Dramatics in Guandu

The 27th Kuandu Arts Festival at the Taipei National University of the Arts will feature 23 artists and companies and offer more than 70 programs

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Sep 19, 2019 - Page 13

The theme of this year’s Kuandu Arts Festival, “Let’s Play,” is perhaps a play on words since the focus of the 27th edition is theater, in all its forms.

However, there are plenty of other options that highlight the coursework taught at the Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA, 國立臺北藝術大學) in the Guandu District (關渡), the main location for most of the festival activities, including dance, music, film and costume design.

The festival opens tomorrow and runs through Dec. 1, with 10 theater programs, three dance shows, seven concerts, three workshops or special programs, the Kuandu Film Festival (關渡電影節), the Kuandu International Animation Festival (關渡光藝術節-壞運動), two shows at the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts — BOOCHA (哺挫) and Virtual Bauhaus (虛擬包浩斯) — and the Kuan Du Light Art Festival (關渡光藝術節).

There will be performing arts groups and artists from Taiwan, the US, three European nations, Iran, Australia, China, Hong Kong and Canada. However, many of the shows will only be performed once.

The drama portion of the festival kicks off tomorrow night with playwright Chi Wei-jan’s (紀蔚然) Feast (盛宴), a collaboration between the Fujian People’s Art Theatre (福建人民藝術劇院) and the university’s School of Theater Arts.

The theater arts students will also give eight performances of Simon Stephens’ award-winning play, Pornography, beginning on Nov. 8.

Among the other highlights are the 22-year-old Tang Mei Yun Taiwanese Opera Company’s (唐美雲歌仔戲團) performance of All’s Well End’s Well (花田盛會) on Saturday afternoon; Zero Point Field — Connection (零點場3─關&係) on Oct. 10 and 11 by the Lu-chi Theatrical Troupe (錄奇劇團帶來了); and Cover Your Mouth When You Smile (微笑請掩嘴), an exploration of racial melancholia and the concept of mimicry in Asian immigrant cultures, by Filipino-American choreographer Gerald Casel, Hawaii-based Taiwanese choreographer Kao Pei-ling (高佩玲) and Korean-born-British-raised choreographer Kim Na-ye.


The line-up of films for 11th film festival, which opens on Oct. 4 and runs through Oct. 12, can be found at (Chinese only): kuandufilmfesttnua.wixsite.com/kuanduff2019.

The theme of the 9th animation festival, which runs from Oct. 27 to Nov. 3, is “Framing In Magic,” and the films will be screened free of charge at the museum.

More than 2,600 works from 98 countries were submitted for the festival, from which 85 were shortlisted for the competition, and 54 were selected to be screened.


The BOOCHA and Virtual Bauhaus exhibitions open on Oct. 18 and run through Jan. 5 next year.

The Journey to the Past — Chinese Historical Attire is a series of workshops and exhibits by the Ancient Chinese Clothing Restoration Team (裝束复原), a 12-year-old Shanghai-based group of young artisans that has restored more than 400 pieces of women’s clothing and works with Chinese television producers and museums. The shows will cover traditional make-up, clothes patterning and costumes in traditional Chinese paintings.

[Editor's note: On Friday, Sept. 20, the festival organizers announced that the special project by the Chinese group has been canceled.]


The theme of this year’s Kuan Du Light Art Festival (關渡光藝術節), which will once again be held at the university’s swimming pool hall, is Moving Me Badly (壞運動).

The shows will be held on Nov. 8 to Nov. 10 at 7:30pm and tickets are NT$600. An exhibition about the festival will be open from Nov. 13 to Nov. 21 from 3pm to 8:30pm.

The Kuandu Arts Festival Web site (kdaf.tnua.edu.tw/2019) includes program and cast information for each show or event in Chinese and English as well as links to the www.artsticket.com.tw site for those events that require tickets.

The last page on the Web site includes a map of the campus with the sites of the various venues marked.

TNUA is easily accessible from the MRT Guandu Station, where regularly scheduled shuttle buses run to the university, as well as the Red 35 or 55 buses. If you take exit 2 at the back of the station, the school is about a 15 to 20 minute walk up the hill.

This story has been updated since it was first published to note the cancelation of Chinese costume exhibition.