The Body Expression Dance Theater (BodyEDT, 體相舞蹈劇場) returns to the Experimental Theater in Taipei tonight for four performances of founder Lee Ming-cheng’s (李名正) latest work, Mr.R2.0-Utopia (Mr.R2.0-烏托邦).
For more than a decade, Lee’s works for his 15-year-old troupe have largely centered on what he labels “contemporary urban consciousness.”
In 2012 he premiered Mr.R, a combination of digital programing, holographic projections, LED lighting and dance that told the tale of a rabbit without a face, lacking an identity and forced to survive by wearing a mask in order to prove his existence.
Photo Courtesy of Body Expression Dance Theater
Mr.R was about the process of looking for recognition and existence, about transformation. The show won rave reviews last year in France, where it was performed at the Festival d’Avignon off, and won Lee a technology research award from the Ministry of Culture.
Lee has brought the rabbit back to life this year for his six-dancer company, only this time Mr.R is not searching for his own identity, but for a utopia in contemporary society. The question of whether utopia exist or if it just an ideal that we carry in our hearts that can never be real is at the heart of Lee’s hour-long work.
For those who wonder why he chose a rabbit as the central figure in the two shows, Lee has a simple answer — it is all about the ears.
A rabbit’s large ears project an image of a creature that is always listening, able to tune in to the quietest of conversations.
Lee told Performing Arts Review magazine that on television, there are so many talking heads, everyone has so many opinions, but few people are actually listening to others. He said he hopes that through Mr.R’s ears, people will be able to hear different ideas.
WHEN: Tonight and tomorrow at 7:30pm, tomorrow and Sunday at 2:30pm
WHERE: Experimental Theater (國家戲劇院實驗劇場), 21-1 Zhongshan S Rd, Taipei City (台北市中山南路21-1號)
ADMISSION: Tickets are NT$600, available through at NTCH box offices, online at www.artsticket.com.tw or at convenience store kiosks. Tonight’s show and Sunday’s are sold out
Scott Saulters wasn’t sure if his film had just taken one of the two top prizes at a recent film competition. Although Saulters has been in Taiwan for 15 years and is proficient in Mandarin, the award ceremony for the inaugural “Bi Tian Iann” (眯電影) short film contest was conducted entirely in Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), a language he can’t speak. “I thought I heard it, but I didn’t want to look too excited,” he says. Despite his limited command of the tongue, Saulter’s entry, Wu Yu Tzu (烏魚子, mullet roe), took first place in the amateur category of the
The Taiwan of yesteryear was dominated in whole or in part by the Dutch, Spanish, Qing Empire and Japanese. But is the Taiwanese name for a popular edible fish derived from the Portuguese language? Cheng Wei-chung (鄭維中), an associate research fellow at Academia Sinica’s Institute of Taiwan History, says yes. The fish in question is the narrow-barred Spanish mackerel, which was listed in early 18th century Qing local gazetteers as Taiwanese specialities alongside milk fish and mullet, according to Cheng’s paper, “Mullet, narrow-barred Spanish mackerel and milkfish: Multiple contextual developments of three certified seafood specilaities in Taiwan, from the
I didn’t expect to spend more than three minutes out of my car, yet the sun was so brutal I put on my hat before approaching the seawall. Beimen (北門) is the flattest and most sun-baked part of Tainan. It lacks trees and people. In wintertime, the weather is often delightful. It wasn’t yet mid-morning in the hot season, however, and I felt like a leaf shriveling in the desert. Atop the seawall but facing inland, I could see dozens of the rectangular ponds which account for a significant percentage of Beimen’s “land” area. Some, no doubt, were dug to produce
Aug. 10 to Aug. 16 They called him the “No Problem Doctor” (沒關係醫生) because that’s what he always told his patients when they couldn’t pay up. Operating the only clinic in Changhua County’s Pusin Township (埔心) during the 1950s, Hsu Tsai-chih (許再枝) knew that life was difficult in his remote hometown. “They barely had enough to survive, so it was pointless to chase after them for the money,” an 81-year-old Hsu told the United Daily News in 2002. “I just went with the flow, some offered to pay me back years later but I had already forgotten