Da-Guan Dance Theater set for South, Southeast Asia tour

The Da-Guan Dance Theater of New Taipei City-based National Taiwan University of Arts will depart July 22 on a 14-day performance tour of India, Indonesia and Malaysia to advance bilateral relations and cultural exchanges, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

During a news conference July 11 in Taipei, Paul Kuoboug Chang, director-general of the MOFA's Department of International Information Services, said the troupe's visits will highlight Taiwan's tremendous soft power in the arts and culture arena. He added that the tour will also promote mutual cooperation and understanding with these countries.

Taiwan has enthusiastically embraced essential aspects of other cultures and integrated them into its own rich heritage, creating an innovative and diverse society founded on the enduring refinement and sophistication of traditional Chinese culture, Chang said.

According to the director-general, the tour is particularly significant given that the three countries are all key partners in the government's peoplecentric New Southbound Policy, which focuses on fostering links with 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states, six South Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand.

The troupe has created a special repertoire with the theme Splendor of Taiwan that combines local elements with aspects of the three destination countries' traditions, he said, adding that the thoughtful choreographies will surely be warmly received by audiences.

Echoing Chang's remarks, NTUA President Chen Chih-cheng said that despite challenges in the country's foreign affairs, Taiwan has been able to effectively increase the visibility of its culture through artistic exchange activities such as exhibitions and performances.

NTUA is honored to work with the MOFA once again and undertake the mission to introduce Taiwan's arts and culture to its neighbor countries in South and Southeast Asia, Chen said.

According to the MOFA, the tour is part of the 2017 New Southbound Policy Dance Arts Cultural Exchange Program. The 14-member troupe will perform in New Delhi, Chennai, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. It previously took on a 14-city tour of North America May 4 to June 5 at the invitation of the Overseas Community Affairs Council.

Established in 2005 and consisting of highly talented dancers from NTUA's Department of Dance, the troupe has performed all over the world and accumulated tremendous experience in international exchanges. Its performances draw from various sources and techniques, integrating drama, fine arts, music and multimedia applications to showcase the best of Eastern and Western cultures, according to the MOFA.

Source: Taiwan Today