Thu, May 16, 2013 - Page 11 News List

Keep the dream alive

Novel Hall is unique in being one of the few international standard performance venues in Taipei run by the private sector. But the space may close if the building where it’s located, estimated to be worth NT$25 billion, is sold

By Ian Bartholomew  /  Staff reporter

Lin followed this up by quoting comments from the many top-flight international artists he has brought over as part of his Novel Dance Series (新舞風). Novel Hall has been highly praised for its excellent facilities, its design, which has the well-being and comfort of the performer in mind, and the excellent service both front of house and behind the scenes. As an aside, he also quoted many as praising the quality of Taiwan’s theater audiences for their courteousness and discrimination.

Lin also pointed out that the way venues like Novel Hall help define a city was predicated on the location of the venue as much as its facilities, and the creation of various serendipitous synergies. As an example, the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall (國立國父紀念館) auditorium was established long before the National Theater, but it never became the center of the same kind of theater culture and audience culture, he said.

“Over the years, Novel Hall has fostered its audience… The Xinyi District has plenty of designer shops and luxury buildings, but none of this is special... Many cities are now cloning this kind of environment. In the center of this we have establishments like the Eslite Xinyi flagship store (誠品信義旗艦店) and Novel Hall. (The presence of such unique establishments) touches and engenders respect in all those who visit. In comparison, what is Taipei 101? If Novel Hall moves to Nankang, this important synergy will be lost,” Lin said.

Lin emphasized that he was not making demands of China Trust, whose foremost commitment is to their shareholders, or of calling on the government to forcefully intervene, as might occur under authoritarian regimes such as China’s. The call put out by Lin and Pai is for dialogue between the arts community, China Trust and the government, and an attempt to raise awareness that the relocation of a theater has much wider repercussions for a city than might at first be apparent.

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