Thu, Dec 18, 2014 - Page 12 News List

Exploring culture through dance

Several dance performances this weekend explore Aboriginal culture at venues in Taipei City

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

Dance students at the Taipei National University of the Arts in Guandu will perform Japanese choreographer’s Toru Shimazaki’s The Naked Truth at the dance department’s annual end-of-the-year show that begins tonight.

Photo Courtesy of Liu Chen-hsiang and Taipei National University of the Arts dance department

Dances by Aboriginal choreographers play a prominent role in Taipei this weekend, in shows by the dance department at Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA, 國立臺北藝術大學) and the Pingtung County-based Tjimur Dance Theatre (蒂摩爾古薪舞集).

Tickets have been going fast for the annual end-of-the-year shows (2014舞蹈學院歲末展演) at the school in Guandu (關渡). The only seats left for the five-show run are for tonight’s performance.

The mixed bill program features two Aboriginal-themed works. Warriors (勇者) is by well-known choreographer and TNUA alumni Bulareyaung Pagarlava, who is Paiwan, while Songs and Dance of Ilisin, the Annual Ritual of Tafalong, Amis (太巴塱年祭歌舞) is a reconstruction by associate professor Chao Chi-fang (趙綺芳) of a ritual dance.

Also on the program is Japanese choreographer’s Toru Shimazaki’s The Naked Truth (裸露的真實), Indonesian choreographer and teacher Endang Nrangwesti’s Pendent (迎賓舞) and Taiwanese dancer/choreographer Chiang Chiou-o’s (蔣秋娥) Conflict (衝突).

TNUA’s dance department has a well-deserved reputation, both at home and abroad, for producing well-trained, yet very versatile performers and outstanding choreographers. The department’s two annual shows give Taipei dance fans an early chance to see possible stars of tomorrow.

The quickest way to get to the university is to take the MRT to Guandu Station and either catch the shuttle bus that runs to the school or take a taxi. Walking back down from the school to the MRT station takes about 15 minutes.

Downtown at the Experimental Theater, the Tjimur Theatre will be giving four performances of its latest production, Qai-i (愛遺憶), choreographed by Balu Madilin, starting tomorrow night.

Performance Notes

What: End of the year dance performance

Where: Taipei National University of the Arts Theater (國立臺北藝術大學展演藝術中心戲劇廳), 1 Xueyuan Rd, Taipei City (台北市學園路1號)

When: Tonight through Sunday; tonight to Saturday at 7:30pm, Saturday and Sunday at 2:30pm

Admission: NT$350; only seats left are for tonight’s show

What: Qai-i

Where: Experimental Theater (國家實驗劇場), 21-1 Zhongshan S Rd, Taipei City (台北市中山南路21-1號)

When: Tomorrow and Saturday at 7:30pm, Saturday and Sunday at 2:30pm

Admission: Tickets are NT$500 and NT$2,000, available at NTCH box office and online at and at convenience store ticketing kiosks

The troupe, based in Sandimen Township (三地門), is led by artistic director Ljuzen Madilin and is the nation’s first Paiwan contemporary dance troupe. Its works often center on the struggle of today’s young Aboriginals trying to reconcile their traditional cultures with modern life.

Qai-i in the Paiwan language is an expression that conveys both the emotion and beauty of grief or sorrow.

Here it is used to explore the problems that marriage can bring for men and women in a stratified community where family connections can outweigh individual preferences.

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