Fri, Mar 29, 2002 - Page 9 News List

It's all in the voice

By Ian Bartholomew  /  STAFF REPORTER

The first installment of the International Theater Festival opens this week

with performances by Voix Polyphoniques from France and Birgitte Grimstad,

who will perform in a double bill with Taiwan's U Theater(憂劇團), a

veritable feast of non-mainstream theater. Voix Polyphoniques, which opens

the festival, uses a capella and ritual movements to create a kind of

vocalized tableau vivant that asks more questions than it answers. While its

physicality is subordinated to voice, making it stand out from the majority

of performances that make up the festival, its use of voice (as opposed to

speech) to tell a story is in line with the festival's move away from

conventional dialogue-oriented drama. The Empress?Roast and Nakasone both

deal with questions of food, passion and song. Voix draws on a rich

tradition of European folk with Gypsy, Jewish and Magyar roots to create a

rich tapestry of human life.

Birgitte Gramstad continues the musical motif with her Mass for the Mother.

An important folk artist working out of Norway, Grimstad began adding

costume and props to her musical performances and in 1991 started her

one-woman Little Windharp Theatre. The show she brings to Taipei explores

the roles that the mother has played in the mythology of many cultures using

voice, gesture and dance.

Gramstad will perform a double bill with Taiwan's outstanding U Theater, who

will perform Flower with Smile(捻花), which follows the same new-agey

themes, but in this case drawing on the rich tradition of Chinese tai chi

(太極) to create a world in which humans can put themselves in tune with the


Voix Polyphoniques will perform The Empress' Roast at 7:30pm today and

tomorrow and at 2:30pm tomorrow. Nakasone will be performed at 2:30pm and

7:30pm on Sunday. Birgitte Gramstad and U Theater will perform 7:30pm on

April 5 and 6. All performances are at the Experimental Theater.

This story has been viewed 3134 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top