Spring Forward: Kids by Kuan-Hsiang Liu

Grief is a messy business.

Had Kids, by Taiwanese choreographer Kuan-Hsiang Liu, been a perfectly composed ballet, it wouldn’t have made any sense. The beauty of the piece was in its disjointedness.

Kids is a staged documentation of sorts of the death of Liu’s mother. Throughout the piece, recorded conversations between Liu and his late mother are played. These talks touch on her impending death, on memory and on family history. Like life, they don’t always follow a clear path.

In an interview with Ka Bradley of Springback Academy, the choreographer described the work as a circle in that continuing to perform it keeps him in the loop of emotions he experienced following his mother’s death.

To make a piece about losing a parent can’t be simple. It can’t flow, it can’t make sense. Mourning is a panicked, nerve-wracking and nonsensical experience. Mourning has you quiet one moment, frantic the next, shouting “pussy juice everywhere” and coming apart at the seams. And, in its wild, undulating and frenetic pace, Kids managed to present an accurate staged expression of one of the most universal experiences, grief.

Kids was performed at the Spring Forward Festival in the Abne Scene Theater at Godsbanen in Aarhus Denmark on April 29, 2017. 


Ori J. Lenkinski