Formerly a slipper-selling street hawker and now an internationally recognized choreographer, CHENG Tsung-lung succeeded LIN Hwai-min as artistic director of Cloud Gate beginning in 2020.
CHENG took his first dance class at the age of 8. Upon graduation from the Dance Department of Taipei National University of the Arts, he joined Cloud Gate in 2002, becoming the artistic director of Cloud Gate 2 in 2014.
CHENG has received prestigious prizes for his choreography at internationial choreography competitions in Germany, Italy, Spain, and Taiwan. He has also worked with companies from all over the world, including Sydney Dance Company, Transitions Dance Company at the Laban Centre (London), Expressions Dance Company (Brisbane), and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.
CHENG’s work is deeply rooted in both ancient and modern Taiwanese culture—he is a strong supporter of Cloud Gate’s extensive work with grassroots audiences across Taiwan—yet it also embraces global influences. His 13 Tongues (2016) integrates folk dance, religious rites, and Taoist chant to vividly conjure the streets where he worked as a child. Lunar Halo (2019) is performed to an ethereally haunting soundtrack by Icelandic musicians Sigur Rós and explores the complex area of human connection and technology. Sounding Light (2020), was written in response to COVID pandemic-induced isolation and reflects on the precariousness of both the human and the natural worlds. Visually stunning, Send in a Cloud (2022) displays in shifting colors a panorama of dancers’ life journeys.
CHENG has been a fixture of Routledge’s respected annual survey of dance practitioners, Fifty Contemporary Choreographers, alongside the likes of William Forsythe, Akram Khan, Hofesh Shechter, and other leading choreographers.