In the upcoming performance by Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, three tons of golden rice fall steadily on the head of dancer Wang Rong-yu and cascade onto the stage. Rong-yu has been with the company for twenty years, all in the role of the meditating monk, standing mindfully at the edge of the stage.
“He’s amazing,” said [Company founder Lin Hwai-min], 67, in a phone interview from London, where his company performed at Sadler’s Wells recently. “We apply a coating on his head so it’s not so painful, and his hands and shoulders are bandaged with flesh-coloured bandages. (In 20 years) he only fell once, because the rice buried his robe and it was so tight that he was off balance. He picked himself up in one second. A lot of times, people wait outside to see him and hug him and start crying.”