Thu, May 17, 2018 - Page 13 News List

Forging connections through songs and dance

The National Taichung Theater commissioned a new work from its first artist in residence, Bulareyaung Pagarlava. The show premieres on Saturday

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

LUNA is the most difficult creation I have ever made. Bunun songs are the most difficult of the indigenous songs, but we are glad to have them. I found out many things that I didn’t know,” he said.

The show is still evolving. Bula said two weeks ago, they changed the lyrics of the working song to reflect the experience of one of his dancers, whose father recently passed away, which meant that he is now the head of his family and faces new challenges.

He said he gave his dancers homework: They had to find connections between the Bunun songs used in the show and their own work and lives.

The experiences of one dancer ended up providing the title for the show. He was also the only dancer to have hunting experience.

“He said it is very scary: Five or six people go to the mountains, but at midnight you have to go alone to check the traps. It’s very scary to be alone, you don’t know what animals might be there, you have to think about yourself,” Bula said.

The Luluna Bunun Choir are doing more than just providing the background music for LUNA.

“One elder asked if they could perform their own section, the traditional way that they do, so there are two sections: one is for them, one is new choreography so the audiences can see tradition and new creations,” Bula said.

It turns out that the company’s travels have done more than just forge connections with Aboriginal communities and artists in Taiwan, they also led to a new member from Tahiti.

“Last December we had chance to go to Tahiti to attend a festival. We met this guy who is a dancer and can speak Chinese, so he acted as an interpreter. At one of our demonstrations, I asked him and others to join with my dancers [for a dance],” Bula said. “He said he had been teary when watching our demonstration, but when he joined hands and danced when them, he couldn’t stop crying … he felt such a connection.”

Bula said he told the man there was a connection, because his ancestors probably came from Taiwan.

“Before we left, he had a lot of questions for me, he wanted to dance again, so I told him if he really wanted to, to come to Taiwan,” Bula said.

So Vaiarii Gaudin became one of five new dancers for the troupe for LUNA, bringing the total to 11.

“When we go to indigenous communities we want to encourage people to try for their dreams — that it happened in Tahiti is really neat, Bula said.

This story has been viewed 3216 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top