The devastation wrought by Typhoon Morakot has spurred people from all walks of life to ask what they can do to help.
Dancers are no different and yesterday two dance groups announced plans to raise funds for victims.
Ballet dancer Wang Tzer-shing (王澤馨) is the organizer behind the 2009 International Ballet Star Gala at the National Theater next Saturday. She has 14 dancers from around the world arriving in Taipei, starting tomorrow, and they contacted her as soon as news of the disaster spread.
“The dancers wrote to me immediately to ask how things were in Taiwan. They all want to do something. In a short amount of time they came up with the idea of donating items like point shoes, something ballet fans would like to buy,” Wang said in a telephone interview.
“I contacted the Taiwan Red Cross and asked them to send someone to the performance, so that people will know the money is going to the Red Cross right away,” she said.
There will be tables set up in the National Theater lobby the night of the show with signed point shoes, photographs and other items donated by the dancers for sale, as well as a collection box if people just want to make a donation.
Famed dancer Sheu Fang-yi’s (?y) company, LAFA (拉芳), has decided to donate a performance, with all the proceeds going to help the people of Jialan Village (嘉蘭), Jinfeng Township (金峰), in Taitung County.
The company has a personal connection with the area — it is the home town of choreographer Bulareyaung Pagarlava (Bula, 布拉瑞揚), Sheu’s partner.
“My family are all safe, but their homes are all gone, so they are staying in different places. We didn’t find out until last night that my elder brother was alive,” Bula said. “I’m from the same village as [Aboriginal folksinger] Kimbo (胡德夫). Everyone is family in a small village. We want to let the people there know ‘you are not alone.’”
Company manager Nellie Liu (劉菡元) said the company decided to add an extra show of Ode to Joy (快樂頌) on Sunday evening, Sept. 6, at the Taipei Cultural Center, Wenshan Branch (台北市立社會教育館文山分館), where they will be performing as part of the Taipei Arts Festival.
After the shows the company will travel to Taitung to volunteer.
Meanwhile, although school hasn’t even resumed yet, Ian Chang, president of the Taipei American School (TAS) Student Government, was yesterday busy mobilizing forces to do something about the catastrophe in southern Taiwan.
On Wednesday, Chang convened 40 members of the student senate and launched an appeal to students and parents to help.
About 48 hours later, four truckloads, or about 600 boxes, of emergency material — blankets, sleeping bags, instant noodles, toiletries, sanitary equipment and scouring powder — had been gathered and was ready to be shipped south. All donations came from parents, the community and schools.
By 5pm yesterday, the 600 boxes were on their way to Kaohsiung American School, whose superintendent will personally take the donations to Namasiya Township (那瑪夏) , Kaohsiung County.
Donors ranged from small children bringing a couple of blankets or stuffed animals, to parents, who brought truckloads of items.
While the corporate sector did not participate in the TAS relief program, Chang told the Taipei Times that many TAS parents are in senior positions at big corporations, and many of them made sure that their firms donated toward relief efforts.
Chang said yesterday’s effort was just a short-term initiative, adding that plans are being made for TAS to foster schools destroyed in the south and help with reconstruction.
TAS has a long tradition of helping out in poor countries, Chang said.
“However, it’s not often that we get to help out at home,” he added.
Meanwhile, Taiwan TV stations were scheduled to hold a concert last night to raise funds for typhoon victims.
A debt dispute between a restaurant owner and a criminal ring might be behind a bizarre cockroach attack at the Taipei eatery on Monday night while it was hosting a police gathering, Taipei Police Commissioner Chen Jia-chang (陳嘉昌) said yesterday. Preliminary findings of a police investigation into the case at the G House Taipei suggest that the unusual incident might have been directed at the restaurant’s owner, who allegedly owes money to the Bamboo Union, Chen said. The suspects were Bamboo Union members and there was no evidence indicating that the cockroaches were targeted at the police officers at the restaurant, he
Taiwan’s armed forces should closely monitor China’s development of a new tanker aircraft, as it would significantly boost the Chinese air force’s capability to carry out long-range raids, a military expert said on Wednesday. Ou Si-fu (歐錫富), a research fellow at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research, said in an online article that China is developing a tanker variant of its Y-20 military transport aircraft, known as the Y-20U. The Y-20 has a maximum take-off weight of 220 tonnes and the tanker variant is expected to carry up to 60 tonnes of fuel, more than three times the maximum
QUARANTINE BLUNDER: The government should be responsible for a cluster infection at a hotel, as the cases have caused panic, DPP Legislator Chen Ming-wen said The Ministry of Transportation and Communications should make it mandatory for pilots and flight attendants, as well as their family members, to be vaccinated in view of a cluster of COVID-19 cases at the Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport hotel, lawmakers said at a meeting of the legislature’s Transportation Committee yesterday. The cluster infection at the hotel had led to 28 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday, including hotel workers, as well as China Airlines flight and cabin crew, and their family members. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday tightened quarantine requirements for pilots and flight attendants, who must quarantine
‘CLARITY AND RESOLVE’: The US has notified Taiwan, China and Japan regarding its stance against a unilateral change in the Taiwan Strait, Jake Sullivan told a forum The US opposes any unilateral action that would alter the “status quo” across the Taiwan Strait, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Friday. “What we would like to see is stability in cross-strait relations and no effort to unilaterally change the ‘status quo,’” Sullivan said during a virtual forum organized by the Washington-based Aspen Institute. The administration of US President Joe Biden has already communicated that message to China and affirmed it to Taiwan, as well as to its partner Japan, he said. The US’ position on the matter is straightforward, which means that it believes in the