Fri, Nov 09, 2018 - Page 14 News List

Highlight: A dance breeze is blowing through the windy city

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

A poster for We Island Dance Festival: Hsinchu Jump, which opened earlier this week and runs through Sunday next week offers a variety of workshops, lectures, a five-day choreography challenge and performances in Hsinchu City.

Photo courtesy of Zhao Yu-chong

Take a score or so of dancers and choreographers from a variety of disciplines ranging from classical ballet, to contemporary to tap to hiphop, and send them to Hsinchu to interact with local residents and perform.

That’s the basic idea behind We Island Dance Festival: Hsinchu Jump (跳島舞蹈節:新竹跳), which began earlier this week and culminates on Sunday next week with a dance marathon.

Curating the event are the cofounders of Horse (驫舞劇場), Su Wei-chia (蘇威嘉) and Chen Wu-kang (陳武康), who have been working with the Hsinchu City Department of Cultural Affairs for several months to pull the festival together.

The idea was not just to offer performances, but to break down the barriers between artists and audiences, to give people a glimpse into what is involved in creating and performing dance, whatever the style,

They recruited colleagues from Horse, friends, teachers and more to offer a series of workshops, classes, talks and shows, including Wu Su-fen (吳素芬), founder of the Taipei Ballet Company; Fangas Nayaw; Chien Ching-ying (簡晶瀅); tap dancer Rex Ping; contact improvisation promoter Ku Ming-shen (古名伸); Wu Chien-wei (吳建緯); hip-hop master Wu Yu-hsien (吳郁嫻); Taiwan-based Israeli dancer Shai Tamir; Tung I-fen (董怡芬); and Sabung Pinang.

“Five Days of Choreography rehearsal,” which begins on Tuesday is part reality show, part dance challenge. Five choreographers, one per day, will be “locked” in a room at the Hsinchu Railway Art Village to see what they can produce by the end of their challenge, with audiences invited to watch the process.

Friday and Saturday evening next week will see Clash of Motions, two programs where ballet dancers face off against street dancers and athletes face off against a school dance team.

The festival wraps up on Sunday with a six-and-a-half hour combination TED-style talk/dance marathon, I Am My Body , in the Concert Hall of the Hsinchu City Cultural Bureau’s Performing Arts Hall.

■ Sixteen artists will each have 15 minutes to describe and show what they do

■ For more information on the festival, visit or its Facebook page (we-island-dance-festival); although both are only in Chinese, the links to ticketing are clear to see.

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