Fri, Nov 03, 2017 - Page 14 News List

Highlight: Dancing for democracy

By Diane Baker  /  Staff Reporter

Dancers perform during a dress rehearsal for the 12th Tsai Jui-yuah Dance Festival in Taipei, which opens tonight.

Photo: Sam Yeh, AFP

The 12th Tsai Jui-yueh International Dance Festival (第十二屆蔡瑞月國際舞蹈節), which opens tonight at the Rose Historic Site (玫瑰古蹟), will pay tribute to democracy activist Deng Nan-jung (鄭南榕) as well as commemorate the 70th anniversary of the 228 Incident.

US choreographer Eleo Pomar’s 2004 work Tableaux was inspired by the life and death of Deng, publisher of Freedom Era Weekly magazine, who set himself on fire in 1989 after barricading himself in his Taipei office for more than 70 days to avoid arrest and trial for publishing the “Taiwan Republic constitution.”

The Rose Historic Site, a rebuilt Japanese-style house, served for decades as the dance studio for Taiwanese modern dance pioneer and political activist Tsai Jui-yueh (蔡瑞月). For the festival, the building’s sliding front doors are pushed back so the front room can serve as a stage, while the audience is seated in the garden outside.

Pomar’s works have often been performed at the festival, organized by Tsai’s daughter-in-law Ondine Hsiao (蕭渥廷), chair of the Tsai Jui-yueh Culture Foundation. Hsiao asked Pomare to create a work after seeing one of his pieces in Australia in 2002.

In addition to one of Tsai’s works, Kite (風箏), some of the other works on the program are by names familiar to those who have seen previous festivals, including Ishii Baku, who was one of Tsai’s teachers when she studied in Japan, and Australian Elizabeth Dalman. There will also be works by US choreographer Joan Miller and upcoming Taiwanese choreographer Wen Zhu-wei (溫祖威).

■ Tonight, tomorrow and Sunday at 7:45pm, tomorrow and Sunday at 3pm at the Rose Historic Site (玫瑰古蹟), via Lane 46, Zongshan N Rd Sec 2 (台北市中山北路二段46巷進場)

■ Tickets are NT$1,000, available through NTCH box offices, Eslite ticket desks, online at and convenience store kiosks

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