Two years ago, the extremely popular musical On the Road, Taiwan’s first Aboriginal musical, allowed Aboriginal culture and metropolitan culture to come together and be shared with the public. Now, after two years of preparations, the sequel to On the Road, La Michael, is ready. The story starts out in an Amis village on Taiwan’s east coast, using film, dance, music and theater to express contemporary Aborigines’ passion for music and dance.
La Michael comes from an Amis word for social rank. The plot takes place a year after the “King of Pop” Michael Jackson was sent to the emergency room after suffering cardiac arrest and died. After loosing a dance competition for mimicking Jackson, a frustrated Aboriginal dancer dejectedly returns home to his village, where a group of young Aborigines are striving to make a name for themselves by imitating Jackson’s moves, and a teacher works to promote traditional dance. It is the story of how these three characters from entirely different backgrounds are trying to make their dreams come true.
Chang 43, the producer, says that the musical, using the complex and beautiful music and dances of the Amis, combines modern dance and street dance with the traditional dances of the Amis, breaking the barriers of formalism to develop a nascent dance style. For the music they are once again working with the National Symphony Orchestra, but also adding electronic musical elements in an effort to go beyond the stylistic limitations of On the Road.
Performers and people working on the musical include Shan Cheng-chu, director of The Magic Flute Fantasy, Lungnan Isak Fangas, the Amis director of the documentary The Making Of On the Road, songstress Lee Cin-yun, Golden Melody-award winning singer Hao-en, the Horse dance theater, and renowned street dance artist Rube Red. Suming, an Aboriginal singer/songwriter who won the Golden Horse Best Newcomer Award in 2008, will also be performing in the musical. La Michael will be on stage at the National Theater for three performances on Sept. 7 and Sept. 8.
1. contemporary adj.
當代的 (dang1 dai4 de5)
例: The problems facing people in contemporary society are quite different from the problems people dealt with a century ago.
2. dejectedly adv.
黯然地 (an4 ran2 de5)
例: The soldiers dejectedly surrendered after losing the battle.
3. mimic v.
模仿 (mo2 fang3)
例: The child annoyingly mimicked everything the teacher said.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)