Pingtung County-based Tjimur Dance Theatre (蒂摩爾古薪舞集) has had a busy year at home and abroad.
They took their 2017 production, Varhung — Heart to Heart (Varhung — 心事誰人知), to the Vancouver International Dance Festival in March, to the Brighton Festival in the UK in May, to the Dance Bridges Festival in Kolkata, India, in August, as well as hosting members of the Kashiki Dance Academy from Odissi, India, and other performers at the company’s Tjimur Arts Festival in July, in addition to their outreach programs at schools and communities around Taiwan.
All the while they have been working on the latest creation of choreographer Baru Madiljin, ai～sa sa (哎～撒撒), which premiers this weekend at the Pingtung Performing Arts Center before two shows in Taipei next week.
Photo courtesy of Tjimur Dance Theatre
The 60-minute production takes a light-hearted look at contemporary Paiwan society, especially how new expressions have become part of everyday life crept into the Paiwan language.
Madiljin says “ai~sa sa” (哎撒撒) is a new expression, used as an interjection to laugh at one’s own attitude, a way of saying “get over yourself.” It can be a gasp of surprise, or a spur to “shake it off.”
While he wanted to explore how Paiwan society is changing as more people move from the old mountain communities into more urban areas, he was also inspired by a CD of French music that he found abandoned on a Paris street.
Photo courtesy of Tjimur Dance Theatre
The music made him wonder what it is that humans need and desire and he decided that we all crave love, which can bring us together, get us laughing, but also can bring tears, pain and grief.
“One must undergo all human emotions,” Madiljin wrote. “You have to peel away each layer to see what lies beneath.”
Those emotions can be expressed in sounds — and in movement.
■ Tonight and tomorrow at 7:30pm, Sunday at 2:30pm
■ Pingtung Performing Arts Center ( 屏東演藝廳-音樂廳), 4-17 Minsheng Rd, Pingtung City (屏東市民生路4-17號);
■ Friday and Saturday next week at the National Experimental Theater (國家戲劇院實驗劇場), 21-1 Zhongshan N Rd, Taipei City (台北市中山南路21-1號)
■ Only tickets left for this weekend’s performances are the “sponsor-level” NT$2,500 seats. Tickets for the two Taipei shows are NT$600 and NT$2,500; available at the NTCH and Eslite ticket desks, online at www.artsticket.com and at convenience store ticket kiosks
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