Fri, Oct 19, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Erasing boundaries

This year’s Huashan Living Arts Festival seeks to break the boundaries separating art and recreation

By Ian Bartholomew  /  Staff reporter

Visitors can choose to select various potential activities that they might wish to participate in with artists, ranging from joining the artists for a beer to joining a expressionist workshop. “We will tally the results after the festival,” Lin said “and will present the results to the performance groups for them to consider.” According to Lin, this might open new avenues for artist/audience interaction rather than just the formal one that takes place in a theater.

Something for the kids

The installation created by Kung also has a mini maze created like a series of tunnels that children can clamber through. The surface of the maze is textured like rock, and the twists and turns make children move in ways that are not so different from dance. There is also a light and sound game box in which children are directed to make movements to touch points surround them, creating dance-like movements. This only operates on the weekends, when teachers from the Cloud Gate Dance School (雲門舞集舞蹈教室) are available to provide some direction.

Then there is the graffiti wall, a Perspex wall on which children can draw. Being transparent, this “wall” allows interaction between children on both sides, and Lin said was one of the most popular items in the set up.

Static displays in the Silian Building (四連棟) are also worth checking out, as it provides a tasting menu of the diverse arts that are now being created in Taiwan. There are listening stations which provide a huge range of audio content from contemporary local groups, and video stations that offer archive material of performances by Taiwan’s top artists. Videos are also projected onto screens in another area, and on weekends, mini theatrical events are performed, with time left over after each performance for the public to ask questions.

Outside performances

Best of all, every weekend there are lots of outdoor performances in which people can sit on the lawn, children and dogs can wander about, while anything from traditional puppet theater to acrobatics and contemporary dance are performed on stage. The evenings usually wrap up with a film screening: also usually something to do with the theater. Tonight there is Mao’s Last Dancer, with Hairspray tomorrow. On Oct. 27, check out the screening of Pink Floyds’ The Wall.

The festival runs through to Nov. 4, with three more weekends worth of activities. Detailed English program information about the festival is available at www.hlaf.com.tw.

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