The Formosa Aboriginal Song and Dance Troupe is paying tribute to late Puyuma tribe musician BaLiwakes, who is better known by his Chinese name Lu Sen-bao, in Memories Under the Mango Tree, in which nearly a century of Puyuma life, emotions, suffering, belief and change is recounted through 24 of his greatest songs. The piece will be performed at the Tainan Municipal Cultural Center on April 21 at 7:30pm.
BaLiwakes was adept at using songs to narrate an era, going from expansive mountain and ocean sceneries to the muttering and twittering of seemingly unimportant individuals. His songs have been passed down from generation to generation in Puyuma villages, and among them is “Beautiful Ear of Rice,” which became extremely popular during Taiwan’s folk song movement of the late 1970s.
The Formosa Aboriginal Song and Dance Troupe says Memories Under the Mango Tree is the name of one of BaLiwakes’ songs, but that it is less well known than some of his more popular songs, because it was only passed down among his children.
The troupe is using BaLiwakes’ music as the main theme of the performance, recreating Puyuma songs and dances for the musical. Taking everyone on a journey through time with his music as the vehicle, the troupe will use their voices to guide the audience, as if being taken back to Taitung’s Nanwang village of the 1960s and 70s. For ticket information call 03-8642290.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)