Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan acquired an international reputation for Lin's blending of elements drawn from classical Chinese dance, Western modern dance, meditation and martial arts. The company arrives with Lin's latest, Formosa, the title drawn from "Ilha Formosa" (beautiful island), a description by Portuguese sailors in the 1500s. Now politically sidelined in favor of mainland China, Taiwan has known waves of cultural influences over the centuries: Dutch, Spanish, Ming Chinese and Japanese. After World War II and his defeat by Mao Zedong, General Chiang Kai-shek and his followers retreated to Taiwan, establishing the current Republic of China. Those influences, conflicting forces and the rare beauty of "Ilha Formosa" are celebrated by what may be Lin's final work as director of the dance company; he's scheduled to retire next year.
In the 1970s, fresh from his studies in the United States, Lin Hwai-min returned to his home in Taiwan and established the first dance company in Taiwan and the first contemporary dance company in the Chinese-speaking world. Under his leadership,