Thu, Jul 04, 2019 - Page 13 News List

Encouraging imagination

This year’s Taipei Children’s Arts Festival features a variety of theater, dance, circus, music and puppet shows all around the capital — and many of them are free

By Diane baker  /  Staff reporter

Australia’s Windmill Theatre Co is bringing its critically acclaimed production of Baba Yaga to Taipei’s Wellspring Theater for four shows on Aug. 3 and 4.

Photo courtesy of Rob McDougall

The 20th Taipei Children’s Arts Festival (台北兒童藝術節) officially opened on Saturday last week, but really gets underway today, with a score of groups from around Taiwan and the world in town for a month of activities.

There are nine ticketed performances, several of which are already sold out, and 14 free shows, plus exhibitions.

The theme of this year’s festival is “Different in Between” and the programs, which include theater, puppetry, dance and circus, reinterpret classic stories or everyday objects to encourage audiences to see things from different perspectives.

For example, the folks at the Taipei Performing Arts Center — the facility still under construction in Shilin District (士林) — have developed There’s No Big Bad Wolf Here (這裡沒有大野狼), which was inspired by European fairytale Little Red Riding Hood, as well as playground equipment.

It will be performed at Zhongshan Hall 16 times between July 20 and 28, with the first four shows aimed at toddlers aged one to three and the rest at children aged four and up. The show runs 60 to 70 minutes and tickets are NT$700.

This year’s festival also aims to bring performances to a variety of locals, from indoor theaters and community centers to neighborhood parks, with smaller shows during the week and large-scale outdoor performances on the weekends, weather permitting, of course.

One such event is Xics del Xurrac, an interactive art piece created by Tombs Creatius from Catalonia, which will be staged at the Bopiliao Historic Block in Wanhua District (萬華) from 10am to 5pm from today through Aug. 4, except for Mondays.

Catalonia is famous for its castellers who form human towers, usually topped by a child, during festivals, in a tradition that dates back hundreds of years. Tombs Creatius has created a series of 16 games that utilize the different skills, which they have grouped into four sections to reflect the four main casteller principles.

Performance Notes

WHAT: W.A.M. We are Monchichi

WHEN: Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 11am

WHERE: The Playhouse at National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (衛武營國家藝術文化中心), 1, Sanduo 1st Rd, Kaohsiung City (高雄市三多一路1號)

ADMISSION: NT$200 to NT$2,000, available at Weiwuying box offices, online at www.artsticket.com.tw and at convenience store ticket kiosks


One theater production worth snatching a seat at is La Caputxeta Galactica by Insectotropics from Spain, which is at the Metropolitan Hall for three shows tomorrow and Saturday, with tickets priced at NT$300 and NT$400.

Another is Australia’s Windmill Theatre Co’s critically acclaimed production of Baba Yaga, which was a sold-out hit at last year’s Edinburgh International Children’s Festival. It will show at the Wellspring Theater for four shows on Aug. 3 and 4, with tickets priced at NT$400.

However, as of press time last night, several shows were already sold out, including World Images by Theatre Madam Bach from Denmark and the festival’s own Buchettino — a coproduction with Italy’s Societas Raffaello Sanzio — now in its ninth year. This weekend’s The Missing Magic Hat has just a few tickets left, as does the Carrousel des Moutons from Belgium, which will be performed on Aug. 3 and 4.

The festival has an easy-to-navigate Web site (www.tcaf.taipei) in Chinese and English with information on all the shows, venues and ticketing options.

Tickets are available at the National Theater Concert Hall box offices, Eslite ticket desks, online (www.artsticket.com.tw) and at convenience store ticket kiosks.

For the free shows, seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, with entry opening an hour before show times.

MEANWHILE AT WEIWUYING

Families in Kaohsiung should not feel left out, as the Taiwanese-Italian partnership of Peng Shih-ya (彭詩雅) and Marco Di Nardo bring Company Wang Ramirez’s W.A.M. We Are Monchichi (我們是萌奇奇) to The Playhouse at the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying) this weekend.

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