Getting schooled in arts and fun in Guandu

The month-long Kuandu Arts Festival, hosted by Taipei National University of the Arts, offers a wide variety of dance, music and theater performances, as well as film, animation and art festivals

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Oct 06, 2017 - Page 14

The Kuandu Arts Festival hosted each October by the Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA, 國立臺北藝術大學) in Taipei’s Guandu District (關渡) formally opens today, although the month of music, dance, theater, film, animation and light actually kicked off last night with the first of two sold out performances of big band swing music by student musicians from the school and the Musikhochschule Lubeck in Germany.

The theme of this year’s festival, the 24th in the series, is “Rendevous,” an apt title for an event that is highlighting the meet-up of student and artists from around the world. The emphasis is on the connections between Taiwanese, Asian and Southeast Asian artists but there will also be performances from groups or artists from the US, Germany and Spain.

The Kuandu Arts Festival is actually an umbrella for series of dance, music and theater performances at the university’s various theaters that run through this month and four other programs of shorter or longer lengths: The KuanDu Light Art Festival, Tropical Cyclone, Kuan-du Film Festival, KuanDu International Animation Festival and Fun Guandu. If only organizers for all the events could agree on a rendezvous of the minds on which Romanization to use for Guandu.

Among the artists that will be performing are the Hong Kong-based theater troupe The Nonsensemakers (糊塗戲班), which is bringing Travel With Mum (和媽媽中國漫遊), US-based Cynthia Ling Lee (李怡欣), who will perform her multimedia dance solo Blood Run (血漫), Spain-based Guy Nader and Maria Campo, who are bringing their Time Takes The Time Time Takes, the Mongolian State University of Arts and Culture’s School of Dance Art, which is bringing Blue Sky Dance (藍天舞), Frontier Danceland (新典現代舞蹈團) from Singapore with In the Moment (一念) and three artists from India, Tarun Bhattacharya, Abhiman Kaushal and Sanchita Bhattacharya with An Evening of Hindustani Music and Odissi Dance.

The KuanDu Light Art Festival, which is a collection of light installations spread around the university campus, opens tonight and runs through the end of the month.

Tropical Cyclone, a special exhibition at the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts also opens tonight, but runs through Dec. 31.

The week-long Kuan-du Film Festival starts on Friday next week and runs through Oct. 21, while the KuanDu International Animation Festival opens on Oct. 29 and closes on Nov. 5.

Fun Guandu, a day-long celebration featuring a street parade, live performances and open-air market will be held on Oct. 29 at the Guandu Riverside Park Plaza.

More information about the Kuandu Arts Festival events and programs can be found on the school’s Web site, which is mostly in Chinese, but still easy to explore even if you do not read Chinese: kdaf.tnua.edu.tw/2017/index.html#schedule

The university is easily accessible by MRT and buses. Take the Taipei MRT to Guandu Station, where regularly scheduled buses run up to the school.

The university is also about a 20 minute walk from the MRT station, if you leave through Exit 2: beside the Guandu Elementary School.