They have also been invited to perform at the American Dance Festival (ADF), where they additionally served as resident artists. The Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London – UK, has commissioned five works by the company and invited them to perform in London six times.


The projects of the Numerical Series, created by the company with a simple creative concept and straightforward physicality, have toured five continents, more than 40 countries and over 100 different art festivals. The company has attracted extensive attention from people from all walks of life, becoming one of the most sought-after Chinese contemporary dance companies on the international stage.


In terms of interdisciplinary activity, the company has presented its work in a wide range of spaces, such as the ruins of the ancient Roman arena, the Paris Fashion Week Show, the ArtScience Museum in Singapore, the Aranya Seaside Stage, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Concert Hall, and Beijing International Design Week. At the 2015 Paris Fashion Week, the company was invited to collaborate on-site with the brand Y-3 by Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto. In 2019, the company and Cloud Gate dance Theatre co-produced Exchange, touring more than ten cities in China. In 2021, the DIY performance Infinite Walking was listed on the TikTok hot search list for several week sin a row. Tens of thousands of viewers imitated the body-free-walking style, and the relevant videos were played nearly 500 million times.


Alastair Macaculay, the chief art critic for the New York Times, described the work of the dance troupe as “theatrical force and authority. (The dancers’) athletic control is remarkable. Powerful drive… physicality and momentum… extraordinary and appealing.” Time Out New York named the company’s performance one of the “10 Best Dance Shows of 2014,” making them the only Asian company on the list. In 2023, TAO Dance Theater was awarded the Silver Lion for Dance at La Biennale di Venezia.


In 2021, TAO Dance Theater established the DNTY art extension brand and TAO Studio. The former combined artistic innovation with the design concept of “clothes that follow the body”, inspired by the style of creative individuals from all fields. The latter “pays attention to more people’s bodies”, launching the Circular Movement System, so that more people may discover that “the body can still move like this”, experiencing and exploring the infinite possibilities of their physicality.

Date & Time

13 Oct 2023, Fri


Singtel Waterfront Theatre at Esplanade
There will be a post-show talk. 

14 Oct 2023, Sat


Singtel Waterfront Theatre at Esplanade
There will be a post-show talk. 

15 Oct 2023, Sun


Singtel Waterfront Theatre at Esplanade
There will be a post-show talk. 
Tickets & Prices

Students, NSFs, Seniors & PWDs

Cat 1 $55 $44
Cat 2 $35 -

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