Los Angeles, Jan. 28 (CNA) Taiwan's first lady Chow Mei-ching arrived in Los Angeles Thursday evening for a transit stop en route to Washington, D.C. in her capacity as the honorary head of the world-renowned Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan.
At the invitation of Cloud Gate founder Lin Hwai-min, Chow is accompanying the troupe on a North American tour that will take it to the U.S. capital and the Cultural Olympiad in Vancouver, Canada.
Shortly before her arrival, President Ma Ying-jeou also landed in Los Angeles for an overnight layover on his way home after a diplomatic trip that took him to Honduras and the Dominican Republic.
Ma told reporters that he did not meet with Chow at the airport because of his hectic schedule but said he spoke with her by phone after both had arrived in Los Angeles.
Chow is being accompanied by Emile Chih-jen Sheng, minister of the Council for Cultural Affairs, on her current overseas trip.
Taiwan's representative to the United States, Jason Yuan, will also accompany Chow on the flight from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.
The first lady will view Cloud Gate dancers perform the troupe's signature work "Moon Water" at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington Jan. 29-30 as well as at the Cultural Olympiad in Vancouver Feb. 5-6.
Chow joined Cloud Gate last September for a charity performance at Dawang Primary School in eastern Taiwan's Taitung County after the area was devastated by Typhoon Morakot. She seemed to enjoy herself sitting side by side with indigenous schoolchildren as she cheered on the performers.
After that performance, Lin invited her to join the group on its North American "Tour of Art." The first lady gladly accepted the invitation.
According to Cloud Gate management, Chow empathized with how challenging it is for the troupe to constantly travel around the world, and she said she was glad she could do something to encourage the dancers along the way.
"Moon Water," a contemporary work with Tai Chi movements, is considered by many critics as one of the troupe's best pieces.
In addition to Cloud Gate, Taiwan's U Theatre, Chai Found Music Workshop and LAFA & Artists Dance Group have been invited to perform at the 2010 Vancouver Cultural Olympiad.
(By Chiang Chin-yeh and Sofia Wu)