By Andrew C.C. Huang  /  Contributing reporter

Fri, Feb 01, 2013 - Page 12

Dancing Diva (臺灣舞孃), dubbed “Taiwan’s first Broadway-style tourist spectacular,” premieres at Eda Royal Theater (義大皇家劇院) on Feb. 9 and runs for a total of 74 shows until April 28.

Eighteen months in the making, the ambitious, unprecedented show is the brainchild of noted advertising professional Jerry Fan (范可欽).

“I conceive it as Taiwan’s first Broadway show because a show needs to be industry and tourism oriented to run for years,” Fan told the Taipei Times in a phone interview.

“It’s done on a scale comparable to Phantom of the Opera.”

Conceived and written by Fan, the show features Taiwanese celebrity/dancing queen Serina Liu (劉真) in the title role and China’s acclaimed one-legged dancer Zhai Xiaowei (翟孝偉) as her confidante and reticent admirer.

The production is directed by Hsu Chieh-hui (許傑輝) and choreographed by Kent Chou (周志坤). Award-winning pop producer Eric Hung (洪敬堯) serves as music director, composing all the music, which includes three theme songs. The main theme song Love is the Most Beautiful Thing (愛是最美妙的事) is performed by pop songstress Freya Lim (林凡).

Dancing Diva tells the story of a beautiful Taiwanese pole dancer leaving the countryside to pursue her dreams in the big city. As she inches closer to her dream, her agent’s treachery shatters her plans, eventually leaving her with nothing. As the final competition for “Taiwan’s Got Talent” approaches, she realizes that her only dance partner is a one-legged clown who has been guarding her.

“There is an unspoken romance going on between the girl and the clown,” Fan said.

The show runs for 100 minutes, with eight thematic dance routines rendered with a distinct Taiwanese flair.

Liu will tackle modern ballet, pole dancing and silk rope dancing in addition to her trademark ballroom dancing. She will be backed by a 30-person dance troupe on ensemble dance numbers.

The production’s unprecedented NT$80 million budget will furnish it with the kind of visual and musical razzle-dazzle rarely seen on the stage in Taiwan. Fan has managed this production with two performing teams and plans to move the show to Macau later this year after it wraps up in Kaohsiung.

“I want the audiences to go home with a warm message,” said Fan. “There must be cracks in life for sunshine to seep through.”