At the invitation of the Bureau Francais de Taipei, Taipei in 2016 joined the global Nuit Blanche movement, a worldwide effort to turn cities into open-air museums and stages every year on the first Saturday of October.
The first Nuit Blanche Taipei (白晝之夜) drew tens of thousands of residents and visitors to the area between the North Gate (北門) and the 228 Peace Memorial Park (228和平公園).
Nuit Blanche Taipei has grown exponentially since then, with an estimated 400,000 people joining the action last year that stretched from Nanjing W Rd to the Taipei Fine Arts Museum.
Photo courtesy of .come
For the fourth annual Nuit Blanche Taipei, organizers have moved the action to the Dazhi area (大直) and Neihu District (內湖), as they continue their bid to get residents and visitors to explore areas of the nation’s capital that they might not normally frequent, as well as exploring different forms of art and culture.
Dazhi and Neihu have been developed over the past few decades, which means they lack both a historical background and a foundation for cultural activities, so they offer a void that can be filled with infinite opportunities, said artistic director Sean Hu (胡朝聖).
Hu said the theme of this year’s event is “double-face ballet,” drawing on geographer David Seamon’s Place-Ballet Theory, which states that developing a local culture is comparable to the life of a ballerina in that it is the accumulation of ordinary practices that gradually form an extraordinary order.
Photo courtesy of Dancecology
So it is not surprising that many of the performances, curated by Neo Wu (吳季娟), who served as the director of the performance art program, will be dance, although there are also several comedy improv pieces and mini-concerts, and even a circus performance, Walking between cities (行走在城市間), by the National Taiwan College Of Performing Arts’ acrobatics department.
More than 100 artists or groups will be performing or offering workshops and forums, although most of these will end around midnight.
In addition, dozens of videos will be played on the huge outdoor screens at ATT 4 Recharge, Miramar and New Square mall, while 22 installations by artists from Taiwan, the US, the UK, France, Australia, South Korea and elsewhere will be on display from 6pm on Saturday to 6am on Sunday.
Photo courtesy of Nuit Blanche Taipei
While most of the main performance venues are located between the Dazhi and Xihu MRT stations, installations will be spread out from the Miramar Entertainment Park to the Dazhi Jihe Public Housing complex to the Meiti Riverside Park.
One exhibition that is expected to be very popular is Intrude, a 7m inflatable white rabbit by Australian artist Amanda Parer, created to highlight environmental issues. It will be taking up residence next to Meiti Riverside Park’s Gate No. 16.
Fluffy bunny rabbits might delight children, but in Australia the non-native species introduced by English colonists in 1788 have become an out-of-control pest, their cuteness hiding their ecological cost.
Photo courtesy of Parer Studio
The opening performance, 42535 Daily Life in the Internet (42535 網路裡的日常) — a piece featuring more than 100 dancers from junior-high schools across the city, produced by Jeff Hsieh's (謝杰樺) Anarchy Dance Theatre (安娜琪舞蹈劇場) and choreographed by Tung I-fen (董怡芬) and her husband, Fangas Nayaw — will take place at the Jinnan Road MRT Station at 6pm, followed at 7pm by the Taipei Sports Linedance Association’s (臺北市體育總會排舞協會) Metro Line Dance (大都會排舞), while HH X Dance (Dj set) by the Taiwanese audio-visual duo HH, also known as the sound artists Yao Chung-han (姚仲涵) and Yeh Ting-hao (葉廷皓), starts at 6:15pm at the Miramar Entertainment Park 1F Square.
To encourage more people to take part in Nuit Blanche Taipei, the Mass Rapid Transit system will extend its operating hours on the Wenhu line to the Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT Station until 2am on Sunday.
There is a well-designed Web site (nuitblanchetaipei.info) with information in Chinese and English, including a program schedule, artist information and downloadable map.
This story has been corrected since it was first published to show that the Anarchy Dance Theatre production for junior-high students was choreographed by Tung I-fen and Fangas Nayaw, not troupe founder Jeff Hsieh.
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