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Erenlai - 按標籤顯示項目: dance
週二, 27 八月 2013 16:16

Embrace the Pacific

During the months of June and July 2013, the Taiwan Society for Pacific Studies held a series of forums on Fijian navigation culture and Samoan Dance, lead respectively by the young Fijian navigator Setareki Ledua and the Samoan dancer Tupe Lualua. Together, they participated in various educational and cultural exchanges, mostly with students on the East Coast of Taiwan. Thus they visited schools and villages in Hualien County, Taoyuan County, Taidong County and Orchid Island. For example, they met with the Formosa Aboriginal Song & Dance Troupe (原舞者舞團and Tao writer Syaman Rapongan.

This month's Focus gives you an overview of their trip in Taiwan as well as an insight of the way the two young pacific islanders carry and reinvent their heritage.

seta dulan knot


週二, 27 八月 2013 16:13

Dance from Samoa to Taiwan

On June 8th, the Pacific workshop organized by the Taiwan Society for Pacific Studies brought Saloan dancer Tupe Lualua and Seta Ledua to Hualien County on Taiwan East Coast where they met with the renowned Formosa Aboriginal Song and Dance Troupe (原舞者). This video records Tupe's interaction with three members of the Troupe, including a section in which they teach each other dance moves.


週五, 26 四月 2013 12:46

A Vibrant Culture with an Ugly Facade: Honiara and the Pacific Art Festival

Let me admit it: Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, situated on the Guadalcanal Island, does not strike the visitor with awe. Cavernous Chinese shops filled with all kinds of goods, administrative buildings and houses in concrete scattered around the roads that run parallel to the coastline, commercials for "Solomon Telekom" and the "SolBrew" beer, the two brands that seem to monopolize the advertising expenditures of the country... nothing that really draws the attention. On the hills, a monument adorned with granite plaques recalls the naval battles that ravaged the island during WWII. Modest but numerous Adventist, Catholic and Protestant churches are landmarks all along the way. In the haven and on the beaches, carcasses of warships still lay down, giant ghostly presences. But there is also a kind of softness in the atmosphere, a mixture of gentleness and restraint in people's conduct that, from the start, intrigues and seduces the newcomer.

In Honiara, a wide field has been surrounded by high fences in preparation for the festival, and is divided into two villages – traditional houses hosting on the one side the different provinces and cultural groups from SI, on the other the delegations from abroad, among them the Taiwanese one. A vast public, mainly local, attends the dance and music performances, looks at the handicrafts for show or for sale, marvels at the similarities and differences of languages and customs witnessed from one island to another.

I am usually a bit dreary of festivals and other public events, but this time I find myself thoroughly enjoying the show. I especially like to stay in the SI village, with the huts under the shadow of the giant trees, and to watch the performances offered by tribal groups from the mountains and the coast. The dancers from Isabel Island are my favorites.festivalIsabel05-copyONLINE

Contacts are easy and relaxed. Dancing, panpipes and drums, tattoos, weapons, canoes... I enjoy myself like a child, far away from the megacity of Shanghai where I usually live. Near the main venue of the festival, the little village of Doma, right on the seashore, offers performances from the various tribes living in Guadalcanal Island. Children play on the sand, the music of the drums and that of the waves join into one. The Pacific starts to operate its magic.

Not far away, within walking distance of the fishing village of Lilisiana, the festival gathers local people between the seashore and a lake. The setting is modest, but groups are coming from far away villages, some of them from the mountain bush, and other from the coast. Mathilde, a woman form the Lau tribe, tells me that she takes care alone of a plot of land, where she cultivates cabbage. Her English is quite good: she has worked for five years for a Catholic NGO, she tells me, and in 1997 she even went to the World Youth Day in Paris. She directs the dancers' troop of her village, and performs with much gusto and sense of humor.

Photos by B.V.

The following video is an interview and a performance by Arasuka'aniwara, a panpipe collective from the Solomon Islands:

This video is currently not available for readers in Mainland China.

 


週二, 27 十二月 2011 16:59

Flowers of Liberty

On October 3rd, 2011, I embarked with dancer Kao Yu-i and musician Yang Zijie on a theatrical tour to Marseille, France. We gave five performances in five different parts of the city. Here is a video excerpt from the fourth performance which took place at the Alcazar library on October 14th:

"Segments from two separate dreams create a beautiful moment shining through lucid shadows
Heading towards an unknown, far away destination, the people gradually disperse
In the dream, everyone has already passed away, gathered in the tranquil darkness;
when an object is stripped to its essence, the only thing we can see out from the darkness, is light
Dead branches protrude awkwardly from the lifeless beaches, yet sprout new roots
I hope you will come and be with me, in the existing and happening present."

(Photo by Yurasleepless)


週一, 21 十一月 2011 17:52

Farewell Dance with the Kwakwa-ka-wakw

U'mista Cultural Centre, Alert Bay, Vancouver Island

The U'mista Cultural Centre, founded in 1980 was a project to house 'potlatch' artefacts which had been seized by the government during an earlier period of cultural repression. The return of the potlatch artefacts provided the name of the centre - U'mista's or 'the return of something important', and provided the motivation behind the creation of a physical facility and Tsalala dance troupe. U'mista's operations include the running of a modern museum and cultural education facility, an extensive art gallery and gift shop, group tours, and presentations by dance troupes.

The group spent a whole day on this beautiful island at the mouth of U’mista centre, where they saw the remains of a Canadian Residential School, a legacy from the days when the Canadian government was attempting to educate and conform the Indians to European cultural standards, religion and way of life After a few of the students took a ceremonial dip in the freezing saltwater we were taken to the ceremonial house of gathering where the students observed and shared traditional dance performances with the Tasala dance troupe. This process learnt about their respective cultures...but also to further know themselves through the eyes of the other.

For readers in China:

Filmed by C. Phiv and D. Chen, edited by C. Phiv, subtitled by Adrienne Chu

"U’mista, the final stop on our journey was also the one that left me the most lasting impression. As we arrived they happily performed a traditional dance to express welcome. During the performance, we saw lively, enthusiastic kids, unsparingly displaying outstanding postures and flexibility. I now truly understand the meaning of the totem poles standing between the city and the countryside – with the creation of an environment you demonstrate respect for culture; with respect for culture, you create an invisible unity, and from this united spirit, the Indigenous people will find the roots of their family."
Yabax Hayung (College of Nursing, National Taipei University of Health and Nursing Sciences, Atayal Nation)


umista_improvised-dance

 

"I was very moved to find that every time a government representative or civil group talked to us they would start off by introducing which First Nations traditional tribal lands we were on. While the terms First Nation in Canada and Indigenous in Taiwan express similar things, and in both countries they recognize the precedence of the arrival of our peoples, in Taiwan when do you ever hear someone start off by introducing a story of the land and which Indigenous group used to live there?"
Yahu Kunaw (Department of Indigenous Languages and Communications, National Dong Hwa University, Atayal Nation)

Photos by C. Phiv

 


週四, 30 六月 2011 15:17

Taiwan's 5th appearance at local Avignon festival

For the fifth consecutive year, Avignon Off Festival, located in the South of France, welcomes several Taiwanese groups. Among the invited companies are WC Dance Company created by Lin Wen-Chung, who used to work with the famous Taipei Folk Dance Theatre, and the internationally recognized Ten Drum Art Percussion Group, led by the talented percussionist master Chiu Ya-Hui. This year, for a better understanding of the shows by the French audience, the Cultural Center of Taiwan focused on dance and music. The previous year, they presented more theatrical performances, which though beautiful one, were however more difficult for non-Chinese audiences.


週三, 30 六月 2010 21:12

In Bed with Rock in Hose

Ladies and Gentlemen, here is Rock in Hose!!

The burlesque dance troupe was formed in 2009 in Taiwan. Please meet Alita d'Bone and Trixie Treatz from Canada, Kitty N. Heat and Amor Galore from the U.S., Duke Vita and Onyx from South Africa.


週三, 23 六月 2010 11:26

Project 2304 + 1

 
Shih Wei-Chieh is a young taiwanese visual artist. One of his many projects combining modern technology and software with traditional arts was in this co-operation with Li Jiexin. In this piece he uses his musical background and objective art to rebuild a new story with no preconceptions as the movements of Jiexin's body interplay with and change the music and image.

 

Watch below a video of the 2304+1 performance

 

週二, 22 六月 2010 17:46

Yuan Dancers: return to the source of aboriginal dance in Taiwan

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The 1980s saw in Taiwan the emergence of the Taiwanese aboriginal movement. In 1991, the “Yuan dancers” company was established in response to the demand for aborigines to be able to perform their own dances.

Before that, aboriginal dance and music were performed in Taiwan by non-aboriginal dancers who were unable to capture the true spirit of the dances. Faidaw Fagod, founder and artistic director of the Yuan dancers company, said “Most dancers apply the feet position they’ve already learnt to the aboriginal dances, with the toes outwards for example, but to aboriginals, it is not the right way to dance!” Also, these so-called aboriginal dance troupes were originally meant for tourists: they were using electronic music, changing the dances styles and improperly mixing music from different tribes. So, among the aborigines, some started to think that they should rediscover the real essence of aboriginal dance “using pure aborigine sound, using aborigine own breathing and dancing with aborigine own rhythm”.

The Yuan dancers asked the elders of the tribes to teach young people how to dance the original aboriginal dances. But it is very difficult when you are far away from your land to make people understand the essence of this art. So the elders changed their way of teaching and they decided to take the students to the tribe to make them experience the aborigines’ reality onsite. The most important aspect of aboriginal dance is to feel the vitality and the energy of its ‘wilderness’. Faidaw Fagod said “Yuan dancers have a different practice of dance to other professional dancers. In fact, there is not a specialized way of teaching. We would like the dancers to learn and understand the dance by repeating the chants and the movements such as ‘feet-tapping’. It is through practice that they will find the right way to dance”. Repetition and practice also allow oneself to familiarize with the dance movements and dance partners. When they hold each others’ hands, the dancers can feel each others’ breath and emotions, and then harmony emerges through the tacit understanding is developed.

Faidaw Fagod also likes to make fun of himself by saying that he is the “ancestor” of the company, as he’s been dancing for 19 years: “Since the foundation of the company until now, I have participated in many shows but I still do not feel tired of it because the people I dance with always have different feelings. When I dance, I like to feel the mood of the person next to me and try to guess what the person besides me is thinking about. Does he feel comfortable? Is he worried about something? I can feel all these things while I am dancing”.

Dancing is mostly a matter of moving and feeling, so the Yuan dancers welcome all aborigines without distinction of age or sex; thus they have members ranging in age from 10 to 48. Faidaw Fagod also says that for the dance company’s survival and development, Yuan dancers are now cooperating with other artists who help them to write scenarios, direct the plays or train them in a more specialized way. Thus for example, the professional training schedule includes a 3 or 4 hour practice of calligraphy to develop patience and concentration.

As the Yuan dancers extended their collaboration with choreographers and stage directors of all origins, including non-aborigines, might they lose their group spirit and cohesion? Faidaw Fagod is very optimistic and says with confidence: “No, we do not fear such a phenomenon because the aboriginal people will keep repeating and reproducing the rites of the aborigines. We wish to offer even more new creation and, regardless of the further changes to come, we will keep the spirit of the aboriginal people alive”.

Adapted to English by Marie Delaplanche

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Photos by Huang YuShun

 


週二, 22 六月 2010 17:44

Sannyas Meditative Theatre: Kazuo Ohno's seeds planted in Taiwan

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On June 1st 2010, Kazuo Ohno, one of Butoh's two great pioneers, passed away aged 104. Below are some inspiring words he donated to the universe in 1998:

A Message to the Universe

On the verge of death one revisits the joyful moments of a lifetime.
One's eyes are opened wide-gazing into the palm, seeing death, life, joy and sorrow with a sense of tranquility.
This daily studying of the soul, is this the beginning of the journey?
I sit bewildered in the playground of the dead. Here I wish to dance and dance and dance and dance, the life of the wild grass.
I see the wild grass, I am the wild grass, I become one with the universe. That metamorphosis is the cosmology and studying of the soul.
In the abundance of nature I see the foundation of dance. Is this because my soul wants to physically touch the truth?
When my mother was dying I caressed her hair all night long without being able to speak one word of comfort. Afterwards, I realized that I was not taking care of her, but that she was taking care of me.
The palms of my mother's hands are precious wild grass to me.
I wish to dance the dance of wild grass to the utmost of my heart.

A Message to the Universe by Kazuo Ohno

(Translated from Japanese by Maura Nguyen Donohue, Dance Insider)

 

 
 

In late 2005, Deva Satyana founded Sannyas, or the Sannyas Meditation Theatre, finally planting the seeds of Kazuo Ohno butoh in Taiwan. While the everchanging troupe follows in the soulful footsteps of Kazuo Ohno's Butoh, it is heavily influenced by Indian meditative practices and the writings of Osho. Sannyas means seeker of the truth. Here Satyana explains a bit more about the concepts and philosophy behind Sannyas.

 

In February 2010, Sannyas made a tribute dance to Kazuo Ohno. Hidden in the crumbling buildings of Taipei's Wolong Street, the new Sannyas troupe ventured the furthest they had ever been into the fourth dimension. For a slideshow of the performance, click here

 

Visit Sannyas' website

 

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