Fri, Aug 24, 2018 - Page 14 News List

Highlight: A heartfelt experience

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

The Long Distance Collective is performing Ou Allez-vous? at the Tainan Sinying Cultural Center this weekend as part of the Summer Theatre Festival.

Photo courtesy of Ogawa Lyu

Challenging audiences appears to be common thread this weekend in Taiwan, from French choreographer Jerome Bel’s Gala at the Taipei Arts Festival to the Long Distance Collective’s (遠聚離) newest work — the multi-disciplinary immersive performance Ou Allez-vous? (心的旅程Ou allez-vous?) — at the Tainan Sinying Cultural Center.

The four-year old collective was formed by group of actors, directors, playwrights, graphic artists and arts administrators based in Taipei, Tainan, London and New York City, with the aim of providing a platform for Chinese-speaking creators and performing arts artists around the world to “create and present together.”

While their collaborations are often conducted online, their works center on the physicality of the performance space, given that they are usually site-specific and sensory experiences.

Ou Allez-vous? was built around the concept of the human heart — from its anatomical structure to its beats and the circulation of blood — as well as idioms and analogies about the heart in the Chinese language

The cast will act as guides as they take barefooted audience members on an exploration of the center’s theater, from the entrance to the seats, the stage, backstage hallways and dressing rooms; a physical representation of a tour of a heart.

The show, directed by Liu Chun-liang (劉純良), combines music, poetry, movement, scents and taste. The idea is that participants will have to use all their senses — sight, smell, touch and hearing — as they move through the building and answer questions posed by their guides. Hence the no shoes and socks requirement.

There is also an advisory that participants might also be touched during the tour and that casual clothing should be worn.

Classical trained musician Wini Cheng (鄭琬蒨) created the score, including the heartbeat used in the video trailer for the show, while the stage design is by Kuo Chia-ling (郭家伶) and lighting by Cheng You (鄭悠). The 60-minute show will be performed eight times, starting with two shows later today.

Ou Allez-vous? is part of the Summer Theatre Festival sponsored by the Tainan City Government, Chiayi City Government, Chiayi County Government and Yunlin County Government that opened on June 22 and runs through Sept. 9.

■ Today at 4:30pm and 7:30pm, tomorrow at 2pm, 4:30pm and 7:30pm, and Sunday at 10:30am, 2pm, 4:30pm at the Tainan Sinying Cultural Center (臺南市立新營文化中心), 23 Chungcheng Rd, Sinying District, Tainan City (台南市新營區中正路23號)

■ Tickets are NT$500, available at the door, online at www.artsticket.com.tw and at convenience store ticketing kiosks

■ On the Net: summertheatrefestival.tnc.gov.tw/index.php?inter=program&id=22 (Chinese only)

The Tainan City Government last night announced that schools and offices would be closed today due to heavy rain brought be a tropical depression. People should check with the cultural center to see if performances over the weekend will be affected as well.

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