Fri, Aug 11, 2006 - Page 14 News List

Intangible masterpieces take center stage in Ilan

By Jules Quartly  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Asia-Pacific Traditional Arts Festival provides a showcase for disappearing art forms.

PHOTO COURTESY OF NATIONAL CENTER FOR TRADITIONAL ARTS

The National Center for Traditional Arts (NCTA, 國立傳統藝術中心) has lofty plans to elevate traditional song, dance and art to classical heights and this weekend introduces its Asia-Pacific Traditional Arts Festival.

Running from tomorrow until Sept. 3, at the NCTA's Ilan base, the event intends to be a “Proclamation of Masterpieces from the Intangible Heritage of Humanity.”

Artists and administrators from similar-minded groups in Asia have been invited to hold performances, give and attend lectures and hold exhibitions of traditional percussion instruments.

The Xinjiang Mukamu Art Ensemble was set up in 1989 to promote Uyghur culture, which relates to the Turkic-speaking nomadic tribes of central Asia who principally live in Xinjiang, China.

It will present Mukamu Twelve, which integrates “literature, history, music, dance and folk custom into an organic whole,” according to NCTA staffers, and is internationally recognized “as a bright pearl of eastern music.”

The Ramayana requires little introduction. The Sanskrit-verse epic from India has been adopted by many Asian countries and the Thai version will be presented at this festival by the Thailand Ramayana Traditional Dance group.

The NCTA was established by the Council for Cultural Affairs in 2001 and charged with the study, preservation and dissemination of traditional arts.

This has included presenting Beijing Opera and puppet shows, Hakka tea-picking dramas and traditional Taiwanese opera. The NCTA's annual festival has become its most feted event.

For further information about scheduled performances in the morning and afternoon, telephone (03) 970-5815 or (02) 2516-8282. Or go to www.ncfta.gov.tw. Details were not available as of press time.

The NCTA is at 201 Wubin Rd Sec 2, Wuchieh Village, Yilan County (宜蘭縣五結鄉五濱路二段201號).

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