Fri, Jul 19, 2019 - Page 14 News List

Highlight: Life’s just one big blur

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

Riverbed Theatre’s latest incarnation of its “Just For You” series, blur, will be staged at the Yo-chang Arts Museum on the campus of National Taiwan University of Arts starting on Aug. 6.

Photo courtesy of Riverbed Theatre

Riverbed Theatre (河床劇團) has developed something of a cult following over its 21-year history, with its image-based, “Total Theater” productions that blur the lines between visual and performing arts.

This is partly due to its Just for You series, begun in 2011, featuring productions designed to be seen by just one person at a time.

While the series began on a somewhat epic scale, with four directors and 18 actors for four half-hour plays that were performed seven times a day for four days in four rooms of the Hotel Eight Zone in Taipei, artistic director Craig Quintero and the Riverbed team have gradually condensed the idea, both in number of plays and their length, while staging editions everywhere from the Taipei Fine Arts Museum and the Eslite Gallery to The Place Tainan and Macau.

The idea is to break down the barrier separating the spectator from the show and performers, and to heighten the immediacy of the encounter and the sensory dimension, creating a true “theater experience.”

The latest version, which opens at the Yo-chang Arts Museum on Aug. 6, is titled blur.

The company says the 15-minute blur aims to disrupt the relationship or boundaries between observing and being observed, being empowered and being powerless.

The show will be performed nine times a day, which means that just 54 people will have a chance to see it. Tickets for previous Just For You shows have sold out within hours of going on sale.

Quintero has warned that blur, like several of the previous solo-watcher shows, might be too much for people with claustrophobia.

For those who prefer less-confined spaces, Riverbed will return to the National Experimental Theater from Dec. 14 to Dec. 22 with its next project, soft lights for sleepless nights, inspired by the works of German composer Hans Zimmer.

■ Aug. 6 to Aug. 11 at the Yo-chang Arts Museum (有章藝術博物館2樓), National Taiwan University of Arts (國立臺灣藝術大學), 59 Daguan Rd Sec 1, New Taipei City (新北市大觀路一段59號)

■ NT$300 tickets go on sale at noon on Monday on the online Accupass platform (www.accupass.com/event/1907101329511504931399). Ten “sponsor” tickets priced at NT$900 will go on sale at noon today

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