Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in Dance goes to Simone Forti and the Silver Lion to the company TAO Dance Theater

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Simone Forti

Simone Forti (Florence, 1935) lives and works in Los Angeles, where she emigrated from Italy in 1938 to escape fascist, anti-Semitic persecution.  Her career as a dancer began in the second half of the 1950s when she took part in Anna Halprin’s “Dancers’ Workshop” in San Francisco, experimenting with a new working method based on improvisation, free from the codes of modern dance. In 1959, she moved to New York with her then-husband Robert Morris and studied with Robert Dunn who introduced her to the work of John Cage at the Merce Cunningham studio. In New York, she debuted as a choreographer in 1960 with two dances in the form of a happening - See-Saw and Rollers – and in 1961, Five Dance Constructions and Some Other Things, an evening at Yoko Ono’s loft. These Dance Constructions joined movement and structures for the first time, using everyday actions such as running, climbing, and standing in ropes. The Dance Constructions revolutionized concepts of dance and movement and was a strong influence on the members of Judson Dance Theater, including Trisha Brown, Yvonne Rainer, Steve Paxton, and Robert Morris. She also worked with artist Robert Whitman, performing in the happenings Flower (1960), American Moon (1960), and Prune Flat (1965). In 1968 she presented her minimalist multimedia pieces Face Tunes, Cloths, Songs, Bottom, Book, and Fallers. From 1968 to 1970, she lived in Rome, where she was invited to show her Dance Constructions at Galleria L’Attico by Fabio Sargentini, who also invited her to take part in the Festival Danza Volo Musica e Dinamite together with her American colleagues Trisha Brown, Deborah Hay, Yvonne Rainer, La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela, Terry Riley, and David Bradshaw. For many of them, it was their first European appearance. Also for Sargentini’s L’Attico, Simone Forti created Sleepwalkers, a performance inspired by animal movements she observed at the Rome Zoo. Back in the United States, during the 1980s and ’90s, Forti developed an improvisation practice based on the relationship between words and movement (now known as Logomotion), and her News Animations, speaking and moving on political themes. In the same years, she founded the group Simone Forti and Troupe and worked with artist Nam June Paik. A total artist, during her career Simone Forti has dedicated herself to drawing, film and video, photography, installation art, and writing.

Her works and performances have been shown in the major museums of the world: MoMA, Guggenheim, Whitney Museum, P.S.1 (New York); Hammer Museum, Getty Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art/MOCA (Los Angeles), San Francisco Museum of Art, Centre Pompidou, Musée du Louvre, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporaine (Paris), Carré d'art at Nîmes; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid), Kunsthaus (Zurich), MAMCO (Genève), Kunsthalle (Basle), Hayward Gallery (London), Castello di Rivoli (Turin), Centro Pecci (Prato), Fondazione ICA (Milan), Galleria L’Attico (Roma), Stedelijk (Amsterdam), and many others. A complete solo exhibition of the Italian-American artist’s work is on display at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles through April 2nd.

Tao Ye, Duan Ni, Wang Hao. TAO Dance Theater

TAO Dance Theater is a contemporary dance company founded by Tao Ye, Duan Ni and Wang Hao in Beijing in 2008. It is the first contemporary dance company in China to be invited to perform at the Lincoln Center Art Festival in New York, Edinburgh International Art Festival, the Sydney Opera House and Theatre de la Ville in Paris. It has also been invited to perform at the American Dance Festival (ADF) and served as a resident artist. Sadler's Wells Theatre in London, UK, commissioned the company’s five works and invited the company to perform in London six times.

The works of the Numerical Series created by the company with simple creative concepts and simple body aesthetics have toured all over the world on five continents, in more than 40 countries and over 100 different art festivals. In terms of diversified cross-border and exploration of performing arts, the Numerical Series and Non-numerical Series works of the company have been invited to perform cross-border in different spaces, such as the ruins of the ancient Roman arena, the Paris Fashion Week Show, the Singapore Museum of Art and Science, the Aranya Seaside Stage, the Concert Hall of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and the Beijing International Design Week. At the 2015 Paris fashion week, the company was invited to conduct on-site cooperation with the Y-3 Brand of Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto. In 2019, the company and Cloud Gate Dance Theatre set jointly produced "Exchange" and toured more than ten cities in China.

In 2021, the self-made "Infinite Walking" was listed on the Tiktok hot search list for several weeks in a row. Tens of thousands of netizens imitated the body-free-walking style, and the relevant videos were played nearly 500 million times. “Time Out New York” named the company’s performances one of the “10 Best Dance Shows of 2014,” the only company on the list from Asia. In 2021, TAO Dance Theater established the DNTY art extension brand and TAO Studio. The former released the inspiration of artists with the design concept of "clothes should follow the body", combined with the creativity of diversified performing arts such as clothing, music, dance and image, derived and shared the dancers' dressing aesthetics and lifestyle. The latter "pays attention to more people's bodies" and launches the course of the “Circular Movement System”, so that more people can find that "the body can still move like this", feel, experience and explore the infinite possibility that the body is like a kaleidoscope.



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