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Cloud Gate founder: Sylvie Guillem hard worker

The Taiwan's famed Cloud Gate modern dance troupe’s founder said Wednesday that he was very fond of French ballerina Sylvie Guillem. He described her as a diligent dancer who insisted on perfecting challenging new moves during their recent collaboration

Lin Hwai-min choreographed a piece for Guillem, which she performed in London in September.

"Sylvie is a very hard-working, serious dancer. When I would tell her, 'This move is difficult, let's do something else,' she would say, 'No, I have to do this move. I'll do it well,"' Lin told reporters in Hong Kong.

"I gave her many challenges. She had to do a somersault. People were shocked to see a ballerina do a somersault," he said.

Lin said Guillem had to adjust to a different rhythm and aesthetic.

Cloud Gate is in Hong Kong to perform a medley of their dances.

Besides working with Guillem, British dancer Akram Khan choreographed "Lost Shadows" for Cloud Gate. The show had a recent run in Taipei.

Lin compared Cloud Gate's collaboration with dancers from different cultures to maintaining a diverse diet.

"You can't eat meat every day. Sometimes you have to eat vegetables. Sometimes you have to eat cheese," Lin said.

"It's fantastic. It's wonderful. It's something fresh," he said.

Asked about retirement, Lin, Cloud Gate's artistic director, said he was tired by the dance company's busy touring schedule but that Cloud Gate's board of directors was reluctant to see him leave.

He said, however, the company is training new choreographers.