Sat, Aug 04, 2018 - Page 13 News List

Performing on the edges

The Taipei Fringe Festival, a freewheeling showcase for established artists and novices alike, opens this weekend

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

Flamenco dancer Lu Lee will give four performances of her one-woman show, Islander, starting Aug. 11, at the Nandou Theater.

Photo Courtesy of Taipei Fringe Festival

The Taipei Fringe Festival opens today for two weeks and three weekends of fun, absurdity, existentialist angst, dance, theater, music and mayhem, with shows staged in spaces conventional and non-conventional all over the city, from the rooftop of the Taipei Artists Village, the Red House and the Bopiliao Historic Block to the gallery space above Woolloomooloo on Hsinyi Rd and several coffee shops — a total of 31 venues in all.

There had even been plans for a show on a boat at the Daodacheng Wharf next week, but the latest check of the festival’s Web site shows that the production has been canceled.

Inspired by the Edinburgh Fringe and Avignon Off, the Taipei Fringe Festival, now in its 11th year, is focused on experimental performances by individual artists, small troupes, university drama clubs and groups put together just for the festival.

The aim is to show that art can be part of everyday lives, that anyone can have an outlet for their creative passions. There is no jury for applications, limited curating of the shows; anyone who wants to sign up can be given a space and time.

Of course there is a downside to such freedom. The festival does not provide any production subsidies; the troupes and performers are dependent on the tickets they sell.

This year’s list of offerings is theater heavy, with more than 60 shows, followed by 14 dance productions, 8 comedy or cabaret shows, eight concerts and four classified as “other.”

There will be at least five shows on offer every day of the festival, with many of them being performed twice daily, in the afternoon and evening.

A small sampling of the diverse options available includes the Bin Bin workshop’s (臏臏工作室) production of Pollution (汙染) at the Taipei Artists Village, a non-verbal theater piece about life’s bad habits that opens on Tuesday for a three-show run.

Flamenco dancer Lu Lee (李律) will give four performances of her one-woman show, Islander (島民), starting on Aug. 11, at the Nandou Theater. The show is Lee’s reflections on flamenco, the arts and what it feels and means to be a Taiwanese.

The Corny Chicken Youth Theatre (玉米雞青少年劇團) will perform Lovers’ Discourse (青春絮語) for four shows, starting Aug. 18, at Sunrise in Taipei’s Datong District. It is a show about the sickness of being in love, especially the thrill of first loves.

How To Make Your Vagina Feel Good (新女性生理使用會), described as a “hiphop dance forum” about menstruation and new menstrual products by two young college students, will be performed five times from Aug. 11 to Aug. 18 at the URS127 Art Factory.

The festival has a well-organized Web site (ww.taipeifringe.org) with information in Mandarin and English, covering not only the shows and artists, but extras such a blog, review space, details of venues and artist information.

Ticketing is through the www.artsticket.com.tw Web site or convenience store ticket kiosks, as well as at the door.

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