Sat, Sep 15, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Octogenarian dance master Lee Tsai-er taking Formosa to Japan

The 88-year-old dancer Lee Tsai-er, center front, rehearses with other dancers in Greater Kaohsiung on Sept. 10.

Photo: Chang Chung-yi, Liberty Times

The 88-year-old Lee Tsai-er, a national dance treasure, is taking a dance troupe to Japan’s Akita Prefecture for a Taiwanese-Japanese cultural dance exchange on Oct. 13 and 14, where they will be performing Formosa to commemorate 50 years since the passing of her Japanese dance teacher Ishii Baku.

When Lee took to the stage during a rehearsal on Sept. 10, her presence was undiminished and she danced with abandon. She says applause are what give her the strength to keep living, and she reminds people that they need to acknowledge and understand the source of their happiness. Ishii was like a father to her, she says, and even though he passed away many years ago, when she drifts back through memories of the past, it allows student and teacher to transcend the boundaries of time and space, as if being transported back to the grand ole days when she studied dance in Japan.

In June last year, her dance troupe took their reverent prayers, caring and sympathy to Japan to perform and offer solace to the suffering souls of Japan’s March 11 tsunami and earthquake disaster.

Lee takes a dance troupe to Japan every year to perform, maintaining Taiwan and Japan’s amiable art and cultural exchanges. This year she is taking family members and the Taipei Royal Ballet to Japan to commemorate 50 years since the passing of her beloved teacher Ishii. Before making the trip to Japan, they will perform the dance drama Formosa at Greater Kaohsiung’s Chihshan Hall on Sept. 22 and 23, allowing Taiwanese audiences to experience the joy of seeing the performance first.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)



1. presence n.

風采;在場 (feng1 cai3; zai4 chang3)

例: The teacher’s presence always commanded silence among the students.


2. with abandon v. phr.

盡情地 (jin4 qing2 de5)

例: The team celebrated their victory with abandon.


3. solace n.

撫慰;慰藉 (fu3 wei4; wei4 jie4)

例: The refugees sought solace in neighboring countries for years, but were never granted asylum.






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