Cirque comes to Taipei
A theatrical production that combines the music of pop singer Michael Jackson with the acrobatic moves of Cirque du Soleil will be staged in Taipei in June, offering fans a new sensory experience, the organizers said yesterday. The 105-minute long show, produced by Canadian entertainment company Cirque du Soleil, uses more than 40 songs by the “King of Pop,” as well as his visuals and dance moves, said the United Daily News Group, which organized the event. “We hope audiences will be able to experience the charm of the legendary singer at the show,” said Zoya Chou, a member of the organizing team. Cirque du Soleil artistic director Tara Young and dancer Mansour Abdessadok will arrive in Taiwan tomorrow to promote the show, the news group said. The Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour will be held at Taipei Arena from June 28 to June 30.
Air force denies Ma escort fail
The air force on Saturday dismissed a report that its jet fighters had failed in a mission to escort President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on a flight between Taiwan proper and Matsu. One of the two Mirage 2000-5 fighters originally assigned to the mission returned to base after a warning light appeared on its instrument panel, the air force said in a statement, adding that at the same time, another Mirage fighter was deployed to take over. The air force stressed that there was no gap in the escort service and that the mission was completed successfully. The statement was issued in response to a report in the Chinese-language United Evening News on Saturday that one of the Mirage jets in Ma’s escort detail had returned to base after a warning light appeared on its instrument panel and that the third plane dispatched to take over had also encountered some problems. A safety check found no major problems with the first Mirage despite the warning light, the air force said.
Local to run toughest race
Taiwanese ultramarathon runner Tommy Chen (陳彥博) left for Canada yesterday to take part in a 700km race in Canada’s freezing Yukon territory early next month. Chen said his goal is to complete the race safely because the average temperature on the route of the Yukon Arctic Ultra is minus-20?C to minus-30?C, which prevents many competitors from finishing the race. The lowest temperature recorded on the trail was minus 62?C, he said. Checkpoints will be set up along the trail and runners who fail to reach them within a required time will be disqualified, he said. Before leaving Chen said that in addition to clothes and medicine, he is taking red envelopes with lucky charms and spring couplets to give to the other runners in celebration of the Lunar New Year. This year’s Yukon Race will begin on Feb. 3 and end on Feb. 16. It is often called the toughest ultramarathon in the world.
Matsu population booms
The population of Matsu recorded the strongest growth of any region in the nation last year, after island residents voted to allow the nation’s first casino to be built on the island, government figures show. The population in Lienchiang County (連江), Matsu’s administrative center, grew 11.24 percent last year to 11,310 residents, the highest growth in the nation, the Ministry of the Interior reported on Saturday. This follows the approval of a referendum last year to allow casino projects to be built on the island, hoping to attract Chinese tourists and improve local infrastructure.